The Future Is Now For Women In Security

Monday, August 6, 2018

The RSA Conference (RSAC) 2018 in San Francisco isn’t just ground zero for 45,000 security professionals and the site of an impressive glass-walled security operations center (SOC). It also served as a forum for several crucial industry conversations about women in security.

Many hiring managers want to fill empty seats on their security teams with women, but there’s a lack of talented candidates, also known as the hiring and pipeline problem. When Caroline Wong, moderator of Wednesday’s “Women in Security: A Progressive Movement” panel, asked attendees whether they’d like to talk about the gender pipeline, every single hand in the audience went up.

“It would be ideal if I could find a 70 percent match to job postings based on candidate resumes,” said Suzan Nascimento, senior vice president of application security at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). She said she settles for 50 percent and fast-tracks traits such as passion and hunger using assessment tools to measure team chemistry, personality and other individual characteristics.

“I can teach you how to read packets, but I can’t teach you ethics, and I can’t teach you how to play well with others,” said Robin Stuart, principal threat researcher at Salesforce. Putting the best people in the seats of your SOC may not necessarily mean hiring people with technology backgrounds, but the panelists agreed that ethics and interpersonal communications are what matter most on the ground.


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