Women in Cybersecurity: Perfect time for women to join the dynamic field of cyber security

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    Cyber security has always been an intriguing subject. It refers to the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Basically speaking, it is the protection of data or information available in the cyberspace from being manipulated or destroyed. It has been a matter of threat and concern for many organizations and associations to handle the issue of cyber security consciously. Those companies need to hire experts to address potential problems. This is a relatively new job field with a labor shortage. It is bound to provide new opportunities and perspective to women.

    Understanding this situation, the WiCyS (Women in Cyber Security) initiative was launched in 2013 with support from a National Science Foundation grant for a collaborative project between Tennessee Tech, University of Memphis and Jackson State Community College. Since then, with support from various industry, government and academic partners, WiCyS has become a continuing effort to recruit, retain and advance women in cyber security. The main goal of WiCyS has always been to bring together women in cyber security from academia, research, and industry. This team has been working to bring women together for sharing of knowledge/experience, networking and mentoring.

    However, despite all these efforts, according to the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, only 11% of the world’s information security workforces are women. To change this scenario, efforts have been put forward globally. Training, education, and empowerment of high school girls, college grads, professionals in other fields, and IT workers interested in crossing over to cyber, has been rigorously encouraged and practiced. They are also geared towards education and opportunities for internships and jobs for women in cyber security. The NYU Tandon School of Engineering offers the GenCyber Computer Science for Cyber Security Summer program for High School Women which offers three-week, a full-day summer program to provide an introduction for high school women to the fundamentals of cybersecurity, and computer science.

    Similarly, the SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy for Women offers women a fast track to top jobs in cyber security. The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu focuses on providing training, resources, and programming to enhance their cyber learning experience.

    Thus, it is pretty clear that, with these numerous opportunities for education and employment lined up for them, now is the perfect time for women to join this dynamic field of cyber security.