Sivan Nir, Threat Intelligence Team Leader at Skybox Research

With figures showing that only 10% of the cybersecurity profession is female, more must be done to raise numbers and encourage women to pursue careers in the sector, a leading figure in cyber intelligence has said.
Taking the opportunity of International Women’s Day to make her point, Sivan Nir, the Threat Intelligence Team Leader at Skybox Research Lab, part of Skybox Security, described the number of women in cybersecurity as far too low.
“This is such a waste because it’s a field that’s longing for more skilled people to join up so that the challenging skills gap can be closed,” she said. “It’s a perfect industry for women to work in. Because cybersecurity is so new and dynamic, it’s a field that welcomes and thrives on diversity. My own team comes from all walks of life, which is one of the main reasons why we’re so successful at researching and understanding the context of cyber threats.”
Sivan said she believes that it is important to tackle the way that STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are taught: “Personally, I never felt held back from choosing science and engineering as my career,” she added. “My father is an engineer and I grabbed the opportunities given to me to follow a technology path at school, choosing options in physics and computer science. To get more women and girls into my profession, you need to start young. Girls need to be encouraged to make more tech-oriented education choices when they’re still at school. Working in technological fields should be seen as exciting, not intimidating. Cybersecurity, in particular, is never boring – we tackle real-world challenges at a fast pace every day.”
She concluded that women need to feel that they are encouraged to take chances with their STEM career choices: “I’ve benefitted from studying bio-technology engineering at university – it led to me becoming a data analyst and finally to leading a cyber threat research team for a global organisation. There are many rewarding opportunities out there for women in cybersecurity and I’m excited to see more join our ranks in the future.”

by Guy Matthews