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Breaking Badness
Breaking Badness

Breaking Badness Cybersecurity Podcast - Kymberlee Price

This week, the Breaking Badness Cybersecurity Podcast is joined by Kymberlee Price, founder and CEO of Zatik Security. We discuss her unique path to information security (infosec), advice to those looking to make a career switch, the origins of Zatik, and her interests outside of the industry.

The Road to Infosec

Kymberlee’s background began in psychology and public health administration, but has always been interested in working with computers, stepping in and completing IT tasks when needed. When she moved to Seattle, she worked at Microsoft in an HR capacity and actually recruited for security. 

Her passion was more in security than HR, and she made the argument that she should support the security unit that was being created at Microsoft. One year later, a new role was designed to build better relationships with security researchers, which would benefit the researchers, Microsoft, and the infosec community as a whole. 

Confidence is Key

Lots of folks out there might be wary of change and the unknown, but Kymberlee walks bravely toward it. She’ll be the first to admit that she’s nervous about change too, but she believes being ok with change comes down to believing in yourself and knowing you’ll figure it out; you might even learn something about yourself in the process. For example, Kymberlee wasn’t sure she wanted to manage people, but she understood leading a team and being accountable for the strategy would be critical to go in the direction she wanted. She learned that she enjoys leading a team and now can’t imagine not investing in the next generation of security leaders. 

Confidence also comes from being part of discussions and collaboration. Kymberlee shares the importance of branding yourself and participating in conversations. A lot of people find it hard to talk about themselves on social media or share thoughts because what if it’s already been said before? Kymberlee’s advice is to pivot to a teaching mindset. Sure, maybe a thought has been shared before, but are you looking at it from a developer’s or researcher’s mindset? If you’re approaching it with your own perspective and sharing with audiences that may not see it otherwise, it becomes dialogue that makes us better as a community. 

The Origins of Zatik Security

Kymberlee was interviewing with a number of companies and all of the small organizations were looking for a security leader to lead elements such as building their strategic roadmap, board reporting, and building the next Log4J and she thought these companies actually need a few people with speciality skills, but not full time. The idea that small companies can’t get that model today seemed to be a great opportunity, which is where Zatik Security comes in. 

They can help multiple small companies at the same time to get the best possible outcome with their resources. They want to begin early in their DevSecOps journey so it’s baked into their model and there’s no latent friction. 

Zatik has been growing at a rapid pace since going live in the Fall of 2023. Not only are they able to help small and mid-sized businesses, but more established companies have brought them in to help improve their engineering user experience. Kymberlee is thrilled with growth, because it means they can bring on more people and help more customers, which in turn helps the infosec community. 

The Love of Live Music

We couldn’t let Kymberlee leave Breaking Badness without telling us a bit about who she is outside of the industry. She shared that she loves to travel and one of the things she does while traveling is attend concerts. She loves live music and estimates she attends 15-20 concerts per year. 

Be sure to listen to the full episode for a deep dive on the programs Kymberlee created, key moments that changed her career trajectory, complete details on Zatik’s origins and goals, and more. You can also follow Kymberlee on LinkedIn to find her next speaking engagements.

That’s about all we have for this week, you can find us on Mastodon and Twitter/X @domaintools, all of the articles mentioned in our podcast will always be included on our podcast recap. Catch us Wednesdays at 9 AM Pacific time when we publish our next podcast and blog.

*A special thanks to John Roderick for our incredible podcast music!