RSA Conference Day 2: Inclusivity is the Goal
Day two of RSA Conference is now in the rearview. We heard about nations around the world that present significant cyber threats and learned how the security operations center (SOC) is moving to be more autonomous. We also got some clarity on a few hot-button topics, like cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), quantum computing, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) from the esteemed participants of the Cryptographers’ Panel.
But one session was particularly notable for Expletives and our customers alike, and that was Innovation, Ingenuity, and Inclusivity: The Future of Security is Now, presented by Vasu Jakkal, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Security, Compliance, Identity Management and Privacy.
In cybersecurity, we try to balance our time between considering the threats and attack strategies most likely to impact us today, while also looking ahead to the potential attacks of the future. Jakkal’s perspective is that the threats of tomorrow exist today; they’ll simply be more pervasive tomorrow.
To stay ahead of this evolution, the industry’s collective approach must also evolve. How? Through technological innovation, human ingenuity and expertise, and—arguably most importantly—inclusivity in our defender community.
It’s no secret that the cybersecurity industry struggles with attracting and retaining talent. Jakkal shared a few statistics:
- 1 in 3 security jobs in the US is vacant
- 24% of the global cybersecurity workforce is made up of women
- 20% of the global cybersecurity workforce is made up of people of color
One way to overcome this challenge, Jakkal argues, is to create a more inclusive environment where people from many different backgrounds are empowered to do their best work and thrive.
This is a sentiment we echo at Expel. We know we’re “better when different.” We’re a stronger organization when we recognize, celebrate, and learn from those whose backgrounds and perspectives are different from our own.
We’re committed to creating a safe place where any form of racism and discrimination is addressed and dismantled so everyone is treated with kindness and equality. This is rooted in our core belief that if we take care of our crew, they’ll take care of our customers.
We’re on a journey to hire and develop people from underrepresented groups — Women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Multiracial, LGBTQ+, People with Disabilities, and Veterans — and to create a company that’s as diverse as the countries in which we work and live. (By the way, we’re hiring.)
Jakkal offered up some of her own ideas for breaking down the barriers of entry to the defender community (and we couldn’t agree with these more):
- Eliminate college degree and length of experience requirements for defenders
- Mobilize community colleges to help grow and diversify our workforce
- Change the language of cybersecurity to be about optimism and hope, rather than fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD)
Throughout her session, Jakkal presented a number of great ideas and concepts that we feel all cybersecurity organizations should research and implement. But there was one line she said in passing that was, to us, the most important takeaway for the audience:
Cybersecurity is for everyone.
It’s a simple phrase, but a powerful one.
If you’d like to learn more about how Expel practices equity, diversity, and inclusion on a day-to-day basis, visit this page.