As part of International Women’s Day 2020, WIDE (Women In Digital Empowerment) interviewed and highlighted women on their backgrounds and careers. A look back at the interview with Cynthia Wagner, Safety Officer at Restana Foundation.

Could you tell us about your job?

For a few months, I work as Security Manager at the Restena Foundation. I am in charge of all aspects related to computer security and information and data security systems.  Before that, I was, still at the Restena Foundation, in charge of the CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team), the prior contact point in case of an IT incident for the research and education actors in Luxembourg.

My task is quite diversified. I deal with many different topics, such as the analysis of IT security incidents, the information security system, data security as well as the security of the domain name service under the national domain root .lu (Domain Name System – DNS).  

I am also active in various security and research working groups abroad. I take part in the working groups on data security management in education and research networks set up by GÉANT, an association of all (pan-)European education and research networks. I am also active in the security and research groups of CENTR, an association dedicated to the exchange and innovation of top-level domain registries at the European level. More specifically, I am co-chair of the group dedicated to development and research.

Another aspect of my work is IT security awareness. With the University of Luxembourg, I have launched two projects that are very important to me:

What is your academic background?

I studied computer network engineering at the former Institut Supérieur de Technologie (IST) here in Luxembourg. The fields of artificial intelligence and data mining interest me a lot, so I completed this training with a Master in Intelligent Systems. Then, I had the opportunity to do a PhD, at the University of Luxembourg, on the analysis of computer networks’ security by applying intelligent data mining algorithms in order to detect new attacks.

How comfortable do you feel as a woman in IT?

I feel very comfortable and respected in my field of IT, with different daily challenges, no matter if I am in contact with a man or a woman. The community in which I operate also allows me to collaborate with remarkable and very interesting people both nationally and internationally.

I have to admit that there are only a few active women in IT and that this is already visible in the more technical branches, starting from high school. The majority of girls are less interested in technology than boys, but fortunately not all of them.

If I had to share one anecdote, it’s that at least at IT conferences, women don’t have to wait to go to the bathroom, unlike men…

Women in Tech Magazine
Release date: 5 March 2020
By: Women In Digital Empowerment (WIDE)
This interview has been translated from French to English.