Welcome to the 'How to thrive in cybersecurity' Ask Microsoft Anything!

Community Manager

This event gives you the opportunity to ask questions and connect with Microsoft team members in cybersecurity. This forum will be open all day on July 29, 2020.  Ryen Macababbad, Miriam Wiesner, Sarah Young, Bronwyn Mercer, and Liz Thomas-Steele be online to respond and share information at the following dates and times:


  • July 29: 15:00-16:00 UTC (8:00-9:00 AM Pacific Time)
  • July 29: 10:00-11:00 AM PT
  • July 30: 10:00-11:00 SST (July 29: 7:00-8:00 PM Pacific Time)


Post your questions in a new thread within the Humans of IT AMA space by clicking on "Start a New Conversation" at the top of the page.

5 Replies

This is Eric checking in from the Tech Community team. Looking forward to a lively cybersecurity discussion!




Hi everyone,


I'm Miriam and I currently work as a Program Manager on the MDATP team.


Before that I have worked as a Systems Engineer, as a Developer, as a Pentester and and as a Security Consultant in the past.


I started Public Speaking two years ago and spoke on conferences like Black Hat (USA, Europe), BSides, hack.lu, PSConf Eu and many more. I'm also the author of two open-source projects (JEAnalyzer and EventList).


Nice to meet you digitally, I'm looking forward to your questions! :)




PS: Oh I almost forgot, I'm also on Twitter: @miriamxyra - please reach out to me if there are any open questions!


Hi all! I'm Ryen, pronounced the same way as Ryan :)

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I have the privilege of leading an amazing team of Security Architects at Microsoft.

I started at Microsoft a little over 6 years ago, on the Azure Active Directory engineering team focused on Identity and Access Management, before transitioning to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection engineering where I began helping customers with endpoint protection, detection and response (EDR), zero trust, and improving their security posture.

I served in the Army for 13 years, 8 years on active duty and 5 years in the Army Reserves. I was part of a close-knit specialized IT community. If it was anywhere between a generator and a satellite dish, I probably worked on it. Part of my service included a collective 18 months deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I decided to transition out of active duty after my Afghanistan deployment, where I suffered a number of traumas that eventually led to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that I still struggle with today.

My transition included a lot of preparation, an amazing transition program called the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), a WHOLE LOT of work, and a little bit of luck. The MSSA program provided me the opportunity to learn the civilian side of tech, including an introduction to the cloud through Azure that helped me land a position as a software engineer at Microsoft.


Statistically speaking, I shouldn’t be where I am today. As a former foster youth lacking a college degree, the odds were stacked against me.  Many of the experiences that I had growing up were things no child should ever go through, including homelessness, and verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. But I can honestly say that without those experiences, I would not be the person that I am today.

Transitioning out of the foster care system was one of the most challenging events of my life. I took some college courses and did end up getting an Associates degree in General Studies, but couldn’t find my fit or my path past that. I failed several times before I found my passion for tech a couple of years into my military service.


You can find my socials and more info about me at https://aka.ms/ryen! :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes: I look forward to your questions!!!



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Kia ora!


I'm Sarah Young, a Senior Program Manager with Cloud +AI Security Customer Experience Engineering (CxE). I focus on helping our customers deploy Azure Sentinel, but before that I was an Azure Security Architect. I have been working in tech for the past 12 years; I've been at Microsoft for the past 18 months and loving it so far!


Prior to Microsoft, I worked in a variety of security architecture and consulting roles and have done lots of different work in the security space. Before moving into the security I was a network and infrastructure engineer. I actually have a History degree so I have no tertiary qualifications in tech at all!


I've spoken at a number of conferences including various BSides events, KubeCon, Kiwicon, DevSecCon and have been lucky enough to work and live in lots of different countries (I'm in New Zealand at the moment).


Looking forward to your questions!


@Christine Karambelas 

Hey, i'm Bronwyn! I'm a Cybersecurity Consultant at Microsoft based in Sydney, Australia. I currently work in Microsoft's Worldwide Compromise Recovery Practice, helping customers recover from breaches and restore trust in their IT environment.


I started out my career working in system administration and IT support. After 2 years, I moved into Security and had a chance to try out quite a few different roles, from mainframe security administration, to incident response, to security architecture. I consider myself a generalist and am interested in learning about pretty much anything related to IT and security!


While i'm passionate about cybersecurity, I think it's important to also make time for interests outside of work. I really enjoy running and hiking, volunteering with community initiatives for women in tech and teaching young people tech skills.


Feel free to connect with me on Twitter and reach out if you need any advice about careers in security. https://twitter.com/bron_mercer