This is the second post in a three part blog post on the Women in Cybersecurity Conference that took place March 31st through April 2nd in Dallas, Texas.
“With 1.5M job openings in cybersecurity, we need security professionals with diverse skill sets” – Jillian Munro
Jillian Munro was the first keynote at the WiCyS conference. Following Munro, were five-minute lightening talks. These talks covered the road to cybersecurity, what it takes to create a start-up, and criminology in cybersecurity. Women studying for their cybersecurity degrees most benefited from these talks. With scholarships and resources available for those in school pave the way towards a cybersecurity profession. Whether the degree is in piano or computer science, there is a place for any woman in the vastly expanding world of cybersecurity.
The next keynote was Heather Adkins, founding member of the Google Security Team and 12-year Google veteran. Adkins covered how she ended up on Google’s Security Team from majoring in biology. She addressed how hacking is for fun, profit, fame, espionage, coercion, and/or destruction. Adkin’s “favorite people” are the ones who “hack for fun and curiosity… the whole industry is seeded with such people.” Therefore; Google has a Security Reward Program, with more than $2 Million rewarded to those who find exploits and vulnerabilities. Using bounties to find security vulnerabilities in your products and recruit top talent. To Adkins, cybersecurity is like “defending an ecosystem.”
The career and graduate school fair at WiCyS allows for young women pursuing degrees in cybersecurity to meet with employers looking to hire them. From IBM to Facebook and Indiana University to Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, young women lined up to take a look at each booth’s “swag” and discuss either future jobs or scholarship programs for graduate school. With experts in the field of cybersecurity scattered throughout the event venue, there was ample time to ask questions and seek mentorships. Vast experience, great struggles, vigorous persistence, and hard work paid off for these women. They were there to shed light on how they ended up in their positions and how they managed to reach where they are today.
The final keynote speaker for the first day was Dr. Yael Tauman Kalai, Researcher at Microsoft Research New England. Dr. Kalai began with an account of her career, stressing that she thought of her education as an investment and didn’t let small things distract her. She presented on cryptography, stating that in the last 5 to 10 years, cryptography is no longer about securing communications, but about protecting computation. Dr. Kalai addressed the way we perform computation is changing; now, devices often delegate data or computation to the cloud, creating four major challenges: privacy, constructing secure and efficient computation, program obfuscation, and integrity.
- We want that cloud to do computations, but how? Data is encrypted.
- The answer: fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), enabling you to compute with encrypted data, it’s getting close.
- Constructing secure and efficient computation.
- Program obfuscation. Offering the perspective of solving many problems by decrypting, filtering and re-encrypting.
- How do we know that our computing has integrity?
Verifying should be easier than computing. Yet, much work remains to be done, despite progress.
At the closing of the first day, discussions continued and conversations were sparked by the next steps that need to be taken to close the gap of women in cybersecurity. Supporting one another, bringing one another on board when the chance arises, and not being afraid to try something new, even if it is out of your comfort zone.
Find more information on Women in Cybersecurity Conference here.
Follow @WiCySConference on Twitter.
- Adobe Security Team Members Win Recent CTF Competition (blogs.adobe.com)
- IBM announces plan to create 100 cybersecurity jobs in New Brunswick (bnn.ca)
- Hackers attack Verizon’s anti data breach division, access information of 1.5 million customers (ibtimes.co.uk)
Latest posts by Katie Kennedy
- Giving a Voice to Those Who Cannot Speak - May 16, 2016
- Women in Cybersecurity: Reducing the Gender Gap Part III - May 2, 2016
- Black Mirror Transcends Fiction Into Reality - May 1, 2016