‘#Mathematics — the unshaken Foundation of Sciences, and the plentiful Fountain of Advantage to human affairs.’
‘It is impossible to be a mathematician without being a poet in soul.’​ Sofia Kovalevskaya

The word ‘unprecedented’ seems too weak to convey just how much the dimensionless operational space of digital (r)evolution requires instantaneous reaction. The pace of change in the digital universe is simply unparalleled. ‘Common sense is not that common’ anymore for naked human eyes and brains. Unlike human intelligence and ability to adapt and learn, technologies accelerate toward speed of light.

‘We have single handedly constructed a self-imposed overwhelm like no other time in history.’ ‘Redemption from the tyranny of chaos is found when we remember who we really are, embrace our feelings of instability, stand firm in our uncertainty, while honoring the inevitable messiness of a life well-lived.’ Tamara McCleary

With hope to create and scale globally an inclusive ‘authors-publisher-readers’ circle of wisdom and expertise; with channelled determination to gain understanding by carefully selecting the best information sources (Dis moi où cherche! Mais où?) and reading between the lines, multiplied by expressed interest for knowledge sharing by the industry experts, and as part of our ‘Top Cyber News’ extended roundtable series; Charles (Chuck) Brooks and I brought in one-of-a-kind ‘Man on the Arena’ — leader, relentless scientist, engineer, innovator, cybersecurity expert on TV & radio, and author Scott N. Schober.

President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Berkeley Varitronics Systems. For over 40 years, Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) has provided design and consulting services for the wireless telecommunications industry. Internationally, BVS has wireless product distributors in over 40 countries spanning 6 continents for a true global presence.

Cyber Security & Wireless Expert at Scott Schober LLC, Scott has lectured and presented extensively regarding cybersecurity and corporate espionage at numerous conferences around the globe. He has recently overseen the development of several cell phone detection tools used to enforce a “no cell phone policy” in correctional, law enforcement, and secured government facilities.

Scott Schober holds numerous patents and has developed more than 50 tools and products that protect and maintain the integrity of information security.

He is often seen on ABC News, Bloomberg TV, Al Jazeera America, CBS This Morning News, CCTV America, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, MSNBC and many more. His precautionary advice is heard on dozens of radio stations such as National Public Radio, Sirius XM Radio, Bloomberg Radio, and The Peggy Smedley Show.

Scott has been interviewed in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Success, NY Daily News, Newsweek, USA Today, and The New York Times.

He is the author of “Hacked Again” and writes, “In a modern digital world no one is safe from being hacked, not even a renown cybersecurity expert.”

Dear Chuck and Ludmila, thank you for inviting me to share my thoughts in this innovative ‘Top Cyber News’ Roundtable. I am so pleased to participate in such a discourse regarding such an important issue. It is wonderful to see Ludmila successfully bridging a gender gap in our industry.

I read your articles and I am first impressed by the sophistication and sense of weightlessness with which you describe some complicated scientific and technical concepts, imparting an understanding of complex ideas with simplicity and clarity. Elegance and artistry is indeed a rare combination in writing on science and technology. You and Chuck present a balanced view of the issues and competing priorities while elucidating a 360 degree strategic change agenda. Respect!

“I have not yet spoken my last word about women. I believe that if a woman succeeds in withdrawing from the mass, or rather raising herself from above the mass, she grows ceaselessly…” ― Arthur Schopenhauer, Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy
  • Q. for Scott Schober: Wanted! A BrainNet! An artificial brain! An alternative? Artificial brains controlled by women! Smiling! ‘The gender gap in cybersecurity can, and should be closed’, states Charles (Chuck) Brooks. According to research by Penn Schoen and Berland (PSB), nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of teens have never considered a career in engineering. In another research study by Girl Scouts of America, only 13% of female teens say a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related career would be their first choice. Why?

A. I appreciate that you brought up this question. I have a young daughter in middle school and recently had this discussion with her and if she could ever see herself working as an engineer some day? She excels in mathematics and is now going into her second year in advanced placement math. My son is three years younger than my daughter and has always expressed a natural interest in engineering. While it’s fine that my daughter is still undecided, children should be provided with all the tools and support to make informed career choices without being pushed too hard in any one direction. They should make their own choices with full support from their parents and peers.

I went to college (Kean University & New York University) for computer programming with strong focus on math/physics/electronics.

I sit on the cybersecurity advisory board at Kean University and strive to bring more women into the cybersecurity & STEM careers. Most females are not encouraged to ever consider a path in engineering. Within my own company, there have only been a handful of female engineers over the years that we have employed. I recently posted a job for a Senior Software Engineer on LinkedIn.com and Monster.com and received over 50 resumes. Out of those 50 resumes, there was not a single woman that applied for the job. This anecdotally tells me there is a real shortage of women in the job market for software engineering and the broader tech industry too.

Within the cybersecurity work force, there is also a shortage of women, but I am noticing a positive trend with recruiters targeting women in cybersecurity including events and awards that recognize women for their achievements in that field. As business leaders and those in the engineering community, we should welcome more women and overall diversity in the workplace to fill this vital gap. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also good business to cultivate diversity which leads to ideas and discussions that could have otherwise never occurred.

Charles (Chuck) Brooks serves as the Vice President for Government Relations & Marketing for Sutherland Global Services. Chuck is Chairman of CompTIA’s New and Emerging Technology Committee, as a Fellow oat The National Cybersecurity Institute, and serves on Boards to several prominent public and private companies and organizations. Chuck has extensive service in Senior Executive Management, Marketing, Government Relations, and Business Development and worked in those capacities for three large public corporations.

In government, he served at the Department of Homeland Security as the first Director of Legislative Affairs for the Science & Technology Directorate. He also spent six years on Capitol Hill as a Senior Advisor to the late Senator Arlen Specter where he covered foreign affairs, business, and technology issues. In academia, Chuck was an Adjunct Faculty Member at Johns Hopkins University where he taught graduate level students about homeland security and Congress. He has an MA in International relations from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Political Science from DePauw University, and a Certificate in International Law from The Hague. Chuck is widely published on the subjects of innovation, public/private partnerships, emerging technologies, and issues of homeland security and cybersecurity (he was recently named Cybersecurity Marketer of the Year by The Cybersecurity Excellence Awards).

Chuck Brooks LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chuckbrooks

Chuck Brooks on Twitter: @ChuckDBrooks

  • Q. for Chuck Brooks: Why so few recognized names of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics? What will the rise of job automation do for gender parity? Will women make progress in technology? What will happen as other sectors increasingly demand technological skills for success? “Once I was called in for an interview simply because the men had never seen a girl programmer, and they wanted to see one,” says Vasilika Klimova, an Artec 3D front-end developer in Moscow. “Women who are already working in this sphere need to show that they do exist.”

A. There are huge, growing demands for a modern cybersecurity workforce in both the private and public sectors; there is also a significant shortage of skilled professionals. There is an especially wide gender gap in cybersecurity and in many technology jobs as well. But this is a gap that can, and should, be closed.

Cybersecurity does not need to be a mostly male domain. As we continue to evolve into the new digital era, new opportunities arise and the real task is outreach and effective communication to bring women into the emerging cybersecurity career realms.

Last year, (ISC)², published a study ‘Women in Security: Wisely Positioned for the Future of InfoSec’ (Note: link opens a PDF) that surveyed nearly 14,000 professionals worldwide and revealed that the InfoSec workforce was predominantly male. In fact, only 10% of information security professionals were female. That means that a majority of women who are, or can be, skilled cybersecurity workers are an untapped group.

An excellent article in Forbes highlights the gender discrepancies: “The small representation of women in cyber is a big opportunity for them to enter a field with a severe labor shortage. There are one million cybersecurity job openings in 2016. More than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled, and postings are up 74% over the past five years, according to a 2015 analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Peninsula Press, a project of the Stanford University Journalism Program. Demand for cybersecurity talent is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million, says Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec.”

The good news is that a great number of cybersecurity job opportunities exist and the numbers are growing. Indeed, it is a huge market, Cybersecurity Ventures recently reported worldwide spending on cyber defense products and services is forecast to exceed $1 trillion for the five-year period from 2017 to 2021. The market expansion will add to the cybersecurity workforce shortage, which is expected to reach 1.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2019, according to the most recent Cybersecurity Jobs Report.

