Although cyber security is one of the fastest-growing industries today, the demand is not being met. By 2021, it’s predicted that will be around 3.5 million unfilled cyber security positions. One obvious solution? Train and hire women. Like most fields in the science and tech industries, cyber security is dominated by men. One report from 2013 stated that only around 11% of cyber security positions were filled by women. These women influencing cyber security today are changing the face of the business while innovating the technology.
Nicole Eagan and Poppy Gustafsson
Gustafsson and Eagan are the co-founders and CEOs of U.K.-based Darktrace, an AI cyber defense company that has been one of the most talk-about of 2018. Because of its unique innovations like the first ‘Enterprise Immune System’, it was named 2017’s ‘AI Leader of the Year’, among dozens of other industry awards. Eagan has been noted for sharing her suitably quirky CEO routine, which includes hot lemon water in lieu of coffee, waking up at 3:30, and a strict no-standing-meetings policy. Gustafsson is noted for her financial and mathematical prowess (she has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Sheffield University) that has supported Darktrace’s growth to being a multi-million dollar company.
Mary N. Chaney
Chaney describes herself as “an attorney that knows the ins and outs of cyber security who can speak geek and legalese.” She currently practices law at The Cyber Security Law Firm of Texas. That’s not all; as vice president of the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP), Chaney advises young professionals, helps promote community among minorities in the industry, and facilitates cyber security curriculums at historically Black colleges and universities. Previously she has worked as an Information Systems Security Officer for the FBI in Los Angeles.
A rising star, Chalasani is currently the director of product management for “Awake”, an advanced security analytics startup that won the number two slot in eSecurity Planet’s 20 Cyber Security Startups to Watch in 2018. Her resume is impressive, starting with a undergrad degree in electronics and communication engineering from Delhi College of Engineering. She then went to Stanford to earn her MBA from their Graduate School of Business. Since then, Chalasani has been on the front lines of developing virtual security and mobile applications for a number of companies, including Reliance Communications, Cisco, and FireEye. She’s also reportedly a frequent traveler.
Last but surely not least, you should know the name of Dr. Ambareen Siraj. An associate professor in Tennessee Tech’s computer science department, Dr. Siraj founded the non-profit membership organization ‘Women in CyberSecurity’ (WiCyS). The organization has grown quite rapidly in the six or so years since its inception, even spawning an annual conference and job network. WiCyS supports women in cyber security at school, industry, and government levels, and unites them in their efforts. Look up WiCyS if you want to know more about supporting these admirable, savvy women.