Lëtz Talk about Cyber with Jelena Zelenovic-Matone

What Venus and Mars have to do with cybersecurity and future opportunities

  • 28 Feb, 2021

In this Lëtz Talk about Cyber, Jelena Zelenovic Matone, the enthusiastic CISO of the European Investment Bank, travels back in time and tells us the story of her successful career as a woman in cybersecurity as well as announces exciting projects coming up.

A 16-year love story

Born in Serbia, raised in Canada, she gave a start to her career in the (back then) niche field of Information Security in Toronto, Canada, 16 years ago. After 10 years of experience in North America, she moved to Europe and settled in Luxembourg, bringing along her knowledge and passion.

“I got to cybersecurity when nobody was even talking about it”, she said. “Moving to Luxembourg was the best decision I’ve ever done. 7 years ago, there was a gap between North America and Europe. I brought a lot of knowledge from my past experiences and built up a whole cybersecurity team. The cybersecurity field has grown in the past years.”

Leading by heart

As an enthusiastic leader, Jelena Zelenovic Matone is always excited to see new technologies coming up so fast. “Although it is very complex, we get to learn a lot. I work day and night, my laptop is part of my life, unless there is an upgrade going on”, she continues. The energy and hunger to learn new things drive her and her team towards reaching their objectives.

“As CISO, I need to be a people-oriented person and understand the business side, what people are doing in order to give wise advices.”, she added.

Encouraging girls to start a career in cybersecurity

Women in cybersecurity are under-represented. 11 women have joined forces and founded WomenCyberForce association. The association foresees a European field of action and aims to promote cybersecurity among young girls as well as women considering a career change. New announcements are to be released soon…

In this interview, Jelena Zelenovic Matone also emphasizes that not only is gender diversity needed in cybersecurity, but also in the profiles of the people who make up cybersecurity. Therefore, the 11 founding members of WomenCyberForce come from various areas related to cybersecurity.

Jelena’s advice to young girls?

“Believe in yourself. If you know you are right, put your foot down. Do not allow anybody to go over you. Cybersecurity is a great and rewarding career. Cybersecurity will never go away and there will be many more new job opportunities coming soon”.

A final word?

“As a newly Italian citizen, I’m on the pizza side!”

Watch the full ITV: