Diversity And Inclusion Is A Value For CyberSecurity, For The Whole Business, And For Society | Redefining Security With Kurt John


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There are entire groups of people who can become effective cybersecurity resources if trained correctly and given the opportunity. Unfortunately, for many, this is not the case. Why?

Why aren't more people from various backgrounds given a shot to succeed? Why do organizations tend to stick to hiring models that are based on "prove that you can by showing us that you already have" vs. "if you can demonstrate a passion, a desire, and the ability to think critically, we're ready to give this a shot?" — that's a good question!

"One of the best risk assessors that I've come across had zero background in cyber; he was an accountant. My predecessor had the foresight: he basically said, 'Hey, I think you are a great critical thinker, a great literal thinker; how about you join the cyber team.' When [the then-account] said he didn't know anything about cyber, [my predecessor] said, 'it doesn't matter.' I inherited him and he is phenomenal."—Kurt John

Suppose we can engage with diverse individuals who can be identified as possessing the types of qualities that we are looking for and offer the education and training necessary to become skilled cybersecurity professionals. That would be the optimal way to develop a workforce that could finally put cybersecurity program leaders in a strong position.

It shouldn't come as a piece of unheard news by now that diversity makes all kinds of teams, products, services, and companies more valuable and profitable. In many cases, the value can even extend well beyond the individual and the business.

"We can do two things, actually. We can get the type of talent we need for cybersecurity. And we could really move the needle for groups of people who historically have not had access to the same type of socioeconomic opportunities as others."—Kurt John

Kurt John, Chief Cybersecurity Officer, Siemens USA (@TheRealKurtJohn @SiemensUSA on Twitter)

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