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Shifting the Status Quo of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is possibly one of, if not the most important aspects of our internet usage and browsing. It is simultaneously both something we are all more than aware of, and yet somehow we all take it for granted. But how is it different for each and every individual? Does the world of cybersecurity favour particular types of people? And how much does your gender and culture play a role in that?

On the latest episode of our podcast, Ethical Data, Explained, host Henry Ng is joined by Jane Frankland, Founder of the Source Platform (for Women in Cyber). They discuss a multitude of topics, ranging from the sheer creativity of technology and AI; how cybersecurity has changed and evolved over the years, as well as what needs improving; and why diversity in the cyber space matters. Jane also discusses her love for statistical, analytic data, delving into how it enabled her to conduct such groundbreaking research into women in cybersecurity.

Why Diversity in Cybersecurity Matters

Jane reveals to us that she first created The Source Platform (for Women in Cyber) after noticing a lack of women and diversity in the cyber industry. “When I came into cybersecurity all those years ago, you really didn’t find women in the industry at all.” she divulges. “I remember meeting a female client once and thinking ‘wow’. I was just really shocked at the numbers, and then I could see them plateauing and I thought, ‘that’s really not a good sign.”

It was from this interaction that a fuse lit up in her head for her book, InSecurity, and after spending time at Cyber events, unable to find many women (if any) also attending them, she decided to take matters into her own hands. She used data, statistics, and analytics to really find out why it was that women weren’t attending or speaking at them.

But why does diversity within the tech space matter? How can it impact the industry in a beneficial way? Jane answers this question simply and matter-of-factly, stating that having more women in the workplace matters because it is far more natural than having only men; they think and approach risks differently, making them a valuable asset.

It’s not just women, either. Depending on your cultural background, you will almost definitely have a completely different perspective on life and risk-taking within your industry. Adding more people from all different backgrounds is the best way to grow your business and shift the status quo.

Some of the Biggest Changes in Cybersecurity

If you’ve been on the internet at any point over the last few years (which you almost certainly have), then you’ll most likely have seen an abundance of advertisements for all different kinds of VPNs (Virtual Private Network). Their very existence proves that society is becoming more and more weary as to their private data and just how easily someone could steal it. With so much going on online, it’s no wonder we’re becoming more protective of our data.

Jane acknowledges this, as there is now so much more risk involved with just browsing the internet. You never know what you’re going to come across and who’s lurking in the background, waiting to take your data. But, it’s important to remember, it’s not all looming doom and paranoid gloom, as it’s the people like Jane who are working hard to keep you safe online.

Jane says that another one of the biggest changes in cybersecurity is the language surrounding it. What was once known as ‘network security’, then ‘internet security’, is now known as ‘cybersecurity’. With so much growth and evolution within the cyber world, it’s no wonder the language had to adapt and fit these changes.

The Sheer Creativity of AI

Speaking of evolution and change, a massive one is the sudden growth of AI technologies (ChatGPT springs to mind straight away), something which Jane describes as creative. “Tech, to me, is so creative,” she says, her excitement for the topic betraying her. “AI is so interesting, particularly over the last few months with ChatGPT - it’s so powerful. It can really add and contribute.”

However, she also acknowledges why some may be hesitant towards AI’s meteoric rise, but why ultimately, we need to accept and flow with it: “We don’t like change, and that’s a human trait. Humans work really hard to maintain the status quo; change means risks and it opens up the danger. We need to move with technology as opposed to being more obstructive with it. We need to be breaking down the doors.”

To find out more, tune in to the full episode of this week’s episode of Ethical Data, Explained:
Apple Podcasts
Google podcasts
For more info reg the podcast, episodes and guests - welcome to the official podcast webpage.

CTA: if you know someone whose knowledge, experience and expertise could make them an interesting guest to discuss data and data collection - let me know in the comments! I am happy to reach out and invite them for a talk🙂

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