Written By Kim Foster And Presented By Charles Leaver
It’s obvious that cybersecurity is getting more international attention than ever before, and businesses are truly concerned if they are training sufficient security professionals to satisfy growing security risks. While this concern is felt across the commercial world, numerous people did not anticipate Girl Scouts to hear the call.
Beginning this fall, countless Girl Scouts across the country have the opportunity to receive cybersecurity badges. Girl Scouts of the United States partnered with Security Business (and Ziften tech partner) Palo Alto Networks to develop a curriculum that informs girls about the fundamentals of computer security. In accordance with Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of GSUSA, they developed the program based upon demand from the ladies themselves to protect themselves, their computers, and their family networks.
The timing is good, given that in accordance with a study released in 2017 by (ISC), 1.8 million cybersecurity positions will be unfilled by 2022. Factor in increased need for security pros with stagnant growth for women – only 11 percent for the past several years – our cybersecurity staffing problems are poised to get worse without significant effort on behalf of the market for better addition.
Obviously, we can’t depend on the Girl Scouts to do all of the heavy lifting. Wider instructional efforts are a given: according to the Computing Technology Industry Association, 69 percent of U.S. ladies who do not have a profession in information technology pointed out not knowing what chances were readily available to them as the factor they did not pursue one. One of the excellent untapped opportunities of our market is the recruitment of more diverse experts. Targeted curricula and increased awareness should be high concern. Raytheon’s Women Cyber Security Scholarship is a fine example.
To gain the benefits of having females invested in shaping the future of technology, it’s important to dispel the exclusionary understanding of “the boys’ club” and remember the groundbreaking contributions made by ladies of the past. Lots of people understand that the first computer programmer was a woman – Ada Lovelace. Then there is the work of other famous leaders such as Grace Hopper, Hedy Lamarr, or Ida Rhodes, all who may evoke some vague recollection among those in our industry. Female mathematicians created programs for one of the world’s very first completely electronic general-purpose computers: Kay McNulty, Jean Jennings Bartik, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Meltzer, Fran Bilas, and Ruth Lichterman were just a few of the very first programmers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (better called ENIAC), though their crucial work was not extensively recognized for over half a century. In fact, when historians first found photos of the females in the mid-1980s, they mistook them for “Fridge Ladies” – models posing in front of the machines.
It’s worth keeping in mind that many believe the very same “boys’ club” mindset that neglected the accomplishments of ladies in history has actually resulted in restricted leadership positions and lower incomes for modern-day ladies in cybersecurity, in addition to outright exclusion of female luminaries from speaking chances at market conferences. As patterns go, omitting bright people with relevant understanding from influencing the cybersecurity market is an unsustainable one if we want to keep up with the cybercriminals.
Whether or not we jointly act to promote more inclusive work environments – like informing, recruiting, and promoting ladies in larger numbers – it is heartening to see a company associated with fundraising event cookies successfully notify an entire market to the fact that women are really interested in the field. As the Girls Scouts of today are given the tools to pursue a career in information security, we should anticipate that they will become the very females who eventually reprogram our expectations of exactly what a cybersecurity professional looks like.