Leading UK cyber security experts have called on women to be each other’s allies and support. Moreover, they have also encouraged women to join the cybersecurity sector.

The Celebrating Women in Cyber Security and Breaking Down Barriers online conference, held on International Women’s Day (March 8). It had a diverse panel of field experts. These included Dr Claudia Natanson, chair of trustees of the UK Cyber Security Council, Professor Lisa Short, founder of Areté; Stephanie Itimi, CEO of Seidea, and Nicola Hudson, director of communications at the UK government’s National Cyber Security Council (NCSC).

Need for cybersecurity

According to the UK Cyber Security Council, the importance of the sector is growing exponentially This is in line with our increased connectivity and digital reliance. However, the ever increasing demand has also created a skill gap. Cybersecurity is becoming a major challenge for the employers as they are providing more flexible work models for employees. Moreover, different COVID-19 variants keep businesses focused on cybersecurity issues across hybrid working models. However, there exists a shortage of talent for cybersecurity roles. This may have a detrimental impact on businesses rearguard against cyber-attacks. The cybersecurity industry needs to find ways to dislodge the gender disparity within the sector. For example, it was recently found that women make up roughly 25% jobs in cybersecurity. It means that only one woman out of four workers is working in cybersecurity field.

Diversity is a key to overcome worker shortfall

UK Cyber Security Council and Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) UK also hosted a conference. The event celebrated the women working in the cybersecurity sector. Moreover, they also aimed to inspire women to grow their careers and attract more women in this sector. UK’s cyber sector employs an estimated 52,700 individuals. However, diversity is a key area which is lacking in this sector.

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    Although £5.3 billion is injected in UK cyber sector, yet there is an annual shortfall of 10,000 cybersecurity professionals. Therefore, women’s involvement in this sector can play a vital role in bridging the skill and labor shortfall.

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