As we have seen in recent month’s cyber hackers or ‘bad actors’ if you will, seem to be freely roaming the globe and targeting digital systems with ease. Retailers, government agencies, the media, defense contractors, the White House…no one seems immune from a cyber attack. What is worrisome is that these attacks are not ‘lone wolf’ attacks of a malicious individual, but rather consorted attacks by groups of people bent on financial gain, gaining strategic advantage for a nation state, or promoting a certain agenda that aligns with their personal beliefs.
The key here is that these are ‘groups’ of people that have pooled their talents, resources and futures to accomplish their task. As individuals they are annoying, but the synergy of their collective work takes cyber crime/terrorism/hacktivism to a much higher level. To counter them, the ‘white hats’ in the cyber community must do likewise and work together to gain the advantage in this seemingly endless struggle in the cyber arena.
And this…working together towards a common good is one of the strong suits and positive characteristics of women in cyber security. Lowen, (2015) writes that “Women leaders have an inclusive, team-building leadership style of problem solving and decision making”. Since two or more brains are better than one, women in the cyber security field have a golden opportunity to showcase their particular talents and take the lead in this undertaking. They need to harness the collective knowledge of the good actors and use ‘that’ positive synergy that comes from team building to combat those with malicious intent.
Let’s be honest here – the ‘bad actors’ always seem to be one step ahead of us in their ability to wreak havoc on even the best guarded cyber systems. Now is the time for a different approach, a collective approach –that utilizes our best talents to counter evil doers. Now is the time for women to step forward and use their strengths in teamwork in this effort and finally get ahead of the bad actors and put the brakes on their activities.
Lowen, L. (2015). Qualities of Women Leaders