The question of the absence of capable women cybersecurity experts in the workforce is a timely one. I recently published an article, “The Gender Gap in Cybersecurity Can, and Should Be, Closed” in IT Security on that topic. Also, I had an interview published on BIZCATALYST 360° “Winning With Women” and I will excerpt most of my answers for this important topic from those two excellent media engines.

From my perspective, the key challenge at hand, to ameliorate the shortage of cybersecurity professionals and close the gender gap, is to educate, train, and facilitate women to fill the pipeline for a qualified information security workforce.

There are a variety of organizations that provide education and certifications including CompTIA, (ICS)2 The National Cybersecurity Institute, (just a sampling of a very large list) and many colleges and universities.

It is important to attract future cybersecurity professionals at an early age. STEM programs are extensive and there are many new programs associated with schools at early ages aimed at attracting females to science and computing. I concur that part of the problem is a cultural mindset that males are more destined to be scientists and programmers. It is a mindset that can be changed via STEM and education. The barriers can be brought down.

Personally, I am closely associated with the Franklin Foundation for Innovation as an Advisory Board Director. One of their programs is called, “PROGRAM, RESEARCH, DISCOVER, AND LEAD #LIKEAGIRL.

Women provide a diverse perspective to a workplace dominated by male personalities. No one sex is superior to the other when it comes to the ability to design, develop, innovate, research, etc.; these are key traits of individuals in STEM fields. Our nation needs more women in technology professions like programming, engineering, information security, and management disciplines. Research is also dramatically lacking in gender diversity, which ability hurts our overall to innovate and develop breakthrough solutions.

The facts are that women only represent 16.9 percent of board of directors at Fortune 500 companies. The real issue is bringing in the best qualified minds and grooming them for the opportunities to lead. Women have been severely underrepresented in relationship to their experience, capabilities, and educational background. That imbalance must be rapidly ameliorated. There is certainly no issue relating to a lack of talent or ability because of gender to serve in leadership roles.

There have been numerous attempts at explaining why there is such a massive gender gap between men and women in STEM fields. Explanations include biology (which is nonsense), a lack of interest in school age children, the “leaky pipeline” excuse, general stereotypes, amongst others. We believe the only reason why the gap exists is because society and our schools have yet to support a different model.

Girls are not encouraged to become programmers; rather they’re taught to become housewives.

They’re not pushed to become neurosurgeons; instead they’re guided toward nursing. You do not see commercials enticing young women to go to school to be physicists, but it is nearly impossible to miss ads promoting beauty schools and vocational nursing programs. In order for the gender gap to disappear, society has to change its ideas on women’s true place in our American society — which is in lock-step with men.

These are the kind of programs and initiatives that need to be replicated globally. An exceptional program to point out is The Women in Cybersecurity Initiative, created in 2013, the initiative provides a “continuing effort to recruit, retain, and advance women in the field of information security. It brings together students, faculty, researchers, and professionals to network and share experiences and knowledge.”

Another excellent program is run by The SANS Institute. It is called the Cyber Talent Immersion Academy for Women. The Institute provides accelerated training and the certification program offers women a fast track to top jobs in cybersecurity. Qualified candidates complete SANS’ intensive world class training and earn GIAC certifications at no charge.

Companies have also joined in the efforts to create a more diverse workforce that includes women with specialized programs and scholarship opportunities. Many of the Fortune 500 companies have such programs and they can be found on their websites. As companies create this outreach, they should also expand this mindset to their recruiters, to connect the goals to the companies’ information security functions.

These and other similar efforts need greater publicity, marketing, and to be made more accessible. They can be a basis for helping balance gender inequality in the cybersecurity workforce. The field of cybersecurity needs to be advertised as encompassing opportunities for both genders. Cybersecurity is coding but it is more than that. It also incorporates executive management, policymaking, diplomacy, marketing research, compliance, intelligence, technology foraging, communications, and thought leadership as elements of the discipline. It can be very financially rewarding, with flexible employment on site or remote, and most of all it is integral to our digital future.

