W-Tech 2009

One of the things that strike me as imbalanced about information security is the relatively low proportion of women entering the profession. It might be the traditional image of security as an “old boy” network that discourages this. Or possibly the perception that it’s a profession for technology geeks who like to meddle with firewalls and cryptography. But given that the future of security is likely to require an increasing use of psychology and communications skills, perhaps we should now be aiming to change the perceived image in order to attract a more balanced cross-section of practitioners. 

I shall certainly be doing my best to achieve this at W-Tech in London on Wednesday, which is expected to attract more than a thousand women with an interest in IT. I’ll be speaking on how to manage the human element in information security. In my view the most important future security skill is the ability to persuade large numbers of people to do something that they wouldn’t otherwise do. And that’s certainly not a skill for which men have a monopoly.