Native American Heritage Month – Ryan Garza

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Arctic Wolf is proud to celebrate Native American Heritage Month throughout our offices this November, showcasing the traditions, culture, art, and food of the Indigenous peoples our Pack members hail from. Today, we’re sharing the perspective of Ryan Garza, a Concierge Security Engineer 2 and a fantastic leader and organizer within Arctic Wolf’s Indigenous community.  

Can you share a bit about your personal journey in the cybersecurity field? What initially drew you to this industry and inspired you to pursue a career in it?

I’ve had the good fortune to have been involved in a lot of nonprofit and corporate DEI work with some truly amazing people – which has really instilled in me a strong belief that people of all backgrounds and identities should feel safe everywhere we live our lives. These days, that includes online.

When I got the opportunity to transition from IT to cybersecurity several years ago, and first recognized it as another way I could play a part in helping make the world just a little bit safer for everyone, I was hooked. I started off as an analyst, which led to SOAR (workflow optimization) work, which led me to security advisory consulting. Today, I’m a Concierge Security Engineer, and I absolutely love it. 

What does Native American Heritage Month mean to you? 

I think people can sometimes think of a celebration of a particular people’s heritage as a celebration of all the things that make it distinct and unique. And while it usually involves celebrating those things, it can also be something more. I see Native American Heritage Month — more than a celebration of the things that make us different — as a celebration of all the things we all have in common. We all sing. We all dance. We all value family, and friendship, and food, and story, and art. We all just celebrate and express them a little differently from each other.

To me, Native American Heritage month is a celebration of all those universal values, with a focus on the specific ways Indigenous people have historically celebrated them. 

Photo of Ryan Garza

How can companies like Arctic Wolf continue to foster inclusive spaces for employees? 

I have to mention Kristin Dean, our Chief People Officer, who I had the incredible opportunity to meet during my onboarding. The work she’s done over the years here is nothing short of inspiring at every level. When you think about maintaining an inclusive culture like ours, that’s now spread across the globe and made up of thousands of people, it can sound almost impossible.

I think it takes being able to empower and inspire people at an individual level, along with a visible, consistent commitment to our values at the very top and a world-class People Experience team leading the mission every day on the ground. Fortunately, we have that. I think that’s how Arctic Wolf continues to lead the way in that space. 

What advice would you have for folks looking to break into the cybersecurity industry? 

Whatever it is that you already do, whatever it is that you’re already good at, whatever it is that drives you, however it is that you already contribute to the world, there’s a really good chance that you can do it within the field of cybersecurity. I think we’re still kind of in a place where your average person still associates our industry with a lot of movie stereotypes. But it is so much more than that. The industry is so big, and so diverse, and made up of so many different people with so many different passions and talents, that there is definitely a place for you. You have to earn your way in, but from someone who knows, it’s worth it. 

What is your personal mantra or motto? 

“It’s the climb.” 

Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf provides your team with 24x7 coverage, security operations expertise, and strategically tailored security recommendations to continuously improve your overall posture.
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