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Diversity as a Cybersecurity Imperative – Synack at the Diana Initiative

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Emily is the Artemis Red Team lead and community engagement manager at Synack. 

It’s past time for the cybersecurity industry to confront our diversity crisis as we work to close a talent gap that stands at 700,000 unfilled positions in the U.S. alone.

The Diana Initiative is dedicated to solving this national security challenge, and we at Synack are proud to support the nonprofit’s marquee event in Las Vegas next month as a Rainbow Sponsor

At the conference, I’ll also be sharing hard-won lessons from my own experience fostering a community for women, trans and nonbinary people to champion a more inclusive cyber workforce. I hope you’ll join me and Synack’s senior director of community Ryan Rutan, either in-person or virtual (for free), on Aug. 10 at 4 p.m. PST for our talk on Red-Teaming Cyber’s Diversity Problem at the Westin Las Vegas.

We’ll be discussing the origins of our Artemis Red Team, in which we combined mentorship opportunities, education resources and even a bit of game theory to elevate underrepresented voices in cybersecurity. The program launched late last year as a sub-community of our Synack Red Team, a group of 1,500+ top-notch security researchers who hail from an array of diverse cultures and backgrounds. 

Since then, the issue of diversity in cybersecurity has taken on renewed urgency as hacking threats continue to evolve and the global cyber skills shortage shows no sign of letting up. Camille Stewart Gloster, the White House’s newly appointed Deputy National Cyber Director for Technology and Ecosystem Security, put it well last week at a cyber workforce summit: 

“If we don’t invest in diversifying the workforce – in identifying voices that are not heard in the work – it impacts not only our workforce shortage and our ability to meet the demands on cybersecurity careers; it affects the efficacy of the work we are doing,” she said, calling it an “imperative to invest in diversity.”

In the world of offensive security and penetration testing, we have our work cut out for us. Red teams have traditionally lagged behind other cybersecurity arenas in terms of accessibility, diversity and equity. 

It’s high time to change that, and it will take all our collective ideas to do so. At The Diana Initiative, we hope we can inspire you to pursue your own programs for removing barriers to create a more inclusive community of cybersecurity professionals. And for those who may want to join the Artemis Red Team to see firsthand what we’re all about, we’ll be eager to meet you. 

See you in Vegas! Follow us on Twitter @ArtemisRedTeam and our hashtag #womenofthehunt.