Noblis ESI’s Stephynie Velez: Tackling Opportunities by Raising her Hand

Noblis ESI’s Stephynie Velez, a senior cybersecurity engineer, was nominated and selected as one of SC Media’s 2021 Women in IT Security. The following is an excerpt from a feature story about her career experiences published on in September 2021:

Stephynie Velez entered cybersecurity as a matter of national necessity. Fifteen years ago, working in as an intelligence analyst covering transportation issues for Air Force Special Operations Command, she saw a growing threat space across her supply chain.

“It was a time when there weren’t cyber threat analysts — they weren’t sure if you needed to take cyber personnel and make them learn intelligence analysis or the other way around,” said Velez.

Velez was the other way around. “If you had asked me 20 years ago if I would be working in cybersecurity, I’d say I was a C student from Indiana who thought it was a miracle when a computer turned on.”

Velez took on every learning opportunity she was able to get her hands on — course work, self-teaching, a few food mentors — and worked her way into the burgeoning field of a cybersecurity analyst and beyond. By late 2016, she led the Air Force Office of Special Investigations cyber investigations and counterterrorism.

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