Why You Should Work in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity, at its most basic level, means defending computers, systems, and networks from all types of unauthorized access or attack. Everyone, from governments, schools, and companies, needs good cybersecurity to protect themselves from data theft or attack.
There are several ways an attack could occur: malware, phishing, social engineering, or inadequate security practices. However, when data theft or an attack occurs, the effects can be severe and wide-reaching.
"Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world."
— Ginni Rometty
Women in Cybersecurity
Currently, in the US, 25% of the cybersecurity industry are female, which is up from 14% in 2017.7 Women in the field have educational backgrounds that vary more than men; they are more likely to have degrees in Business, Social Sciences, and History than men are, though 42% have Computer and Information Science degrees.
Women in high-level positions have reported seeing a noticeable increase in diversity around their workplaces. Rosa Smothers, former security officer with the CIA and NSA, and current Senior VP with KnowB4, said, “I started out often being the only woman in the room — and now I’m seeing not only more women in the room, but also women of color.”8 For the first time, director positions in cybersecurity at the FBI are filled by women, such as Amy Hess and Tonya Ugoretz, and large cybersecurity conferences, like the annual RSA Con, have significant numbers of female speakers.
Currently, women in the industry are trying to get more female mentors to the forefront for those just getting started. The Global Information Security Workforce Study reported in 2016 that women with accessible mentors have higher job satisfaction, better access to promotion, and feel more valued on the job. As such, groups like Women in Security and Privacy (WISP) have formed to provide community, training, and mentorship for these women, among other things.9
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics