The technology sector has grown rapidly in the past two decades. These advancements in the IT industry have also made malicious hackers more proficient in their work. More and more sophisticated ransomware and other technological threats are becoming common. Therefore, to deal with such issues, newer developments in the field of cybersecurity are necessary.
Nowadays, cybersecurity professionals are in huge demand, but there is a skills shortage, and companies are finding it difficult to fill the gap. For the most part, the IT industry has been dominated by men. However, now more and more women are also stepping into the field. Companies and the government are also encouraging women to start a career in cybersecurity to fill the skills gap and form a more inclusive and diverse industry.
While men have been at the forefront of cybersecurity avenues and have contributed greatly to the field. More and more women leaders are also emerging in this industry. Nowadays, the number of female cybersecurity professionals has grown compared to a few years ago. Hopefully, their number will continue to grow.
However, in this article, we will discuss and celebrate the accomplishments of the top women leaders who are reshaping cybersecurity.
1. Gal Helemski
Gal is a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity professional. She graduated with a computer science degree and started working as a developer in the Israeli army. After leaving the army, she co-founded PlainID, which is a cybersecurity firm that enables business enterprises to manage and control access to their digital assets.
Helemski has actively encouraged women to pursue a career in cybersecurity. She was named among the top 25 female cybersecurity experts in 2021. She made authorization simpler and easier through PlainID. That’s what helped her become an acclaimed cybersecurity expert.
Helemski plans to continue using her knowledge and skills to influence teenagers by making technological knowledge and tools accessible to them. She plans to encourage and bring more children to the field of cybersecurity.
2. Chani Simms
Chani Simms is an award-winning cybersecurity leader who worked hard to expand Meta Defence Labs UK into Sri Lanka. She started as an IBM engineer but now works as a data protection officer with subject matter experts.
Apart from consulting and working at Meta Defence Labs, she also founded and manages She CISO Exec., a boot camp that trains and enables cybersecurity professionals to become more intelligent leaders in the field. She is a respected TEDx Speaker and shares her learnings and accomplishments.
3. Wendy Thomas
The president of Secure works, Wendy Thomas, aims to deliver innovative, top-notch security solutions. She is a leader in customer security operations, including customer experience and engineering operations. Moreover, she has also helped scale the operations of Secure works significantly since it was established.
Thomas also works for AFS, an international youth exchange program focused on spreading cybersecurity knowledge. At Secure works, she manages the Pride Employee Resource Group, which is focused on helping secure works employees to advance professionally and network with other professionals and leaders in the field.
4. Bonnie Butlin
Bonnie Butlin is a prominent advisory board member at the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity. She was awarded the (ISC) award in 2020 to honor her contributions to the field of cybersecurity. Companies across the world consult Bonnie to increase the number of women in cybersecurity roles.
Butlin established a global network for women in security called the Women in Security and Resilience Alliance (WISECRA). She also actively participates in public events for women in cybersecurity. She speaks at public forums to encourage women to join cybersecurity. Also, She believes that more women representation in the field will stabilize the field and enhance its quick growth.
According to Butlin, women in cybersecurity are mostly concentrated in cyber law, forensic accounting, and privacy. However, she wants women to consider other roles in the field to have a balanced representation.
5. Rana el Kaliouby
Rana el Kaliouby is the CEO of Affectiva and Smart Eye. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and is a co-founder of Affectiva. Being an Egyptian American, Kalouby faced several cultural obstacles pursuing a male-dominated career, but she persisted and has made exceptional contributions to this field.
Kaliouby’s primary focus is on making artificial intelligence more emotionally intelligent. She wants to change the way humans interact with technology and places great value on ethics, privacy, and security.
She has successfully employed several innovative technologies to solve many security-related problems in the international market. Also, She has utilized artificial intelligence to tackle security problems in various fields like education, robotics, mental health, and more.
6. Lakshmi Hanspal
Lakshmi Hanspal is a prominent leader in the cybersecurity world. She has primarily worked in risk management, privacy, and information security. She has combined her cybersecurity skills and leadership qualities to drive collaboration among top executives. At the moment, she works as a global chief information security officer at Amazon. Before Amazon, she was a top executive board member at Box.
Hanspal has also worked as a consultant and helped many Silicon Valley startups deal with their security problems. She also helps women in technology and is interested in training the next generation of female leaders in the industry. Additionally, she plans on using artificial intelligence to build an inclusive and safe online space for everyone.
She is passionate about advocating for better cybersecurity structures for big organizations. Moreover, she empowers other cybersecurity leaders to organize security cultures within their organizations.
The Bottom Line
Cybersecurity is a field with great potential. As technology has advanced, so have malicious software and hackers. Therefore, there will be a huge demand for professionals in the coming years. Even though men have dominated this field for years, now more and more women have entered the field in the past few years. Several women have contributed greatly to the advancements in cybersecurity and have created boot camps and mentorship programs to train future cybersecurity professionals, especially women professionals. These women leaders are leading many young girls into this profession and, hopefully, will be able to create a more inclusive industry with equal women representation.
There are plenty of remarkable women leaders in cybersecurity. However, we have only covered the accomplishments of a few in this article. Hopefully, this article has helped you learn about the top women leaders who are reshaping cybersecurity.