Some advice I can offer to women and anyone seeking a career in cybersecurity or technology-related fields: 1) Make sure to gain an understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), Information Technology (IT) and Emerging Technologies. The new digital paradigms are the future of business. There is no reason that women cannot be leaders in science & technology fields. 2) Consider interning for a couple of different types of businesses or organizations so that you can get an idea of what industry interests you most for a career. 3) Network, network, and network with alumni, friends, and on social media. You never know from who or where an opportunity may arise..

There is something there for everyone and women need to be a key part of the cybersecurity employment equation from any aspect or perspective they decide to choose. I am a big believer in Ying/Yang. The combination of men and women working together will lead to better balance of ideas and energies. I would not want to be part of a company that did not have women as a key part of its leadership and workforce.

  • Q. for Chuck Brooks: Digital citizens of the Global Digital Renaissance… Why being technology illiterate is no longer a valid excuse?

A. I was fortunate to serve in the Science & Technology Directorate at the US Department of Homeland Security where my interest in emerging and new technologies was stimulated. I now serve as The Chairman of CompTIA’s New Emerging Technologies Committee so I am able to continue my exploration of what interesting breakthroughs may await us over the horizon. Over the years, I have written a great deal about the importance in technology in shaping our future and the importance of understanding the implications of the new digital era. This includes a piece I would like to reference from Information Week: “Why You Should Be Excited About Future Tech”

Indeed, the last few years of exponential technology growth throughout man sectors has already demonstrated the need to be able to comprehend our destinies as they are glued to the hip to artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, high performance computing. IoT and a whole array in evolving technologies. Just a sampling of some of these new realities we have at our beckoning in various sectors include:

Health & Medicine:

Health- Implantable devices, bionic eyes, DNA nanomedicines

Genomic techniques — gene therapy (Gene therapy to enhance strength, endurance and lifespan Gene therapy to enhance human intelligence)

Remote sensing tech

Medicine for longevity, enhancement

Real-time biomarker tracking and monitoring

Artificially grown organs Human regeneration (regrow lost limbs in months)

Life expectancy doubles

Human cells interfaced with nanotech MNT repair of physical trauma, almost no deaths once injured and then get MNT treatment (EMT or hospital) MNT repair of cellular damage MNT able to replace various organs MNT able to enhance body functions, Cybernetics

Exoskeletons for mobility

Transportation:

Sustainability of infrastructure

Converged transportation ecosystems and monitoring

Autonomous and connected cars

Predictive analytics(parking, traffic patterns)

Energy:

Solar power

Waste to biofuels

Protecting the Grid

Batteries (long lasting)

Law Enforcement:

Surveillance (chemical and bio sensors, cameras, drones)

Forensics

Interoperable communications

Security screening by bio-signature: Every aspect of your physiology can be used as a bio-signature. Measure unique heart/pulse rates, electrocardiogram sensor, blood oximetry, skin temperature

Finance:

Mobile payments

Mobile banking

Identity management

Biometric Security: access control facial recognition, voice recognition, iris and retina scanners, fingerprint sensors on tablets and smartphones — pass keys

Agriculture:

Aqua farming

Water purification

New food manufacturing and production tech

Food security

I elaborated more on the subject of the economic impact of emerging tech in a recent article I wrote on BIZCATALYST 360° called: “Solving Problems with Technology Convergence”.

Simply stated, if you do not have a basic understanding of the technology mechanisms shaping our immediate futures, your ability to be a part of the work force and thrive socially will be hindered. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is critically important for the next generation who are growing up in a rapidly changing environment.

Originally published at BIZCATALYST360.com on August 11th, 2016

I am now the Public Relations & Media Communications Vice President of a distinctive global IT executive education initiative that is comprised of over 250 prominent academics and practitioners who are positioned to have over 1,000 students this year. It is described on our comprehensive web via www.globaliim.com .

Perhaps there are opportunities for us to collaborate to leverage some of GIIMs (Global Institute for IT Management) 32 IT management certificates (over 130 courses) to help expand the successful programs/services that you currently provide, to prepare your IT and non-IT constituents for the digital transformation.

I appreciate having the opportunity to discuss this collaboration with you (and/or whomever you might suggest). I look forward to hearing from you.

Constant Quest for Knowledge. Dr. Jerry N. Luftman & The Global Institute for IT Management

From Berlin with warmest greetings & A très bientôt! Ludmila M-B

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