March 17, 2021

Making Moves In Information Security: Tabitha White, Security Compliance Analyst at Duo

Duo is hiring on

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Duo?

I’m a Security Compliance Analyst at Duo Security. I’ve been at Duo since January of 2020. I lead Duo’s Enterprise Risk Management program, vendor security assessment reviews, advise managers and team members on security compliance industry requirements and standards, and continuously improve compliance policies and related documentation, and I train new team members. I’m also a mentor and a co-lead for the People of Color Circle.

What led you to information security?

Accounting. I had initially planned to pursue accounting at the University of Michigan Dearborn. I chose to take a business application programming class and management of information systems class, which piqued my interest in Information Technology and provided a broad spectrum of career opportunities to choose from.

After graduating from college, I was employed as a Ford College Graduate (FCG). The FCG program was created to help onboard new employees and get acclimated to different business areas. I was drawn to Information Security after hearing about the Sony Entertainment Gaming hack in 2011, the Dropbox hack in 2012, and then Facebook, Target and Yahoo breaches in 2013, to name a few. I wanted to know what was happening, why and how to prevent these issues wherever possible in the future.

How did your internship prepare you?

During my internship with Ford, I wanted to take on an assignment that would be new and challenging. I enjoy diving into ambiguous situations and having the opportunity to put structures in place or revamp processes to help things run smoothly.

During my internship, I worked with the build team, and Ford Credits application globally to do something we had never done before. This gave me insight into navigating team dynamics, the importance of having and updating team documentation, scheduling, planning for known unknowns and unknown unknowns, constantly iterating on work, communicating the status and developing management communications.

What was the process like from Ford Credit intern to Duo Security Compliance Analyst?

After the internship, I found a role as a Security Controls Champion. One of the things I wanted to do before working in information security was to develop my understanding of the business side of things and have a hands-on experience with how operations work.

I had several roles in Information Security after my internship. I learned what I did and did not like and took away the positive experiences until I found the right fit. When I saw the role with Duo, it was a natural opportunity for me.

As a WOC in the industry, how can you bring your full self to work?

At work specifically, three elements help out here – what I can do internally, how I can engage those around me, and how I can influence the institutional processes that directly influence the culture.

What I can do is have self-awareness, self-compassion and self-confidence. Self-awareness allows me to know and communicate my values effectively. Self-compassion will enable me to provide space to understand my needs and the needs of others. Self-confidence gives me the courage and the strength to act or speak up regardless of who is in the room. I believe we cannot take care of anyone else if we do not take care of ourselves.

I feel fortunate to be at Duo, where diversity is embraced in the business culture. I have had hard days in prior roles where this was not the case. But at Duo, I know management will provide support during difficult times by allowing time to recover, providing space for open dialogue, and sharing communications with employees. They know they won’t have all the answers, but they will do whatever they can, wherever they can, to support employees. Duo has earned the reputation for being not only a great place to be but also a great place to be from.

What’s your advice to those feeling disconnected from their workplace?

Identify your allies early and lean into those relationships fully. Allies will prevent you from suffocating under the weight of disconnect that occurs when you have to deal with microaggressions, flagrant racism, or even when you are still processing news articles that come across your social media feed. It’s so important to have people in your corner who are willing to step up or step back, as much or as little as you need.

Speaking of supportive environments, what’s it like to work at Duo?

Working with Duo has is a very positive experience for me. It’s exciting because it’s a collaborative environment, and I’m very passionate about the work we’re doing. Duo has been rated one of the best places to work, and it has been for years. Although being acquired by Cisco, Duo was born as a startup with a small business structure different from any other company I’ve worked with. I’ve found true allies here that will support me, they want me to be heard, and they want to work at a place where employees are treated equitably.

What’s been one of your biggest career accomplishments?

I am conducting Duo’s first remote risk assessment, maturing the process and increasing participation across various business areas by over 30% and conducting Duo’s PCI Gap Assessment during a pandemic!

Duo is hiring on
Keisha Morant

A freelance writer with a passion for telling impactful tech stories online.

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