CMU To Co-Host Women in CyberSecurity Conference

Daniel Tkacik

Oct 11, 2018

The sixth annual Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) Conference will be co-hosted by WiCyS and Carnegie Mellon University March 28-30, 2019, in Pittsburgh. 

The WiCyS Conference brings together women in cybersecurity from academia, research, government and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring. The event’s goal is to broaden participation by recruiting, retaining and advancing females in the field of cybersecurity.

There are approximately 300,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs nationwide according to cyberseek.org, and various projections estimate the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs may double by 2021. At the same time, women currently comprise only 11 to 14 percent of the cybersecurity workforce.

“Carnegie Mellon University’s strong commitment to supporting women’s pathways in cybersecurity disciplines makes the institution an ideal local host for WiCyS’ annual conference,” said Janell Straach, chair of the Governing Board for the WiCyS organization. “This event celebrates not only diversity (especially women) in the cybersecurity workforce, but also the tremendous gains that can be achieved through our unique collaboration among academia, industry, government and research."

Founded by Ambareen Siraj from Tennessee Tech University as a National Science Foundation project, the WiCyS Conference annually attracts about 1,000 attendees, including students, professionals and leaders in the cybersecurity field. Half of the participants are students attending through scholarships awarded by WiCyS with the support of its sponsors.

“It’s especially fitting for Carnegie Mellon University to host the 2019 WiCyS Conference because the university is known as the birthplace of cybersecurity. It was here in the university’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) that the world’s first computer security incident response team, the CERT Coordination Center, was founded to respond to widespread internet attacks,” said Greg Shannon, chief scientist, CERT Division, Software Engineering Institute, and a member of the WiCyS Board of Governors. “Our leadership in cybersecurity research and education continues to this day.”

It’s especially fitting for CMU to host the 2019 WiCyS Conference because the university is known as the birthplace of cybersecurity.

Greg Shannon, chief scientist, CERT Division, Software Engineering Institute, and a member of the WiCyS Board of Governors

The 2019 conference will have an expanded schedule that includes four concurrent tracks to allow for greater participation. The four technical program tracks include:

  • Today’s Technology and Challenges: Current issues and challenges, advances in research and development, experimental findings;
  • Looking Ahead: Important technology and R&D trends, challenges on the horizon, upcoming solutions, tomorrow’s vision;
  • Best Practices: Institutional, operational, and academic best practices, tools, techniques and approaches; and
  • Career Development: Leadership and advancement.

Presenters may submit proposals through the WiCyS website at www.wicys.net/participate for lightning talks, technical presentations, birds of a feather sessions, workshops and panels. Students and faculty can apply for scholarships to attend WiCyS at https://www.wicys.net/scholarships. The scholarships cover students’ and faculty members’ shared lodging and meals.

Deadline for proposals and scholarship applications is Nov. 1. For more information about the 2019 WiCyS Conference, visit www.wicys.net.