Why diversity is vital for a strong cybersecurity team

How would you sum up the year so far for yourself, your business, and the local tech industry?
The pandemic has transformed the workplace and how businesses and consumers use digital technologies. The attack surface has expanded dramatically with the hybrid working model, and the cybersecurity industry has evolved to address the associated risks.

At the organizational level, our goal this year is to strengthen our security strategies to support the new work environment from anywhere. This has involved expanding our adoption of zero trust and providing ongoing, contextual training to our employees regarding the threat landscape and security controls. We have also intensified our efforts to align our SaaS business solutions and security processes with various international standards and regulations.

Why is diversity important for a strong cybersecurity team?
Cybersecurity is an area that requires a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving, allowing people from different specialties to contribute. Security engineers, threat analysts, incident responders, digital forensics experts, ethical hackers, and risk and compliance analysts are some of the specialized roles of a modern cybersecurity team .

The cyber threats we currently face are vast and launched by hackers with a variety of backgrounds and motivations. Having a team of individuals with diverse skill sets brings different ways of thinking and new perspectives to old problems and new challenges. Some common traits of people who thrive in this profession are curiosity, persistence, a risk-management mindset, and a willingness to take on challenges.

Building a diverse team is not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint in terms of giving everyone opportunities, it is also quickly becoming a necessity due to the huge skills gap the industry is facing. .

What is stopping women from pursuing careers in cybersecurity?
There is an overall under-representation of women in engineering and computing. As a related field, cybersecurity also faces the same problem. A major deterrent is industry stereotyping. Often, people working in cybersecurity are portrayed as men in hoodies sitting in front of computer screens and hacking systems. It is described as a very stressful environment with fierce competition. For outsiders, this creates a negative and undesirable perception that can deter women from entering this field.

What steps should be taken to attract more women into this field and how do you think employers can make a difference?
Organizations need to broaden their idea of ​​the right person for an open position in cybersecurity. Traditional ways of recruiting often don’t take into account diversity and different experiences. Some important areas that employers can work on are:

Job awareness: Employers can partner with universities to offer early-career orientation and internship programs, making career paths more visible. This helps young graduates gain real-world experience in cybersecurity and makes the field more attractive to graduates of any gender.

Internal development: People can take different paths into cybersecurity, switching other teams like IT, software engineering, marketing, and even legal. Being open to such transitions and providing training will attract more passionate talent to the security team.

Highlight female role models: At the industry and organizational level, it is important to promote women in cybersecurity, their career paths and milestones. This positive reinforcement encourages women who are apprehensive to move on.

What are some key tips/tips you will offer aspiring leaders/entrepreneurs to help them advance in this industry?
At its core, cybersecurity is about protecting people from harm. There are many opportunities in this field for women with a risk management mindset and diverse perspectives. My key tips for excelling in this industry are:

Embrace learning: Cybersecurity is a very dynamic field that requires constant learning and upgrading. Staying up to date matters a lot in this industry. Be a continuous learner and always take on new challenges. Focus on excellence and prove yourself with your skills.

Cultivate allies at all levels: Have a strong network of peers and attend local industry meetups and conferences. These are great opportunities to network and learn about new technologies and real-world problems and solutions.

Express your goals: It is important to take ownership of your career path. It means speaking out clearly and standing up for your own interests.

Read: Cybersecurity: Are we doing it the right way?

Comments are closed.