The Role of Women in Information Security
Women play critical roles in advancing science, medicine, human rights, social justice issues, and so much more, but there’s one industry where women are just getting their foot in the door: information and cybersecurity. While this growing industry has been long dominated by men, it’s quickly starting to change. In fact, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, the percentage of women in the industry is projected to grow from the long-reported 11% to 20% by the end of 2019. Although this number may seem small, the impact these women have made on securing some of the world’s most sensitive assets is tangible. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to spotlight KirkpatrickPrice’s Information Security Specialists and Audit Support Professionals who work tirelessly to ensure that our clients are secure.
Meet Our Auditors – Lee and Lorna
Information Security Specialists at KirkpatrickPrice are responsible for not only performing various audit and consulting services, but they’re responsible for building lasting relationships with our clients by educating, empowering, and inspiring them to greater levels of assurance.
Although she has only been with KirkpatrickPrice for two years, Lee Sirotnak’s 35 years of experience in the information security industry has helped her excel in her current role and achieve Lead Practitioner status. Clients have referred to Lee as a “driving force” during an audit engagement, and claimed that calls with her are worth thousands of dollars based on the education they walk away with. Holding CISSP, CRISC, and CSNA certifications, Lee uses her background and education to conduct regulatory and security audits, as well as serve as a mentor to her audit team. Lee believes that women play an especially important role in the information security industry because “as in all things, women have a different perspective than men, and having a diversity of perspectives makes us a stronger team.”
Lorna Willard also recently joined the KirkpatrickPrice team as an Information Security Specialist. With more than 20 years of experience working in the information security industry, especially within the federal government and the Department of Defense, Lorna’s insight into the industry is telling. She explains that throughout her years working in IT, she’s grown used to working in a male-dominated industry and acknowledges that many opportunities have opened up for women. She feels that working in this industry satisfies her desire to learn, test herself constantly, and earn a living doing something that she really enjoys.
Meet Our Audit Support Professionals – Jodi, Selena, Jessica, Mary Beth, and Erin
Audit Support Professionals at KirkpatrickPrice play an integral role in delivering our audit services. They are responsible for serving as a client liaison, ensuring quality services before and during the audit process, and providing any necessary training for clients.
Jodi Carson is KirkpatrickPrice’s most veteran Audit Support Professional. She has a B.S. in Information Systems Security and holds the Security+ certification. Clients often comment on Jodi’s hardworking attitude and commitment to the project. Jodi especially enjoys helping clients become confident about security – something that many are reluctant to be because of the ever-changing threat landscape.
Selena Carlton has seven years of experience working in the information security industry. She enjoys the problem-solving aspect of her position and is committed to providing a quality experience for clients.
Jessica Leo was one of three women in her program who graduated with their IT degree and was advised early on about entering a male-dominated industry. Thankfully, she has not experienced any adversity throughout her experience working in the industry. Instead, Jessica remains optimistic about the opportunities for women in the industry, saying that “women should work in information security because it has excellent opportunities for growth, empowerment, and an all-around lucrative and successful career.”
Erin Gregory has a B.S. in Computer and Information Technology, and will also pursue a Master’s in Engineering Technology Management. Although she is just beginning her career in the industry, Erin most enjoys that she is constantly learning and being challenged on the job. She sees the information security industry as a lucrative industry full of opportunities for women, especially because of the flexibility that many IT jobs offer.
Mary Beth Muniz is new to the information security industry but believes that women are the future of technology. Like Lee, Mary Beth believes that women can bring a fresh perspective to the industry and individual engagements. In her own experiences, her ability to engage her nurturing side can prove to be useful during high-stress audit engagements.
What is the Future for Women in Information Security?
When asked what the future looks like for women in the industry, one thing remained constant across the board from our female professionals: the importance of education and empowerment. Whether it’s joining or partnering with technology organizations, supporting STEM groups for women and girls, such as Girls Who Code, or participating in professional development activities through KirkpatrickPrice, our female professionals know that in order for women to be successful in the industry, they need to feel empowered and have access to the right resources.
At KirkpatrickPrice, our core mission is to educate, empower, and inspire our clients to greater levels of assurance, but we’re also committed to educating, empowering, and inspiring our personnel too. This means that the women who work at KirkpatrickPrice can know they’re supported and valued. In fact, Lee explains, “I can honestly say that I’ve never been so fully supported. KirkpatrickPrice is the first company at which I experienced absolutely no difference in treatment for being a woman – I am an auditor just like all of the other auditors. I’ve not had to work harder – or less hard – because I’m a woman. In a positive way, this company is gender neutral, and the greatest strength in my opinion is that we are all supported very well.” KirkpatrickPrice is committed to delivering quality, thorough audit and advanced penetration testing services, and that would not be possible without the talented women on our team. As the roles and opportunities for women across the globe continue to grow, especially in the information security industry, we’re thankful for the female professionals that have chosen to dedicate their lives to securing the sensitive assets that fuel our businesses.