Who's Who of Professional Women


Marilyn Sousa

As a senior governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) analyst for Upgrade Inc., Marilyn K. Sousa ensures regulatory compliance, conducts internal audits, and analyzes data to determine risks. Having multiple professional credentials to her credit, Ms. Sousa is a certified information systems auditor (CISA), a certified information security manager (CISM), and a certified privacy solutions engineer (CDPSE). In addition, she achieved certification in Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX).

Upgrade Inc. is an American neobank, meaning it operates exclusively online without having any physical branch locations, unlike a traditional bank. Ms. Sousa found herself working in her current field after securing work experience as a network engineer, which afforded her the technical knowledge necessary to fulfill her duties with Upgrade Inc. Her success is rooted in a strong work ethic instilled in her by her parents, who raised Ms. Sousa on a farm, teaching her the value of putting forth her best effort and the importance of achieving her goals.

Ms. Sousa, a proud U.S. Air Force veteran, also takes pride in all her career accomplishments and work experience. Operating as a senior information technology security compliance and audit consultant from 2007 to 2018, she contributed to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (known as NASA), the U.S. Department of Defense, and various oil and gas companies. Ms. Sousa leveraged her auditing expertise to help her clients pass audits and make necessary recommendations to ensure compliance. From 2018 to 2021, she was a security engineer and GRC analyst for cloud operations compliance and auditing with Deltek, after which she worked as a senior GRC analyst in Phoenix from 2021 to 2022. Moreover, as one of the founding members of GoGuard, Ms. Sousa helped develop, with a select group of NASA engineers, an automated monitoring and control system to ensure, as the information security officer, the security compliance through the whole development life cycle; providing a marketing solution to fill the unprecedented demand for automation in the energy, cargo transport, agriculture, and waste management and building management sectors. For years, Ms. Sousa has found success in a male-dominated field, which, she recalls, meant she always had to prove herself, but she is heartened to see progress in her profession regarding gender equality.

Studying at the Community College of the Air Force, Ms. Sousa earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in electronic systems technology in 1990. She continued her higher education at the University of Maryland, where she graduated with an Associate of Arts in 1992 before later earning her CISA, CISM, CDPSE, and CSX certifications. Today, although she is happy in her current role and plans to continue excelling with Upgrade Inc., Ms. Sousa plans to retire within the decade. When she isn’t working, she enjoys hiking and walking with her dogs.


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