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Breaking down prejudices in cybersecurity

Breaking down prejudices in cybersecurity

Breaking down prejudices in cybersecurity

Inclusion & Diversity is the basis of the success of any organization. Like many other industries, the cybersecurity industry has realized the mistake of lack of diversity and is now aware of the importance of inclusion and diversity and is prioritizing it.

However, there are still many points that need to be improved.

So, in commemoration of International Women's Day, this article focuses on inclusion and diversity in cybersecurity and highlights the key steps the industry should take to embrace the benefits of having a diverse workforce.

Women's position in the cybersecurity industry

International Women's Day is an opportunity to commemorate women's cultural, political and socio-economic achievements. While there are days to celebrate women's success as a workforce, gender diversity is still struggling for many organizations to reach their ideals. Women's share of the workforce is still low, and this is no different in the cybersecurity industry.

What is the prejudice against women in cybersecurity? Why is there such a prejudice? Are there sufficient measures to overcome such prejudice?

Organizations are heading in the right direction with more and more efforts to help more women get into the profession, challenge and overcome unconscious prejudices.

KPMG's "Women in Cyber" network was established to connect teams around the world, promote inclusion and diversity, and create collective action to combat discrimination. Originally, KPMG UK's internal network "Women in Security" began its efforts, and now the network is expanding rapidly.

By discussing themes such as "impostor syndrome," "promotion, abilities, and achievements," and "improving the status of women regardless of race," network participants have become able to understand and address inclusion and diversity. rice field.

Such programs continue to expand internationally throughout KPMG's global market. Although only part of the tools available to organizations, everyone working in the cyber industry plays an important role in starting a conversation about the benefits of inclusion and diversity.

The Importance of Inclusion & Diversity Does Not Permeate All Organizations

Why has the cyber profession recently received so much attention on inclusion and diversity? Organizations are becoming more dependent on technology, and the global epidemic of infectious diseases is accelerating, increasing the nature, complexity, and number of threats to technology. Cybersecurity is more important than ever to keep us all safe.

However, the cybersecurity industry faces overwork, burning out of professionals, tremendous stress, and lack of skills. Therefore, organizations must be able to attract and retain talented people. We also need to increasingly rely on diverse ideas and approaches to address evolving threats. Everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background, needs to feel companion and be able to reach their full potential. Everyone has a role to play in achieving that.

Mariha Rashid, director of cybersecurity services at KPMG UAE, says the business benefits of working on inclusion and diversity are clear. The cybersecurity industry needs innovative solutions to address evolving threats. This means challenging traditions and norms without being bound by preconceived ideas. And it's inclusion that everyone on the team wants to share new ideas and makes it possible.

The moral and business implications of creating a team with inclusions and diversity are clear and widely communicated throughout society, but not all organizations are making sufficient efforts to prioritize it. There is none. The barriers faced by many organizations range from tactical to strategic.

For example, some organizations may lack the expertise needed to recognize and understand employee diversity and inclusion issues. You may also face more fundamental or systematic barriers. Some organizations may have poor corporate cultures and labor practices that create and encourage discrimination. In either case, the first step an organization should take is to clearly recognize the importance of inclusion and diversity.

Diversity decoding

KPMG UK, in collaboration with the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC), published a groundbreaking report, Decrypting diversity , on inclusion and diversity in the UK cybersecurity industry in 2020 and 2021 . .. The report highlights the level of diversity in cybersecurity, the degree to which individuals feel included, and the percentage of people who have been discriminated against.

"Data collection and analysis is an important first step in improving inclusion and diversity," said Jonason Gil, head of aerospace and defense at KPMG UK, co-sponsor of the report. It states. The report also highlights "how individuals feel about working in the cyber arena."

The findings from the report also show that there is real discrimination in the UK cybersecurity industry. For example, more than one in five survey respondents (22%) say they have received negative comments or actions related to gender differences from their colleagues over the past year. To make matters worse, 65% of respondents do not report their comments or actions to the organization.

In the experience of inclusion and discrimination, the responses of people in minority groups tend to be worse than in other groups. For example, 70% of survey respondents say they can be themselves at work, providing some basis for comfort. However, the racial group of respondents fell to 60%, and even more worrisome, the number of respondents with neurodegenerative disease dropped to 56%. Overall statistics often hide the relative experience of these minority groups, highlighting that they are often worse than the average surveyed person.

Decrypting diversity provides the following set of recommendations to guide organizations and individuals involved in cybersecurity in improving inclusion and diversity.

Senior leaders who play an active role in leading inclusion and diversity

need to set a vision for success with clear expectations of their employees.

The global pandemic of infectious diseases that enables and benefits from

hybrid work has revealed many benefits to hybrid work. Hybrid work can remove the traditional barriers to entry that some people have traditionally faced and accelerate inclusion and diversity.

Using data to understand, observe, and improve the

lifecycle of talent By taking a data-driven approach to the lifecycle of talent, organizations can recognize where and how to improve.

Learn from Inclusion & Diversity Best Practices

Collaborating, sharing and learning best practices across the global cybersecurity industry is the key to success.

Recognizing and publishing the career successes of minority group people who publish success stories

helps to attract talent who might not otherwise have considered a cybersecurity career.

Map Roles and Skills

Develop a framework for cybersecurity roles and skills to increase transparency and enable more diverse people to join the cybersecurity industry and follow their career paths Will be.

Samal Ikubal, Assistant Manager at KPMG UK, said, "As a woman from an ethnic minority working in the technology industry, the guidance and advice from people with extensive experience in this field unlocked my true potential and initially Opened my mind to possibilities that I never thought of. "

It should be remembered that people in minority groups may not have had the same opportunity as people with a better background. These recommendations are an important step in lowering barriers to entry into areas that tend to be considered closed. Attracting more diverse talents and making individuals feel part of it is essential to the health of the profession as a whole.

Breaking down prejudices in cybersecurity

Creating inclusions and achieving diversity in an organization is the basis of the effectiveness of the entire organization. Diverse people enable diverse ideas and are directly linked to the success of the cybersecurity industry. If employees can feel blessed with peers without discrimination, they will be able to develop their best personal abilities and ultimately lead to the success of the organization.