Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Infosec industry needs more heroines

Undoubtedly, every woman is a potential heroine. They are able to deal with their professional responsibilities without neglecting their family’s needs even when more than once they have to overcome the clumsiness of men around them.
Although it is not very usual at CIGTR, today let me make a very personal comment. I am a man and I have to admit that, both during my studies and my professional career, I have been blessed to work very often in teams composed by majority of female members. So I am very aware of how much they can contribute to tackling any challenge or problem. Therefore it is a pity that women today are even less interested in the world of information security than 25 years ago. According to the study 2013 (ISC) 2 Global Information Security Workforce Study, only 11 out of 100 infosec professionals are women. Considering that currently in the U.S. there are no less than 30,000 vacancies in this field and 300,000 new ones are expected to emerge next year, is a pressing need than women begin to fill such positions.
A good place to look for a job could be San Diego. This U.S. city is positioned to become a leader in the cybersecurity industryOpportunities in this field could grow 25% there this year.
Maybe if some women were aware of all the edges that compose the world of information security, things would change. Surely many of them perceive these professions as something limited to advise the company which browser to use, and so on. And it is not. By the way, according to a report from NSS Labs, Internet Explorer was the browser that most blocked socially engineered malware, followed in the distance by the Chinese liebao Browser and Google Chrome.
But as I said, cybersecurity is infinitely more than that. For example, those small mobile devices that we all carry in our pockets or handbags urgently need professionals who work to protect them. Especially, phones and tablets running Android, which is targeted by 97% of mobile malware.
An infosec expert could also be responsible for protecting online gaming platforms from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks so they do not collapse the server and therefore they do not affect the user experience, a situation that has recently suffered by Blizzard on several of their games: Diablo, World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Hearthstone.
But now even more interesting future challenges are drawn on the horizon. How would it feel working to prevent car’s electronic systems being hacked and manipulated? Although it may sound like science fiction,2014 is expected to be the year in which most manufacturers will launch vehicles permanently connected to the Internet.
What do you think we can do to make infosec field more attractive for women? Any suggestions?
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