Risk Modeling at DeNexus

Diana, Risk Modeler and Data Scientist at DeNexus, explains why she joined DeNexus.

What led you to a career in data science, particularly in cyber risk quantification?

My journey into data science began at the University of Havana, Cuba, where I studied cybernetics (computer science) at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computation. Afterward, I worked at ICIMAF (Institute of Cybernetics, Mathematics, and Physics) and simultaneously pursued a master's degree in mathematical sciences. During my master’s, I collaborated with the Intelligent System Group from the University of the Basque Country, which opened the door to a PhD in Spain focused on machine learning, optimization, and artificial intelligence.

My work was centered on applying technological innovations to real-world problems. Throughout this education, I discovered the power of data to solve complex problems and generate meaningful insights. The ability to extract patterns, predict behaviors, and optimize decisions through data analysis was fascinating to me. Particularly, cyber risk quantification caught my attention due to its growing global relevance in cybersecurity. This field is ripe for discovery and offers the opportunity to apply data analysis techniques to protect vital assets in an increasingly digital and connected world. It is an area where intense work promises to make systems more resilient against cyber risks that could have devastating consequences. My decision to specialize in cyber risk quantification was driven by the desire to tackle these critical challenges and contribute to a safer digital environment. 

What attracted you to DeNexus? Were there specific projects, values, or aspects of our culture that influenced your decision?

I joined DeNexus because it allows me to delve into the field of cyber risk, a completely new and relevant topic for me. The opportunity to work in an international environment combined with the company's remote work model, were decisive factors for my joining.

How has your experience matched or differed from your expectations when you joined?

The reality has exceeded my expectations, allowing me not only to apply my previous knowledge in cyber risks but also to broaden it, for example by applying it to critical infrastructure and industrial environments. Collaborating with multidisciplinary teams has enriched my experience, solidifying my technical and analytical skills.

The Role of AI in Your Career: How has artificial intelligence shaped your professional journey? Why is AI important in your field?

Artificial intelligence has been fundamental in my professional development from finishing my university degree to my current role at DeNexus. In cyber risk quantification, AI not only predicts risk scenarios but also addresses the scarcity of data in catastrophic events. Due to the infrequency of these incidents and the confidential nature of related information, data collection and analysis are complicated, requiring the collaboration of cybersecurity experts (SMEs) and the use of advanced simulation techniques. AI facilitates the modeling of hypothetical situations from limited data and enables the integration of expert knowledge with algorithms to create predictive models and simulations. This approach enhances decision-making and mitigation strategies, crucial for developing effective responses and proactive risk management, thereby strengthening security and asset management efficiency.

Advice to Aspiring Data Scientists: Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to someone considering a similar career path?

My primary advice would be to embrace constant learning. Data science is a dynamic field where curiosity and adaptability are essential. Having a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics is important, but it is also crucial to develop skills in programming and understanding new algorithms.

Additionally, I would recommend seeking opportunities that allow for the application of the theory to real-world problems, as this provides a deeper understanding and tangible gratification of your efforts.