What initially drew you to a career in cybersecurity, and what motivates you to stay in this field?
The first spark was ignited by my fascination with the ever-evolving digital landscape and the increasing reliance on technology in our daily lives. The more I delved into the world of technology, the more I became aware of the critical need to secure sensitive information and digital infrastructures from malicious actors. On the whole, my initial interest in cybersecurity was driven by a blend of curiosity, the importance of safeguarding technology, and the thrill of tackling complex problems. The sense of purpose that comes from knowing that my work directly impacts the security and privacy of individuals and organizations is what motivates me to stay in this field.
What do you consider to be the most significant cybersecurity threats today and how do you propose addressing them?
In addressing the pressing landscape of cybersecurity, several critical challenges warrant attention due to their potential impact on businesses and end users.
I would begin with ransomware attacks, which persistently escalate, reaching critical infrastructure, businesses, and individuals. To counter this threat, robust data backup and international collaboration are essential strategies.
Next we turn to cloud computing, the rapid adoption of which necessitates a heightened focus on securing data within cloud environments. Preventive measures, such as addressing misconfigurations and bolstering access controls, are imperative to safeguard against data breaches.
Supply chain vulnerabilities, stemming from the interconnected nature of supply chains, expose organizations to considerable cyber risks as well. Mitigation efforts involve rigorous risk assessments, effective vendor management, and the establishment of cybersecurity standards throughout the supply chain.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), often state-sponsored, target high-value assets over prolonged periods. Detecting and countering APTs necessitate the deployment of robust intrusion detection systems, continuous threat assessments, and international collaboration.
Emerging technologies, including AI and quantum computing, bring about novel threats and vulnerabilities. To mitigate these risks, the development of AI-driven cybersecurity tools and investments in post-quantum cryptography are crucial.
And last but not least, the scarcity of skilled cybersecurity professionals exacerbates challenges across sectors. Addressing this workforce shortage requires the promotion of cybersecurity education, encouragement of diversity and inclusivity, and the establishment of public-private partnerships.
What steps do you think need to be taken to encourage more women to enter and thrive in the cybersecurity industry?
I think that more initiatives should be established to introduce girls and young women to cybersecurity concepts early in their education. Workshops, coding camps, and interactive programs can help spark interest and demystify the field. Also portraying diverse women in cybersecurity roles in media can challenge stereotypes and showcase the variety of career paths available in the industry. Companies and organizations should create an inclusive and respectful workplace culture that values diversity.
What advice would you give to women who are considering a career in cybersecurity but may be hesitant due to the underrepresentation of women in the industry?
Believe in yourself! Your gender does not determine your skills or potential in cybersecurity. Have confidence in your abilities and focus on your passion for the field. You can make a significant impact regardless of the current gender ratios. Equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills. Being well-informed will enhance your credibility and relevance within the field. Engage with both men and women in the industry. Building a strong professional network can open doors to opportunities, collaborations, and support. Online forums, conferences, and local meetups are great places to connect. And last but not least, acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Each step forward contributes to breaking down barriers and creating a more inclusive industry.