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Josh Turner is a freelance writer with a passion for delivering detailed research-driven content for clients around the world. He has extensive experience producing outstanding B2B and B2C content for Fortune 500 companies, innovative startups, and emerging global players across a diverse range of markets and industries. LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/joshturnerwrites
October 29, 2019


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Women in cybersecurity awards

Recognising excellence with the women in Cybersecurity Awards

With a cybersecurity talent shortfall of almost 3 million workers globally in 2018, The Women in Cybersecurity Awards is inspiring the next generation of female workers to help tackle this vital workforce gap.

women in cybersecurityWomen represent just 24% of the global cybersecurity workforce according to the 2018 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, undertaken by information security association (ISC)². While that represents a significant rise from the 11% share identified in 2017, it highlights a remarkable opportunity to bridge a global cybersecurity talent gap estimated at 2.93 million workers in 2018. Industry events such as NTT’s recent Northern Europe Women in Cybersecurity Awards, held in London on 16 October, are pivotal in unlocking this substantial opportunity.

“The Women in Cybersecurity Awards, developed in partnership with Global Digital Women (GDW), aims to recognise and promote the essential voices of women in cybersecurity across Europe,” said Azeem Aleem, Vice President of Security Consulting, NTT Ltd.

Security is a division of NTT Ltd., a global technology services company with over 40,000 employees predicting, detecting and responding to cyber threats for customers in over 200 countries and regions. That strategic focus provides a synergistic partnership with an organisation like Global Digital Women (GDW), an international network of female digital pioneers, with more than 30,000 women members across Europe. GDW is focused on networking, visibility and empowerment of the inspiring women participating in the digital workforce.

Promoting the visibility and success of female leaders is essential for building the next generation of women in the cybersecurity industry. That need is clear from the 2018 (ISC)² study, in which 63% of respondents cited a shortage of dedicated cybersecurity staff, and 59% identified their companies as being at moderate or extreme risk of cybersecurity attacks as a result.

Despite being outnumbered three to one by their male counterparts, the Women in Cybersecurity report reveals 7% of women in the field achieve positions as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), compared to just 2% of male colleagues. Similar trends are evident across executive and C-suite roles throughout the cybersecurity industry. Highlighting these successes can provide an important catalyst for growth of the female workforce.

Nominations for the Women in Cybersecurity Awards were open to female cybersecurity experts in the category of ‘Newcomer’, for those working in the industry for less than five years, and ‘Professional’, for those with more than five years’ industry experience. The winners were picked by a judging panel of industry experts represented by RSA Security, De La Rue, NTT Ltd and NTT Data.

Saher Naumann, Threat Intelligence Analyst at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, took home the honours in the Newcomer Award, recognised for her impressive impact in the industry despite the short time she’s been participating in it. Saher has built an excellent reputation through her research of state-sponsored cyber espionage, with a focus on threat groups and activity in the Middle East. Recognition of the outstanding impact she has made in co-founding the RESET conference, one of the most well-known security conferences in the UK, was also an important part of her win.

The Professional Award went to respected industry veteran Carolyn Ngiam, Director of Barclays Security Programme at Barclays. Carolyn has over 20 years of Financial Services experience, and has led a number of important transformative initiatives at Bank of America, Experian and Barclays. In her current role, Carolyn is the Programme Director for the industry-leading Strategic Barclays Security Programme, accountable for the execution of multi-year, multi-million-pound strategy sponsored by Barclays’ Executive Board.

NTT’s Women in Cybersecurity Awards offered an important platform to recognise and celebrate the female leaders in the field – no easy task according to the judges. “Our judging panel faced a tough task to identify the winners, and our congratulations go not only to Saher Naumann and Carolyn Ngiam on their success, but to all of our finalists – who by participating are supporting our continuing efforts to change the perception of women in the industry as well as inspiring young women to consider a career in our sector,” said Azeem.

With cybercrime projected to cost companies US$5.2 trillion globally over the next five years, alongside the risks to an increasingly digitised society, inspiring the next generation of women represents an important step in tackling the talent gap in the cybersecurity industry.

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