Changing the Face of Cybersecurity

Carmen Marsh

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There's been a lot of talk about cybersecurity, but not much is changing.

Cybercrime is increasing. The cybercrime wave is becoming an epidemic and is more profitable than drug trafficking.

If we believe cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company on a global scale, why aren't we innovating? Why aren't we changing strategies and the stereotype of people we are hiring for cybersecurity jobs? How can we become more creative in finding ways to get ahead of cyber-criminals?

We don't want the threat of losing the war against cybercriminals to become reality.

So, what could possibly be those first few things that need changing?

We know entrepreneurship in cybersecurity is a hot trend. However, those businesses that survive are few and far between.

How do we help these high-potential entrepreneurs succeed? Do we need a stronger business sponsorship, more inclusive business networks, or government funding to keep these companies going until they are able to sustain themselves?

While the current problem of cybersecurity expertise receding as cybercrime is increasing, we must attract more professionals into cybersecurity jobs. Reports state that we have a skills deficit in this area, and by 2020, we'll need an extra 1.8 & 8211 5.5 million cybersecurity professionals to fix the current and growing hiring crisis.

One way to start addressing this issue is to halt the unconscious prejudices about the types of people who should work these jobs. Further, by reversing the gender gap and adopting diversity in cybersecurity jobs, we may be able to spark a significant, positive paradigm shift.

Studies show gender-diverse teams are more productive, innovative, and able to stay on schedule and within budget compared to homogenous teams.

The mindset of the cookie-cutter job requirements and stereotype profiling of "the perfect job candidate" must change across the board, from hiring managers, recruiters, and the people that think they don't "fit that type." We can all start by recognizing this truth and beginning to raise awareness about necessary changes that are needed.

Another fresh approach to changing the face of cyber-security is adopting a more innovative and creative way of thinking, diverse knowledge, and fresh perspectives on how to enter the cybersecurity field.

We already know women think differently than men. We are more risk-averse and have better soft skills. We also know that people from different cultural and racial backgrounds think differently, so why not open the door to this diversity of thinking? Why not make it easier for more people with various backgrounds and education join the cybersecurity workforce?

The other side of the coin is that there is a lack of interest in cyber-security jobs—particularly by women. However, I found that working in information security fields can be rewarding, interesting, fun, and highly compensated. Spreading the word about how it is to work in cybersecurity by professionals working in the field could significantly help raise awareness about these great career opportunities.

Education about working in this field can begin at any age—perhaps as early as grade school. We could have cybersecurity experts speak at schools, youth career fairs, and other educational events.

When we have women and men from diverse backgrounds and cultures work closely together, we perform better overall in areas of analysis, strategy, and tactics. Now is the time to change our viewpoints about what cybersecurity community should look like, and we need to do it sooner than later. We need everyone to work together to protect ourselves, each other, our companies, and our countries.

If you would like to help us raise awareness about changes that need to happen in cybersecurity, contact us at [email protected] or sign up for our events at http://includecybersecurity.com.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Carmen Marsh is the CEO and Managing Partner of Inteligenca Inc., a boutique management consulting company in California focusing on helping clients unlock their potential with executive coaching and rethinking their business strategies.

Among other professional services, Inteligenca's team helps companies with Cyber Risk Managed Services, preparation for certifications like SOC 2, and ISO 27001, including the implementation of successful PMO and Agile Transformations.

Carmen is also heavily engaged in events with influential cybersecurity experts to attract more women into cybersecurity careers. Inteligenca is partnering with KAI Partners to bring the Include Cybersecurity Event to Sacramento Valley on June 14th. This event focuses on #inclusion and #diversity in cybersecurity careers and presents an opportunity for anyone interested in cybersecurity to learn firsthand from the experts what it takes to succeed.

Inteligenca is also presenting at PMI, COO, and PMO (Project Management) Forum, and has regularly scheduled workshops on mindful leadership-"Lead Mindfully"-and mindful PMO.

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