Co-op Show & Tell: Rachelle St. Fleur

Posted in Crosswalk, Co-op Show & Tell, Winter/Spring 2022

In a typical year, more than 92 percent of Drexel’s undergraduates participate in the Drexel Co-op program — our signature model of education that balances classroom theory with job experience. What does a Drexel co-op look like? In this regular feature, we ask Rachelle St. Fleur, who spent her third co-op tracking cyber criminals, to show us.

Rachelle St. Fleur

Photo credit, Jeff Fusco

Rachelle St. Fleur
BS computing & security technology ’22

The Co-op

As a security analyst at Security Risk Advisors in Philadelphia, I watch for and investigate security events signaling that the company’s clients may be under attack from hackers. SRA is a small company that serves Fortune 500 and Global 100 clients, so the stakes are very high. So much business is done virtually that there are many opportunities for hackers to attack. Everyone’s busy at the office, because so many alerts come in at once. It’s so much fun to dive deep into these investigations. I get to use digital tools that let me see what’s on the users’ devices and even pull files from them.

The Objects

Don’t be fooled by appearances. What looks like an ordinary laptop computer is a powerful crime-fighting device that gives me access to Security Information Event Management (SIEM) tools that allow me to analyze threats in greater detail. It also lets me utilize endpoint security tools that give me the power to see the malware on users’ devices. There are also open-source tools online that let me follow possible phishing links to see where they lead. Oh, and my cell phone comes in handy whenever I need to call for back-up from members of my team.

The Takeaway

I got to feel the weight of responsibility involved in defending a company’s computer network. Nothing I learned in the classroom had prepared me for the sensation that so many people were depending on me. When I look at my screen, I feel a tremendous responsibility to take care of our clients. That feels really good, since I grew up watching “CSI” and “Criminal Minds,” imagining myself as hacker girl fighting crime. This co-op really confirmed for me that I’ve chosen the right career path.