Excellence in Cybersecurity, Inspiration for Women
A leading figure in the advancement of security in the Philippines with achievements and advocacy towards women to attest to this, Mel Migrino is globally recognised for the work she has put forward. A staunch believer in those organisations that have embraced women and their capabilities in the workplace and thus helped women to reach higher levels across functional domains. She exclaims, “if you are an organization that does not embrace female capabilities and the leadership seems to be one gender, and that is male, that organization loses out on the opportunity to grow and diverse faster. I think it is more cultural or behavioral like what is happening in the traditional industries. The shift for diversity bringing in greater ideas should kick start already and recognize its wonderful outcomes. Thus, I have found the ‘Women in Security Alliance Philippines.’”
Mel Migrino believes in inspiring others by emphasizing their strengths to bring out the best versions of themselves. Mentoring and coaching coupled with a nurturing environment help in bringing people together to achieve better outcomes. For her, when the going gets tough, time is needed to heal and become whole again, ready to impart a portion of oneself to others. “Sharing what you have amid a crisis demonstrates a generous and genuine heart brings forth the true meaning of care and selflessness.”
The organisation led by her has several key thrusts such as:
- empowerment of women in the practice of cyber security, privacy, physical security and related technology and risk disciplines, promotion of gender equality
- promotion of awareness and education in various cyber and risk disciplines
Her organisation envisions a community where men and women coexist and are given equal opportunities to progress and excel. Having said that, WiSAP also supports the progression of the male practitioners who believe in advocacy. Among the key programs of WiSAP are as follows:
- Cyber Education Program
- Diversity in Leadership
- Mentor/Mentee Programs and roundtable meetings
- Free Threat Intelligence References
- Cyber Threat Intelligence Certification Courses
On the flipside, Mel is heavily involved in Bayad as the largest biller network in the payment industry in the Philippines. Her role is to take charge of the whole cybersecurity program of Bayad and ensure that the data and core infrastructure in the payment network is stable and secure. Mel claims that life in Fintech is always exciting and the cherishes the vibe and flexibility of people to adapt to new trends and structures.
With her love to her country and to cybersecurity, she contributed to society by building a safer ecosystem and this can be done by increasing the cyber warriors through the development of female cyber warriors and leaders who can make a difference at the Board and Management levels. She feels a sense of fulfilment every time she sees a female mentee or coachee succeed in a male-dominated industry. “I believe this the time that cyber warriors should be both male and female to combat the adversary.” With the roadblocks that came along, she was able to hurdle those because of her strong character and highly competitive mindset, she remain to be stable, grounded and resilient.
She aims to enhance the cybersecurity capabilities in her country and develop more female security leaders. Also, strengthening WiSAP’s thrust is establishing regional alliances for greater knowledge and exposure. Mel Migrino was conferred as 2021 CISO of the Year by Women in Governance, Risk and Compliance Awards, Top 30 ASEAN Women in Security Award – August 2021, Global Recognition as a Top Woman Risky Leader on March 2021, Risky Women.org, IFSEC Global Influencers for Security and Fire 2021 Ranked #5, CSO30 ASEAN and HK Ranked #2 by IDG and 2022 Influencer as cited by International Security Journal and was recently recognized as 2022 Top 100 Global Leaders for Infosec by Business of Infosec. Mel is also part of the EXECOM of the ASEAN Chief Information Officer Association wherein she represent the organization in various speaking engagements in Asia Pacific.
She emphasizes that leadership is about giving back to society without asking for something in return. It is also about putting in the right blend of influence rather than imposing and taking control and authority.
She is a cyber and technology enthusiast who remains interested in Security Operations Center, IoT Security, RegTech and mentoring. In her spare time, Mel cooks traditional Filipino food and loves to eat Japanese and Spanish food. She cherishes the opportunity to write anything under the cyber ecosystem.