Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. With great prospects and pay it should be an attractive option for anyone looking to start or accelerate a future-focused career. But women remain sorely under-represented; making up just 11% of the cybersecurity workforce, according to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study. While some leading companies in the cybersecurity space are making efforts to attract more women, there is still an awfully long way to go.
Role models are more important than ever in industries where women are so massively under-represented. And the scale of cybersecurity growth means there are lots of female movers and shakers leading the way. Here are some of the women pushing cybersecurity forward with innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.
Naomi Hodges is a cybersecurity advisor and a contributing writer at Surfshark. She specializes in security technology, data communication, and cyber threats. Through her work with the Surfshark virtual private network (VPN), she committed to creating a safer environment online and works daily to develop more advanced VPNs.
Naomi has worked with a broad range of companies, helping each client to discover solutions for improving security. Her focus is in network security, anti-phishing, and privacy-related issues. Hodges graduated from the University of Reading with a degree in information security engineering and an analysis.
Masha Sedova is a security expert, speaker, and cybersecurity trainer. She is the co-founder of Elevate Security, an organization that’s focused on helping employees understand the importance of security in the workplace. Sedova and her team of security experts help create security awareness & support while developing programs that alter and improve employee behavior.
Masha Sedova started as a security executive at Salesforce where she built and led the security engagement team focused on improving the security mindset of employees, partners, and customers. Masha has been a member of the Board of Directors for the National Cyber Security Alliance and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars such as Blackhat, RSA, ISSA, Enigma, and SANS.
Window Snyder has a track record of cybersecurity success that includes tenures in Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla. Snyder spent five years working with Apple’s OS X and iOS security departments. She also spent three years at Microsoft developing security strategies. At Mozilla, she was the head of security operations.
Snyder is currently the CISO of Fastly, an American cloud computing service that provides content delivery networks, Internet security services, load balancing, and video & streaming services. She also recently co-authored Threat Modeling, a security architecture, and analysis software manual.
Mischel Kwon is the founder and CEO of MKACyber. Mischel has more than 35 years of IT and security experience. She built the first Justice Security Operations Center (JSOC) while serving as the Deputy Director for IT Security Staff at the DOJ.
Mischel served as Vice President of Public Sector Security for RSA Security and the Director for the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). She sits on the board of the Western Governors University IT Council.
MKACyber partners with Fortune 1000 companies and U.S. government agencies to help them change the way they approach security operations.
Lesley Carhart has spent the last decade working in information security, with a focus on response to nation-state adversaries. She has worked with Motorola Solutions, performing security monitoring, digital forensics, and incident handling services for both enterprise and public safety radio customers.
In 2017, Lesley Carhart was named a Top Woman in Cybersecurity by Cyberscoop news and received the Guidance Enfuse Conference Women in Technology award. She is currently in ICS Incident Response and Digital Forensics at Dragos, Inc., an industrial cybersecurity company focused on creating secure platforms for industrial control systems (ICS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and Distributed Control System (DCS) environments.
Amy Howland has over 20 years of experience in the private and public sectors, serving in various capacities as Director of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. She currently serves as the CISO for Perspecta. She secures the Perspecta corporate network and protects the company’s Brand and Reputation from cybersecurity compromises.
Howland started her career as a financial auditor and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with Ernst & Young, LLP before moving into its Security & Technology Solutions (STS) practice.
She is a long-time member of both the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. (ISC2) and the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Niloofar Razi Howe has been technology investor, executive, and entrepreneur for 25 years. Focusing on cybersecurity for the past ten years, she served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations at RSA.
She was also the chief strategy officer at Endgame, where she drove market and product strategy and led marketing, product management, corporate development, and planning. Prior to Endgame, she was managing director of Paladin Capital Group, where she led the development and implementation of Paladin’s family of funds investment strategies and oversaw Paladin’s investment portfolio.
Jessy Irwin is Head of Security at Tendermint. She has garnered notoriety for translating complex cybersecurity problems into relatable terms. She is responsible for developing, maintaining and delivering a comprehensive security strategy that supports her organization.
Irwin has also served as a strategic advisor, security executive, and consultant at 1Password. She regularly writes and presents about human-centric security. Her current interests include usable security and secure UI/UX, and building impactful security teams and programs in emerging blockchain technologies.
Ann Barron-DiCamillo currently serves as the Vice President of Cyber Threat Intelligence and Incident Response at American Express. She previously served as director of the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), where she led a 24×7 cyber operation center that received and analyzed hundreds of incident reports and over 40 billion network transactions each day.
Barron-DiCamillo is also an adjunct professor of Cybersecurity Risk Management & Governance at American University, an advisor to Cybersecurity Ventures, and is on the Cyber Security Medical Advisory Board of St. Jude Medical.
Joyce Brocaglia is the founder and CEO of Alta Associates. Founded in 1986, Alta Associates specializes in Information Security, IT Risk Management, and Privacy. Joyce is a leading strategic advisor who has gained the trust and respect of the industry’s most influential executives.
She is a career advisor to industry thought leaders and a trusted member of the Information Security, Risk Management, and Privacy industry. When the Russians hacked into Citibank in 1994, Brocaglia and her team built the first-ever information security organization. Since then, her company has expanded its company to include IT risk, privacy governance, risk, and compliance, as well as related specialty searches.
Christina Ayiotis is an international business-focused attorney and consultant specialising in cyber, privacy, data protection, data analytics, innovation, cloud, electronic discovery, ethics, compliance, and strategic engagement.
She serves as CSLI Co-Chair, an active member of the Advisory Board, and Chair of the Planning Committee. Since 2013, she has served on AFCEA’s Cyber Committee focusing on Internet Governance, Cyber Workforce, Internet of Things, and Leadership. She also serves as Co-Leader of the Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region’s Privacy and Data Security Forum. She taught Information Policy extensively at the Masters level for the Department of Computer Science at The George Washington University.
It’s a long way from the early days of computing, when women out-numbered men in IT careers. The new pioneers show that the only thing stopping women are social expectations and workplace culture. Breaking through those barriers can be tough and lonely, so draw strength from role models, peers and the many support organisations for women in tech.