Women can help close the cyber-security skills gap in India

Women CISOs speak on the need to create cybersecurity awareness among female job seekers in India. 

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According to Forrester, women represent 11% of all cybersecurity professionals globally. Amid the rising number of malware attacks, it has become imperative for businesses to promote and hire more women so as to achieve better skillset diversification and rework on their hiring strategies for cybersecurity. In this context, women security heads in India say more awareness is needed so that women start exploring this field as a viable career option.

"With growing digitization and as cybersecurity becomes extremely important, women must continually look towards it as a viable career option. For that we need to create more awareness.”

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              Jamuna Swamy, Ex-CISO, Hexaware Technologies

"There is certainly a rising trend among women to take up the cybersecurity domain for their profession. Though it is not yet very great, it is still a big difference looking at the earlier times. With growing digitization and as cybersecurity becomes extremely important, women must continually look towards it as a viable career option. For that we need to create more awareness,” told Jamuna Swamy, former Chief Information Security Officer, Hexaware Technologies.

What women bring to the security table?

Many aspects of managing cyber security require use of interpersonal skills and understanding the motive of attacks, rather than only taking an analytical approach. Karishma Mookhey, Founder Partner, Institute of Information Security tells that women may be better suited in this context. 

"In many situations, women bring superior skills of emotional quotient to cybersecurity. Due to their natural disposition, women cyber security heads may be able to get better insights and understanding of motives behind cyber-attacks.”

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Karishma Mookhey, Founder Partner, Institute of Information Security

"In many situations, women bring superior skills of emotional quotient to cybersecurity. Due to their natural disposition, women cyber security heads may be able to get better insights and understanding of motives behind cyber-attacks. The need is to create awareness among women so they may consider this as a profession where they can thrive," said Mookhey.

Security skill set diversification

“Diverse skills of both men and women employees, along with better training can enhance the cybersecurity strategy of businesses. But whether it is a man or a woman, all skills can be acquired with training." 

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Anuprita Daga, Chief Information Security Officer, ‎Reliance Capital  

One of the ways to ease the skills gap in cybersecurity is to hire people with diverse strengths. A crucial part of this strategy is a healthy proportion of male to female security professionals, believe many top-level security professionals.

“Diverse skills of both men and women employees, along with better training, can enhance the cybersecurity strategy of businesses. It is known that female professionals may be naturally better at handling the emotional aspect related to cybersecurity. But whether it is a man or a woman, all skills can be acquired with training. If organizations take the initiative, IT professionals, both men and women, with 5-10 years of experience can be trained for security projects,” elaborates Anuprita Daga, Chief Information Security Officer - ‎Reliance Capital.