by Kevin Harris
Women and minority representation in the Information Technology (IT) field have traditionally been low and we continue to see the cybersecurity field reflecting similar trends. As nations and organizations look to protect critical infrastructure, the relationship between cybersecurity and diversity must be cultivated. Diversity is no longer only a social awareness and morality initiative, but instead a core element for defending the nation’s critical infrastructure according to The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.
Limited awareness and exposure to cybersecurity career pathways often creates an opportunity gap in highly rewarding and lucrative careers for minorities and women. Failing to incorporate underserved populations limits the talent and size of our cybersecurity workforce. Without an all-inclusive cyber workforce, our critical infrastructure will have a talent gap, and it will cause additional system vulnerabilities. To mitigate this problem, permanent efforts must be implemented to ensure individuals in underserved communities have access to the resources to prepare for a future career as a cyberwarrior.
Ensuring the cybersecurity field is more inclusive will help our nation address a critical workforce according to The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology. Additionally, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is applied on a larger scale, diverse development and testing teams will help to reduce inherent biases in the process. The workforce shortage solution must be a collaborative effort between academia, businesses, government agencies and nonprofits. The International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) is working to build pipelines for minorities and women into the cybersecurity field including partnering with businesses and educational institutions.
To learn more, contact Kevin Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.