The Urgent Need for Women in CybersecurityMarch 14, 2023
In recent years, the field of cybersecurity has become increasingly important as businesses and governmental industries rely more on technology to store and protect sensitive data. Despite the critical role that cybersecurity professionals play in protecting these assets and the extraordinary need for a full workforce, the industry has traditionally been dominated by men. However, there is a growing recognition that we need more women in the field of cybersecurity to address the shortage of skilled professionals and to bring diversity of thought and skill to the industry.
The Demand for Women in Cybersecurity
First and foremost, the cybersecurity industry is facing a shortage of skilled professionals. According to a report by (ISC)2, the world's largest nonprofit association of cybersecurity professionals, the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals reached 4.07 million in 2019, up from 2.93 million in 2018. This shortage is a significant concern, as it means that businesses and government agencies are struggling to find the expertise they need to protect their assets from cyber threats. Increasing the number of women in the field can help to address this shortage, as women represent a largely untapped source of talent in cybersecurity.
Women are also uniquely positioned to address the cybersecurity skills gap in developing countries. In many other countries besides the US, there is a shortage of skilled cyber leaders. Female cybersecurity professionals can help to address this gap by taking positions overseas, while also promoting gender equality and empowerment in these countries. Through the right education and training, women can help close the tech skills gap in developing nations.
The Value of Increased Diversity in Cybersecurity
Women also bring diversity of thought and unique perspectives to the cybersecurity industry. Research has shown that diverse teams are more innovative, productive, and creative, as they bring different viewpoints, experiences, and skills to the table. This is particularly important in cybersecurity, where attackers are constantly evolving their tactics and techniques. By having a diverse team of cybersecurity professionals, organizations are better equipped to identify and respond to emerging threats.
Finally, increasing the number of women in cybersecurity can help to promote a more inclusive and diverse industry. Women currently make up only a small percentage of the cybersecurity workforce, and they face many challenges including unconscious bias, discrimination, and lack of representation. By employing more women in cyber, we can help to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all cybersecurity professionals, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or background.
Capitol Technology University recently opened the Center for Women in Cyber for this very purpose––to promote the inclusion of women in this critical industry and to give the future female industry leaders a voice. Through training programs, webinars, workshops, and other events, the Center for Women in Cyber encourages women to step up and become role models within the cybersecurity industry and take charge of a field largely dominated by men.