If you’re active on Twitter in the information security space, you will have probably noticed the hashtag #infosecbikini has remained a popular hashtag for the last few weeks.
Hundreds of Information Security professionals across the globe have been sharing bikini photos on Twitter in a touching show of solidarity with Coleen Shane, Founder and Chief Engineer at InfoSec Bad Girls and Hacker Spring Camp, after she received backlash from a Twitter troll for sharing a bikini photo.
The troll criticised Coleen for sharing the image on an infosec-related account with “no warning”, and that “respectable people” should not be sharing such images. Her response (detailed below) has been widely praised:
“It’s a bikini, and I’m a human being who is a lot more complicated than just Infosec – also I do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want, however the hell I want. Adios.”Coleen Shane, @Coleens_IS
The event has highlighted a wider issue in the industry; despite some progress being made in recent years, discrimination, sexism, and gender inequality are widespread.
Exabeam’s 2020 Cybersecurity Professionals Salary Skills and Stress found that in the U.S, the average male security professional made $91,000 compared to $62,000 for female counterparts, with the gender pay gap at 31%. In Australia, the difference is 27%, with male respondents average $131,000 while females make approximately $95,000. And in the U.K, the gender pay gap stands at 24%.
Shamla Naidoo, former CISO at IBM, said, “To many people, cybersecurity equates to – and is limited to – someone in a hoodie bent over a keyboard in a dark room. That’s not the case at all. If we don’t expand beyond that, we’ll lose out on even more people in the industry.”
Castiglione added, “The future of cybersecurity needs diversity. 2019 was the worst year on record for data breaches, with 61% of organisations reporting a breach as a result of human error or malicious activity.
“With data breaches rising year on year, and with cyber threats continually evolving, we need different ideas and approaches to solving security problems if we are going to keep people and data safe.”