Blog Post | October 28, 2020
Hi guys! This is Jael Whitney, volunteer for Kids in Tech. For Cybersecurity Awareness Month and #MassSTEMWeek, I’m talking to professionals all across the cybersecurity industry about the future of STEM. Today, I’m interviewing Sonia Arista, XYZ. Sonia Arista serves as Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Everbridge, with global oversight of operational and product security and compliance. She brings over 20 years in IT program management and consulting in the areas of governance, risk and compliance, with the last 15 years focused on enterprise data protection.
Prior to joining Everbridge, Sonia was the Healthcare CISO and vertical lead for Fortinet and was a prior CISO at Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children where she was responsible for the development and management of Information Security programs. She has also been contracted to serve as an interim CISO for several healthcare-related entities like Wellforce, Nuance Communications and Verscend Technologies. Her experience in information security leadership includes board-level advisement, incident response, and rapid program alignment to support growth associated with mergers and acquisitions.
Originally from Houston, Sonia graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Business Administration, then moved to the Boston area 20 years ago. She recently completed her Executive Masters in Cybersecurity at Brown University. She contributes time as a professional mentor to young professionals seeking a career in security, and guest lectures for organizations promoting women in STEM and minority advancement.
Hi Sonia! How long have you been involved in Cybersecurity? What do you enjoy about it?
20 + years – I love how cybersecurity is pertinent in every facet of our professional and private lives.
The theme for this year’s Massachusetts STEM Week is “See Yourself in STEM,” with a particular focus on the power of mentoring. How can we help more young people see themselves in STEM?
Diversity – Female tech leads, varying paths to careers in cyber, multiple generations and varying diversities!
Anything else you’d like to share?
My path in leadership within cyber has been unique. I started with a love of process and management structure within business, and was a business analyst and consultant for many years before joining an hospital organization just starting to recognize the importance of cybersecurity in building trust and maintaining privacy, and it’s importance to patient safety, given the growth of computers and tech to serve patients. Now, working for a company that puts the safety of employees and workplaces first, I have had the unique position in following my dreams to contribute my talents to support a mission for the public good!