sb-eu logo
Story image

Women underrepresented in cybersecurity in half of enterprises - Kaspersky

30 Oct 2019

In 45% of enterprises, the proportion of women working in IT security departments is less than that in the rest of the company’s workforce.

However, of these organisations, only 37% of them have in place or considered applying formal programs that will bring more women into cybersecurity security - a survey of security leaders conducted by 451 Research has revealed.

A diverse workforce brings new talents to an organisation as well as improved business performance.

For example, the most diverse enterprises globally achieve 19 percentage points higher revenue from innovation.

It makes the idea of gender parity not only an ethical issue but an important factor for business efficiency.

To help women succeed in business and progress their careers, there are initiatives in different fields, such as technologies or entrepreneurship.

Despite some diversity initiatives, women constitute 39% of the labour force and only 25% of management positions worldwide in general.

Cybersecurity, as well as IT in general, may be considered a male-dominated field.

This perception could be a barrier for women to enter the industry.

According to the 451 Research’s Cybersecurity through the CISO’s eyes: Perspectives on a role report commissioned by Kaspersky, 45% of CISOs confirmed that women are under-represented in their department.

Nonetheless, only 37% of such organisations have, or are going to implement, any formal procedure aimed at attracting more women in their IT security department.

The most popular approach to attract women is to train those who have an IT background (80%).

Almost half of these respondents say that they now provide, or are going to provide, internship programs aimed at female students (42%) or are ready to train candidates with little or no qualifications (40%).

Only 22% hire female candidates from other departments within their organisations.

The rest (63%) said that they are only looking for fully-qualified specialists, with no consideration towards gender.

However, as 70% of CISOs find it difficult to source skilled IT security specialists in different areas, there is a call for CISOs to look for other ways to bridge the talent gap.

The research also found that men outnumber women among IT security leaders.

Only a fifth (23%) of respondents, who answered the question about their gender, stated they are women.

Nonetheless, the tenure in the role suggests that the number of women in a security leadership role is growing: 20% of female respondents have moved into their position as an IT security leader in the last two years, which is twice as many as the number of men (10%) in this role.

“The findings of this survey show that the situation in the industry is changing, but it’s far from ideal and we are still lacking strong representation of women,” says Kaspersky Europe acting managing director Evgeniya Naumova.

“It’s not just a question of finding the perfect ratio of men and women. In the in-depth interviews with CISOs, many of them say that there are not enough female applicants in the pipeline. So, to address the gender gap in cybersecurity, we should encourage women to choose this career path.”

Kaspersky is committed to encouraging women in the cybersecurity industry and tackling gender biases.

Among its initiatives, the company created an online community, Women in Cybersecurity, aimed at supporting the career growth of women entering the cybersecurity industry and those already working in the field.

Kaspersky partners with Girls in Tech to support AMPLIFY, a startup competition for women founders for seed funding.

The company regularly holds CyberStarts events in USA and Europe, which empowers the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

One of the event’s key topics is actions to reduce the gender gap in cybersecurity.

Story image
WatchGuard rolls out updates to bring greater security to MSPs
"WatchGuard Cloud’s continued evolution is lowering the barrier to entry for MSPs to add security to their portfolios and solidifying it as the management platform of choice for the security channel.”More
Story image
Three steps to a security-driven network for a stronger security posture
As the threat landscape continues to evolve and organisations stand to lose so much if they fall victim to an attack, it’s essential to ensure that security measures evolve in line with the network itself.More
Story image
High demand for hackers on the dark web
"Since March 2020, we have noticed a surge of interest in website hacking, which is seen by the increase in the number of ads on forums on the dark web."More
Story image
Microsoft, Facebook and PayPal most impersonated brands during phishing attacks
Microsoft has maintained its position as the brand most often found in phishing emails, followed by Facebook and PayPal.More
Story image
Veeam reports growth as demand for modern data protection increases
“Even with the unforeseen challenges and circumstances that began in early 2020, Veeam continued its rapid growth with its second consecutive year of bookings over $1 billion."More
Story image
Creating a strong culture of security within organisations
CISOs worldwide are inherently aware of how significant investment in cybersecurity strategies and technologies can bolster an organisation’s protection against cyberattacks. However, many overlook the importance of culture when it comes to cybersecurity.More