Wanted: More Female Cyber Warriors

TechGirlz founder/CEO, Tracey Welson-Rossman, is a contributor for Forbes. In this article, Tracey shares insight from a conversation with Allison Ritter, Threat Gamification Engineer and Creative Director of the X-Force Command Center at IBM Security. Learn about how Allison combines technology and theater to train companies to fight cyber security threats. The full article was originally published July 23, 2018 on Forbes.com, in the Women @ Forbes section.

Cyber Security

Companies realize they need to invest more in cybersecurity and train for possible attack scenarios. As a result, a report from Frost & Sullivan predicts nearly 2 million job openings in this sector by 2020. These cyber security jobs are not just about hackers or programmers, but Cybersecurity Awareness Trainers, technical writers, product marketers and more.

IBM is actively seeking to grow the number of women in the field. As cyber incidents increase in frequency, there is still a persistent lack of cyber workers. One way the industry can grow the required workforce is through an emphasis on diversity. Currently, only 11% of those working in this field are women according to the latest figures from Frost & Sullivan. Having more varied backgrounds will help fill those holes but also increase the types of ideas and approaches created to stop these threats.

Ritter says that while many people discount a career in cyber security because it is super technical or tactical, the truth is that many people would be well qualified. Ritter points out that there is an entire ecosystem of jobs within the industry that are open and available, including training, writing, design, or even hacking. As in her own experience, she believes that anyone with the motivation can gain the training and skills necessary once they set their sights on working in the field.

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