This article was authored by Samanta Fumagalli, Digital PR at WatchGuard Italia and a member of Women for Security.
In difficult times, like the one we are experiencing now with the Coronavirus emergency, the need for comfort and community, even from a distance, is strong. Women For Security, the new all-female Italian cyber-community, was born with this objective: to leverage women’s collective skills, share both formal research, and facilitate informal conversation. In a predominantly male sector, we hope to bring added value to the broader cyber security community by amplifying the point of view of female voices..
Women for Security brings together women in Italy in the cyber security industry who have a wide range of roles: from CIO, CISO, marketing, and sales profiles, to more technical professions, to those who deal with communication and events for the world of security. The community is supported by Clusit, the Italian IT security association celebrating 20 years of activity in 2020.
This is a new initiative spearheaded by Cinzia Ercolano, CEO of Astrea and Head of Communication for Clusit, who for years has been at the forefront of the “Security Summit,” the most important Italian event for all those interested in information security and IT systems.
Along with Cinzia, board members of Women for Security include Cristina Gaia (Regional Marketing Manager at CyberArk) and Carmen Palumbo (Country Sales Manager Italy at F-Secure Corporation).
The Women for Security community has been active for a few months. The official launch was to take place at the March edition of the Security Summit, but the Coronavirus emergency forced the cyber world to postpone this important event until November. This did not take away the enthusiasm of the cyber ladies who have joined. In the coming weeks, the calendar of online appointments continues to see a rich program of courses held by external speakers, and by the women of the community; each committed to making their experience available for the growth of all. The topics of these online appointments range from cyberbullying in schools, building the digital skills necessary in this sector, to the role of women in cyber-society, and many other ideas that are actively put on the table for discussion by the community.
“The goal of the community is to team up and grow, involving all the women who will enjoy joining Women for Security to bring added value,” says Cinzia Ercolano. “The cyber security industry still faces an above-average gender gap. Women represent only 20% of the workforce globally in this sector, according to data from the Global Information Security Workforce Study. And more generally, the female presence is still poorly represented in the STEM disciplines. The percentage of girls enrolled in these faculties in Italian universities is 15%. Many CISOs say they don’t get enough female applications. To address the gender gap in cyber security, it is therefore necessary to encourage women to choose this type of career path. We want to show the youngest that this career can be undertaken with great satisfaction. In the first part of the year, Frost and Sullivan predicted that there will be a deficit of 1.8 million IT security professionals by 2022. Even women can and must do their part. ”
For those interested in getting in touch with Women for Security, you can send an email to: [email protected]
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