Posted on 9/09/2015 by Chloe Evans
It is a well-known fact that there is a considerable skills shortage within Information Security. In the UK alone the Cyber Security sector employs 40,000 people and is worth £6 billion to the economy. According to the Annual Security Report by CISCO last year, there is over 1 million unfilled positions within Cyber Security around the world. Women only account for 11% of global workforce within Cyber Security and within Europe women only represent 7%.
Although cyber security, and in fact the entire IT industry, is seen very much as a man’s world, it hasn’t always been this way. Veteran Jean Aly Barker (also known as Baroness Trumpington) now aged 92, worked as a ‘cipher clerk’ or a codebreaker in Navel Intelligence at Bletchley Park during the second World War. She has stated that 70% of her colleagues at that time were women.
Women are now coming together and creating groups such as the Women’s Security Society www.womenssecuritysociety.co.uk that was founded here in the UK and is focussed on all aspects of security including Cyber Security. In the States they have: Women in Cyber Security (WICYS) www.csc.tntech.edu/wicysfounded due to the growing demand and increasing opportunities within this job market, the significant skills shortage and the alarmingly low representation by women in the male dominated field. Their annual conference is becoming increasingly popular and getting great feedback from attendees.
With conferences for Women to come together within Information Security happening more regularly across the world, female idols within the industry are rising. A favourite of mine is a white-hat hacker called Parisa Tabriz who works for Google. Parisa is Google’s top (not so) secret weapon who they call their “Security Princess”; this is now her official job title and is on her business card.
It has been predicted that by 2017 another 2 million cyber security professionals will be needed globally. With stats like this the future is very bright for all working within cyber security and with this the competition between companies should set wage increases.
Come on ladies, lets follow the likes of Baroness Trumpingtons’ and the ‘Security Princess’ and with the future looking so bright there couldn’t be a better time to join the cyber security industry!