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Female Cyber Sleuths Hack Into Silicon Valley's Boys Club

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ThreatGrid threat manager Tiffany Rad.

Over the last decade, women like Tiffany Rad have become increasingly prominent in "white hat" roles at technology companies including Apple, Microsoft, and a number of startups, reflecting the rising profiles of females throughout the security technology

Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Women occupied just over 26 percent of computer and mathematical positions in the U.S. last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, one area of the tech world in which women are making great gains is information security, where they outnumber men in certain positions, such as analyst and adviser, according to the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium.

Women such as ThreatGrid threat manager Tiffany Rad, for example, have found great success in information security, assuming leadership positions in both industry and academia. Women also are seeking education in the field much more than they previously did. Rad says college classes she teaches on information security law that used to be exclusively male are now almost evenly split between men and women.

The success of women in information security also has come relatively quickly. Jeff Moss, founder of the DefCon and Black Hat security conferences, says although almost no women attended the conferences during the late '90s, now there are "too many to mention."

Many attribute women's success in the field to its meritocratic nature. Heather Adkins, one of the founding members of Google's security staff, says the field was mired in sexism when she joined it in the late '90s, but it has markedly improved, although she says bias still persists in some areas.

From Bloomberg
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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