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WiTWA TechXChange Event - The art of manipulation: Social engineering and the world of cyber security

  • Mia Yellagonga (Woodside) 11 Mount Street Perth (map)

Join WiTWA as we celebrate our second event for the year, continuing with our 2019 theme of
"If You Can See Her, You Can Be Her"…

What if we told you that hacking wasn't all about computers, dark rooms and black hoodies? That instead of infiltrating networks and stealing credentials, there was a way to hack humans instead? Welcome to the world of social engineering - a discipline that uses charm, manipulation and deceit to gain access to secure systems and sensitive information.

In this session, Cyber Security Risk Advisor and WiTWA 20in20 Award Winner Cairo Malet will take us through what a social engineer does, the tools and attacks they use to get into systems (and our heads!), and how an awareness of these techniques can be used to build better, more secure organisations.

Following this session, four talented Perth cyber security specialists – Rachel Brennan, Laura Davis, Bex Hirdman, Lauren Junior - will share their stories in a Q&A panel discussion covering their career journeys so far, advice and predictions for this fascinating and ever-evolving industry. See below for more information on our panellists. Food and drinks included. With our last TechXChange event selling out, get in early to secure your tickets for only $20 (plus booking fees) HERE.

Free Sponsored Tickets

Thanks to support provided by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science for this WiTWA TechXChange event, we are able to offer a number of free tickets to those who are currently studying (part-time or full-time), unemployed or looking to upskill, reskill or transition into a role within the science or technology sectors. A limit of 2 tickets per person applies. If unsure whether this applies to you, please email

Meet our speaker

Cairo Malet is a Cyber Security Risk Advisor, with experience consulting across numerous industries, including mining and resources, government, telecommunications, finance and health services.

By day, she provides advice on how to securely implement new technical solutions and build processes that safeguard security and privacy. By night, you can usually find her on Twitter having opinions and immersing herself in the breadth and depth of knowledge the security field has to offer.

She is currently the Perth Chapter Lead for the Australian Women in Security Network, an organiser of WACTF (WA’s largest standalone cyber security capture the flag event) and last year was recognised as a WiTWA 20in20 Award Winner. As a social science graduate, Cairo is passionate about encouraging diverse perspectives in cyber security, breaking down the gate-keepers and encouraging non-traditional career paths into IT.

Meet our panellists

Rachel Brennan came to Woodside in 2015 after almost 15 years as an Intelligence Officer in the Australian Army during which she deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and also had two years at the National Security Agency in the US. Rachel is currently the Manager of Cyber Capabilities and Threat Intelligence for Woodside Energy in Perth. She is responsible for raising the cyber skills and knowledge of the Woodside workforce in this rapidly changing environment. She also runs the data loss prevention efforts and a newly established red team to help ensure Woodside is able to defend against the many and varied cyber threats they face. She is passionate about demystifying the cyber security world and empowering people from all walks of life to get involved.

Laura Davis is a Security Consultant and member of the Testing team at Asterisk Information Security. Laura's role allows her to hack into systems and networks to find vulnerabilities and report back to organisations with ways to improve their security. Laura regularly attends local security events including SecTalks and AWSN meet-ups, and has previously contributed to WACTF challenges. In addition to joining the WiTWA TechXChange panel on April 3, Laura is excited to be attending Australia's first women’s security conference (0xCC) in Melbourne next month to learn from some of the best in the industry.

Bex Hirdman first began assisting people with their cyber security problems well before she knew it was even a career option. In her mid-teens, with the help of her Mum, Bex was driven around to the homes of various friends and relatives to help fix their computers after they'd been infected with the infamous malicious software known as the Blaster Worm. Bex is now an Assistant Manager in BDO’s Forensic Services Division where she leads the digital forensic service offering for BDO in Australia. In this role, Bex collaborates with teams across the nation to undertake investigations into incidents of fraud, misconduct and cyber security breaches for clients in the public and private sector. With a strong interest in financially motivated cybercrime, Bex especially enjoys the fast-paced environment of incident response work and the complexities of high-value fraud investigations.

Lauren Junior is a Cyber Security Governance and Compliance specialist at Bankwest. Lauren’s role allows her to support the business in understanding and managing cyber security risks to maintain a safe and secure digital ecosystem. She recently served as a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which gave her the opportunity to deliver specialised IT risk assessments and cyber solutions to ASX listed clients across a number of industries. Beginning her cyber security career developing an Australian-university first cyber security awareness campaign for Curtin University students, Lauren is passionate about encouraging the adoption of good security behaviours and fostering a strong security culture. To stay informed on the latest security trends, Lauren attends AWSN, WiTWA and AISA events.

Mini Mentors / Mentees

Are you a Uni Student, parent returning to work, new to the industry (or Perth Tech Scene), upskilling, reskilling or are you without many connections in the industry? We are excited to offer our "Mini Mentor" program as part of our next event on 3rd April.

We reached out and have been OVERWHELMED with the generosity from the community with a LOT of amazing women and men who have volunteered to be your "Mini Mentor" on the night. These Mini Mentors work in various roles in Perth Tech - including Technical, Management, Project Management, Account Management etc and across many industry streams.

After organising your ticket here, please visit this link to hold your place as a Mini Mentor or Mini Mentee.

Thank you to our events sponsors: