Hello cyber security friends,
After spending 20+ years in business, technology and cybersecurity leadership, having a degree in sociology and two graduate degrees, working on a Doctorate in Social Cybersecurity and having worked for Fortune 100s and startups – I know that the topic of gender isn’t easy for most humans to talk about. People are afraid of “saying the wrong thing,” being perceived as lacking empathy or being stigmatized for what they feel is their way of “trying to be honest.”
The lack of Women in Technology (WIT) and Women in Cybersecurity (WICS) is already a conversation that many have broached. However, a lack of representation in the workforce is becoming an issue of national security. Not being able to talk openly, directly and honestly about this lack of diversity, equitability and inclusion could very well lead to the unfolding of a catastrophic threat or event.
If we don’t have the resources available while working shoulder-to-shoulder to defend against the growing cyber security threats evolving in our daily lives, how can we defend beyond the threat of “financial loss”? Connected devices now rule our lives: cars, planes, trains, medical devices and core infrastructure – the list goes on. Our threat surfaces expand daily around us and to secure them, we must work together.
It’s clear to me we must create actionable change together in the cyber security community. This actionable change starts with us—ALL genders—engaging more effectively with one another.
The type of human personas involved in our lives vary from person to person. These people profoundly impact us as humans. We have joyous moments in our lives with them. We can also have tragedy and heartache. We have incredible conversations with these individuals and sometimes we have the most challenging conversations that generate incredible emotion—yet all of this comes from a place of love within us. Therefore the effort to engage ALL genders in the conversation around the lack of ALL genders in technology and cyber security should be relatively straightforward. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
From my perspective we MUST work together and truly focus on making change together in the cyber security community and industry to enable us, our children, and our children’s children to protect our lives, our families, our towns, our cities and our nation and truly work together as one.
Kyle F. Kennedy