Women in IT Security, Women to watch

Nisos’ Rosanna Pellegrino: Understanding risks and not afraid to take them

Rosanna Pellegrino

Don’t let her position as Chief Revenue Officer of the managed intelligence company Nisos fool you. Rosanna Pellegrino has considered herself a technical person ever since entering the workforce, where she first broke into technology keeping the books for a subsidiary of a financial organization.

“I've always been technical, I've always had hands inside of the computer, because I just love that piece,” she said. “... And going into the vendor [route] as a systems engineer, it was always problem solving — how do I make the product work.”

Pellegrino has been recognized as one of SC Media’s 2023 Women in IT Security Women to Watch.

Pellegrino was a systems engineer at organizations such as Fujitsu PC Corporation, Trend Micro and Symantec before making the transition to sales and ultimately her current position at Nisos. Maintaining that technical acumen lends her credibility to understand the acronyms and pain points organizations face, which she said helps from a sales perspective.

Throughout her career, Pellegrino said her mentors have pushed her to get out of her comfort zone, which she said toughened her up. As a mentor herself, she said she tries not to distinguish between gender when it comes to giving advice, and to understand what people are struggling with, whether it’s work-life balance or other dynamics outside of work.

“What's what's really going on? Is there a dynamic that they're not sharing? Is there something that I'm not aware of?”

Her career in technology has not always been easy, where for many years she said she was often the only woman in the room. At times it was even quite entertaining, she said, though not always a pleasant experience. Pellegrino recalled a time she was in a meeting as a technical resource and was asked if she was there to take notes.

Understanding risk tolerances has served her well over the course of her career, said Pellegrino. 

“Take the risks and make decisions that are right for you — not what you expect other people to do,” she said. “Because if that's what you're going to do, it's not going to always work out because you're always chasing making somebody else happy.”

“ Just don't be afraid to try,” she continued. “... It's OK that you make a mistake, and you've taken a chance if it's something that you're passionate about and want to do it.”

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