Celebrating IWD: 12 women who are pushing the boundaries for cyber safety!

Celebrating IWD: 12 women who are pushing the boundaries for cyber safety!

In light of International Women's Day on Sunday 8th March 2020, we celebrate a range of influential females in the field of cyber security.

Let's face it, the cyber security industry is predominantly male. However, more and more women are thriving in the field and making great leaps to improve cyber security. Here's a list of women we think are pushing boundaries for safety in cyber space:

Bridget Kenyon

Bridget Kenyon is the DIS EMEA CISO and Information Security Programmes for Thales, a company that has secured the world's most sensitive data for over 40 years.

She has previously served as the Head of Information Security at University College London (UCL).

In this article, Bridget opens up about her "rather random" entry into the cyber security industry and shares her advice on psychology, being a CISO and the future of technology.

She is interested in behavioural economics, and why security training isn’t working in its current form – instead of working against people’s natural behaviours, we need to work with them. You can listen to a podcast here and read this article for more on this topic.

Cath Goulding

Cath Goulding is the Chief Information Security Officer at Nominet, the world-leading domain name registry, described as a critical component of the Internet in the UK. Before becoming CISO, Cath was the Head of Information Security at Nominet.

She explains how the Nominet NTX platform allows you to find and fix complex, evasive cyber threats, through ground-breaking monitoring and analytics technology.

Cath was also the Information Security Operations Manager for the UK Government, with over 15 years experience in the world of cyber security.

She won Women in IT Security Champion of the Year in 2015.

Dr Stephanie Hare

Researcher and broadcaster Stephanie Hare works across technology, politics, history and human rights.

Stephanie previously worked as a Principal Director at Accenture Research, a strategist at Palantir, a Senior Analyst at Oxford Analytic, and a consultant at Accenture.

Dr Hare has a forthcoming book, set to be published in Spring 2020, called Technology Ethics. It will have a particular focus on biometrics, data and their relationship with privacy and civil liberties.

The book will offer a cross-disciplinary approach, drawing on Stephanie's indepth experience as a political risk analyst, technologist and historian.

Helen Rabe

"Security should be a lifestyle choice for people" says Helen Rabe, Global CISO for biotech company Abcam. For the full discussion, head over to our podcast.

Helen is a distinguished security leader, who specialises in complex strategic deliveries across a range of industry and technology sectors.

Talking to Tessian, Helen explains that the human element of cyber safety is "a key factor in the success of my strategy". She adds, "Security needs to be more frontline and supporting users for things like phishing...that we know are growing more sophisticated and involve critical human decision making".

She was previously the Head of Information Security at Costa Coffee.

Holly Foxcroft

As well as studying for a degree in Criminology and Cybercrime at the University of Portsmouth, Holly Foxcroft is also an Associate Lecturer in cyber security at Chichester College.

She is interested in the social science of cyber security and researches this topic, as well as teaching technical cyber security subjects.

Holly recently spoke at teissLondon2020 on a panel about recruitment, retention and diversity in cyber security.

She was voted as one of the 50 most influential woman in cyber in 2018 and 2019.

Jaya Baloo

Currently CISO at Avast Software, Jaya Baloo specialises in cyber security and quantum computing.

She previously worked at France Telecom as a Technical Security Specialist and held the position of Practice Lead Lawful Interception at Verizon.

Working with Avast, Jaya is passionate about their ability to "positively impact millions of people's lives daily through information security".

She has nearly 20 years experience working in the cyber security field and is recognised in the top 100 CISOs globally. Jaya also ranks among the top 100 security influencers worldwide.

Jenny Radcliffe

Jenny Radcliffe has earned the title as 'The People Hacker'. Her expertise includes social engineering, and the human side of cyber security.

She regularly delivers talks and training and runs a podcast which was crowned Best European Security Podcast 2018-2019.

Jenny also has a series of videos titled Human Factor TV, where she explains the A-Z of basic security awareness.

On her website, there are a range of available services advertised, such as penetration testing designed to uncover psychological, technical and physical weaknesses in an organisation’s security system.

Jessica Barker

As an expert in the human nature of cyber security, Jessica Barker contributes significantly to making cyber awareness more engaging and personable. Her focus on psychology and sociology brings a much needed human understanding of the cyber challenges surrounding us today.

Jessica and her husband founded Cygenta in 2014, which promises to demystify cyber security and ensures that digital, human and physical security work in harmony.

She is currently the Chair of ClubCISO, forum for security professionals, working in public and private sector organisations.

In her recent talk at teissLondon2020, Jessica explained why fear is not the answer in cyber awareness training. She says: 'Criminals targeting people is our biggest threat. Empowering people and building a positive security culture is our best defence'.

Lorin LaFave

Lorin LaFave's 14-year-old son Breck Bednar was groomed online and murdered by an 18-year-old in 2014. Two weeks after her son's murder, Lorin set up The Breck Foundation, to campaign for a safer internet for all children and young people, by educating people about the dark side of the internet.

We spoke to Lorin at the end of last year about her remarkable work to increase internet awareness and safety. You can listen to the podcast here.

Lorin warns: "Predators can be any age and any gender: we cannot stereotype...and boys can be groomed too, which is one of our big messages...everyone can be vulnerable".

The information shared through the Breck Foundation is crucial in spreading awareness about grooming online and internet safety, to teach people how to identity dangerous situations and help to prevent future tragedies.

Rachel Tobac

As well as being Chair of the Board of Directors at Women in Security and Privacy (WISP), Rachel Tobac is currently the CEO at SocialProof Security.

She ensures people and companies protect their data by pentesting and training them on social engineering risks.

Rachel is interested in how knowledge of human behaviour can improve information security training and awareness.

Interestingly, Rachel is also a hacker. She talks about her experience of live hacking a real company over the phone, in front of an audience of 400 people. She has won DEF CON's Social Engineering Capture the Flag contest three times.

Rowenna Fielding

Rowenna Fielding is a self-prescribed, "Professional Data Protection Nerd and Information Governance Geek". Rowenna also describes herself as Former IT and infosec nerd, now Data Protection anorak.

She is an ISEB Qualified Data Protection Practitioner, as well as specialising in GDPR, UK Data Protection Act and ePrivacy.

When Rowenna was the Data Protection Lead at Protecture, we spoke to her about all things GDPR, where she debunks some myths and shares her advice on data privacy.

Catch the full podcast here.

Sian John MBE

Sian John, EMEA and APJ Director, cyber security strategy at Microsoft, leads the team of Chief Security Advisors across the Europe, Middle-East and Africa. Sian has worked in IT for more than 25 years, including in the Houses of Parliament.

She has received multiple awards and honours such as SC Magazine 50 Most Influential Women in UK cyber security, as well as being awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List 2018 for her services to cyber security.

Have you heard of Sian's #queuefortheloo initiative yet? It's a series of events and online resources aimed at women (and men) in the cyber security sector. Listen to our podcast where Sian reveals all.

If she had to give one piece of advice, it would be this: "If you can protect your identity information, you’ve probably done most of what you need to do".

These female figures are paving the way for women in cyber to thrive. Long may their hard work continue to reshape the wonderful world of cyber security!

Copyright Lyonsdown Limited 2021

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