Diversifying Cybersecurity Teams Tops Agenda for Leading Tech, Financial, Defense Organizations at Women in Cybersecurity Conference

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Cisco, Facebook and Fidelity Investments among supporters empowering women at annual recruiting, learning, and mentoring event, March 28-30 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS), in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), is hosting its sixth annual conference from March 28 to 30, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has announced a star keynote lineup of leading women in cybersecurity.

The nonprofit organization is excited to feature cybersecurity experts Dr. Dawn Beyer, Senior Fellow at Lockheed Martin; Dr. Lorrie Faith Cranor, Director of CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University; Patricia Denno, Vice President of Global Intelligence Operations at Fidelity; Wendy Nather, Head of Advisory CISOs, Duo Security at Cisco; and Michele Schochet, Director of Security at Facebook.

Studies place the number of unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S. between 300,000 and 500,000. Experts predict the global shortage of cybersecurity positions will grow to 3.5 million by 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. At the same time, the average number of women in the cybersecurity workforce is between 11 and 20 percent. WiCyS is working to significantly increase that ratio through strategic partnerships, industry studies, recruiting, mentoring, training and advocacy.

The WiCyS conference is unique in its focus on recruiting, retaining, inspiring and advancing women in cybersecurity careers as well as its inclusiveness of students and educators, industry, government, the military and research organizations. The brainchild of Dr. Ambareen Siraj, director of the Cybersecurity Education Research and Outreach Center at Tennessee Tech University, WiCyS originated as a conference in 2013 through a National Science Foundation grant, and recently transitioned into a 3,800-member nonprofit organization by the same name.

With roughly 1,200 registrants, this year’s conference features more than 60 technical presentations, hands-on workshops, Birds of a Feather sessions (on topics related to cybersecurity), lightning talks, panel discussions and over 25 student research project poster sessions. The sessions are organized into four tracks: Today’s Technology and Challenges, Looking Ahead, Best Practices and Career Development.

The conference is sponsored by major corporations, universities, research labs, nonprofit associations and government agencies such as Bank of America, Bloomberg, Cisco, CMU, CSSIA, CyberSN, CyberWatch West, Facebook, Fidelity Investments, Georgia Tech University, Google, IBM, Lockheed Martin, McAfee, Microsoft, National Cyber League, Palo Alto Networks, PayPal, Raytheon, Rochester Institute of Technology, Salesforce, SANS Institute, the Security Industry Association, Symantec, University of Texas Dallas, VISA, Walmart and founding institution, Tennessee Tech University. Sponsorships are instrumental in supporting scholarships for over 500 students to attend the conference. WiCyS also provides a job board, career fair and networking and mentoring opportunities in its quest to continually work toward fulfilling its mission.

Journalists are invited to attend and should email info(at)wicys(dot)org to request a complimentary pass. For more information, visit http://www.wicys.org.

About Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) is the premier organization with national reach dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry for knowledge sharing, experience, networking and mentoring. Established in 2013 by Dr. Ambareen Siraj from Tennessee Tech University through a National Science Foundation grant, WiCyS is a nonprofit organization offering many membership, sponsorship and collaboration benefits. The organization’s founding partners are Cisco, Facebook and Palo Alto Networks. WiCyS’ strategic partners include Facebook, Fidelity Investments, IBM, Lockheed Martin, SANS Institute, the Security Industry Association, PayPal and Target. The WiCyS Conference is an excellent opportunity for companies to connect with women candidates to recruit them into cybersecurity jobs.

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