The banking jobs: cybersecurity, protecting against evolving digital threats

  • Malie Combs Cybersecurity Manager
  • Bank of the west, Nebraska
  • 29.12.2020

Banks hold a large quantity of client and financial data and are front line actors in fighting cybercriminals. The teams tasked with securing BNP Paribas' bank and customer data need to be curious, dedicated and driven. Malie Combs, Cybersecurity Manager at Bank of the West in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, gives us a glimpse into her profession.

What is cybersecurity and what is your role at BNP Paribas?

Malie Combs: Cybersecurity is the term we use for the means we use to protect the banking environment and its data from outside threats.

On a day-to-day level, that means monitoring data and detecting any anomaly. For example, we monitor online traffic and check for malware. We have to juggle between both proactive and reactive approaches.

How have the types of threats evolved in the last few years?

MC:  Threat levels are the same as they were three years ago but the nature of threats evolves constantly.  This keeps our job engaging.


What kind of person is best suited to this line of work?

MC: When recruiting, I look for a person who proves to be truly curios and enjoys digging into data. I have found that people who like puzzles are often skilled for cybersecurity. This job is like putting together the pieces of a data puzzle to rebuild the picture of a threat. As a manager, I try to ensure no single person is solely accountable. That way, it becomes a team sport.


Portrait Malie Combs

the nature of threats evolves constantly and keeps our job engaging

Where does the future of cybersecurity lie, and what does that imply for BNP Paribas?

MC: I think the cybersecurity battleground will become more automated.

Overall, we need to see our ecosystem through a global lens and prepare for the emergence of AI (Artificial Intelligence).



BNP Paribas Women in Cyber Network

Created in 2019 and now 400 members-strong across more than 14 countries, the WiC (Women in Cyber) network aims to promote functions related to IT (and more specifically cybersecurity) among women and to empower women to develop their careers. Networking, mentoring, training, innovation … all means are used to encourage women to join this field.


Photos : ©Hero Images - monsitj - denisismagilov

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