Heather sat down for another roundtable discussion with Skip Lawver, Professor Emeritus at Eastern Michigan University, and Katelyn Coberley, threat intelligence professional. These two cyber-defense experts discuss the field of cybersecurity, what the next generation will look like, and the key role women will play in the future.
Cybersecurity is an incredibly broad field
Cybersecurity is an incredibly broad field. There are countless companies that don’t know they need cybersecurity. But when you can just as many places hacking infrastructure–from water treatment to manufacturing–there is a massive need. While the industry is male-dominated, it certainly can’t (and shouldn’t) all be managed by men. There are qualities where a woman’s lens is much more effective than a man’s. There is less of a reaction-based decision-making process, a very useful skill in an assessment-based profession. In every case, more perspectives bring more creative solutions. Leaving women and their point of view out of the conversation isn’t the way to go.
Not many people think about a heart-pumping machine being hacked, but when a system like that is hacked, there are things that are encrypted, which are also affected. The impact of cybersecurity is greater than you may think. Protecting the energy grid itself or protecting a piece of individual information–the spectrum is massive.
To enter the field of cybersecurity, you don’t always need a 6-year degree
To enter the field of cybersecurity, you don’t always need a 6-year degree. You can start wherever you’re at. From books, Youtube, videos, to talking to friends–you can always learn. The biggest thing to remember is that technology continues to improve and new people are always needed to develop new concepts. You can work from home, in the field, or at a company. And you can make great money! Even if it isn’t your career, it’s worth having in your back pocket! There are free classes everywhere. It can be something as simple as learning how people communicate or as complicated as coding.
In cyber defense classes, oftentimes, the women in Skip’s class would ask the most thoughtful, meaningful questions. They were both mothers who decided they wanted to take the next step and pursue a job in the industry.