The CyberWire, DALLAS, TX (April 2, 2016) — The 2016 annual Women in Cybersecurity conference, organized by Tennessee Technological University and the National Science Foundation, met in Dallas, Texas from March 31 to April 2, 2016. CyberPoint was again proud to be there as a Diamond sponsor.
Three clear themes emerged from 2016's Women in Cybersecurity Conference: recognition that cyber security is part of any business's value proposition, the importance of mentorship in career choice and development, and, finally, the reality that ability to recognize and pursue opportunity is far more important than detailed career planning.
Organized by The Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center at Tennessee Tech in partnership with The University of Texas, Dallas, the conference was very well attended by around 750. University students at all stages in their education were particularly well represented. Also well represented were employers of cyber security talent (including many well-known brands), the diversity of whose lines of business—financial services, consulting, IT, security, research and development, etc.—offered some direct confirmation of the first theme: businesses increasingly recognize that cyber security unavoidably figures as part of their value proposition.
The conference played host to many serious technical discussions that necessarily lie outside the scope of this general overview. But the talent on display in panels, workshops, presentations, and discussions was of a notably high order. The technical topics included exploit development, reverse engineering, cyber criminology, perspectives on research, cyber-physical system security, and big data analytics. Other professional sessions covered tools and strategies for education as well as workshops oriented toward specific career tracks in cyber security.
The keynote speakers included Jillian Munro, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Cybersecurity at Fidelity Investments, who delivered the conference's opening keynote, and made a point to emphasize how central cyber had become to businesses of all kinds. Google's Heather Adkins began her talk with a personal note that illustrated the third major theme emerging from the conference—being able to recognize opportunity and being willing to seize it are more important than detailed career preparation and planning. Yael Kalai, of Microsoft, spoke about a new age of cryptography after offering an account of her own career for such lessons as the students in the audience may draw from it. Shelley Westman, who leads IBM Security, was asked to speak in particular about her own career.
If your organization is interested in getting involved with the Women in Cybersecurity Conference, please refer to www.csc.tntech.edu/wicys/ or contact Dr. Ambareen Siraj at asiraj AT tntech DOT edu.
With support from National Science Foundation, Award #1303441 (Capacity Building in Cybersecurity: Broadening Participation of Women In Cybersecurity through the Women in Cybersecurity Conference and Professional Development), WiCyS is an effort to bring together women (students/faculty/researchers/professionals) in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry for sharing of knowledge/experience, networking and mentoring. Any individual or organization interested in supporting recruiting and retention efforts for women in cybersecurity is encouraged to participate.
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