As an organization that advocates for a society where policy research is inclusive of the needs of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous American, and Multiracial women, we believe in the importance of seeing yourself in the data.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The theme this year is “See Yourself in Cyber.” It is meant to encourage the idea that cybersecurity is something that affects everyone, even if not in the same way. In our increasingly digital world, it is now more important than ever to include the needs and challenges of the most vulnerable when building adequate privacy and technology legislation.
Diversifying the cybersecurity workforce is an important place to start. According to a survey by (ICS)2, fewer than 24% of those that work in the field are women (a racial breakdown was not available). Additionally, only 4% of cybersecurity professionals identify as Hispanic, and only 9% as Black. This lack of representation is unacceptable because cybersecurity touches everyone in every industry.
A diverse cyber workforce is productive; it fully utilizes a wide range of experiences, perspectives, ideas, and solutions. A diverse cyber workforce can use its strength to stay ahead of threats. That strength can be bolstered through insistence on appropriate disaggregation of data to show how individual underrepresented groups fit within the cyber workforce. In such ways, we, as individuals, can indeed see ourselves in cyber and the data.
Even if you really could not care less about cyber hygiene, there are a couple of things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.
According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, CISA:
– Think Before You Click: Recognize and report phishing. If a link looks a little off, think before you click. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install harmful viruses on your devices.
– Update Your Software: Don’t delay. If you see a software update notification, act promptly. Better yet, turn on automatic updates.
– Use Strong Passwords: Use long, unique, and randomly generated passwords.
By following such precautions, we help ensure the rightful role and strength of our diversity within the cyber world.