A leading cyber-security company has appointed a graduate to its growing team of experts – and is urging more women to join the sector.
The company says there are more jobs than there are qualified personnel and the recent lockdowns have accelerated the need for cyber staff.
It says that the idea of ‘tech’ puts women off, but that it shouldn’t because cyber-security is such a broad sector it requires many different skills.
Within the industry just 20 per cent of staff are women but the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is trying to change that.
Lucy, originally from Southampton, said: “I know that I am part if a small minority working in cyber – but there is no good reason why women shouldn’t make it a career.
“I have been involved with the NCSC’s Cyber First scheme which is introducing young people to cyber security. If girls are engaged early they are more likely to view it as a career.
“I’d urge careers officers at schools to make the case for cyber; it is a varied, fast-moving and interesting area in which to work.
“We know from the work at Bletchley Park during the war what value women added and it is a growing sector in which there will be jobs.
“I am a security consultant and focus presently on education and awareness training.
“With more people working from home and using the internet the cyber criminals have more people to target – and they are doing so.
“My degree dissertation was on social engineering, which is the ways people use to manipulate others – online or in person – to gain information.
“Another area of interest is cyber psychology; trying to understand the hackers and their victims in order to prevent cyber-crime.
“With many cyber criminals operating from rogue states the chances of them being caught are extremely small, so protecting potential victims becomes more important.
“Technical surveillance counter measures (TSCM) – or bug-sweeping – is a further area of growth that is not overtly techy.
“Businesses need to take cyber-security seriously and more are becoming Cyber Essentials certified, which is a great start.
“Recently we have seen a huge increase in phishing scams, mostly relating to Covid.
“Lots of fake emails are going around claiming to be for Covid tests or vaccinations or cheap deals for PPE.
“I would urge young people looking for a career to consider cyber security; it’s relevant to everybody’s life and is a real growth sector.”
Matt Horan, security director at C3IA Solutions, said: “We need more young people going into the industry which will be better with a more diverse workforce.
“We initially had Lucy with us for a year during her degree and she is now a valued member of the team.
“I’d echo Lucy’s calls for more women to look a cyber-security as a career.”