U.S. federal officials and cybersecurity experts turned their Twitter accounts over to black cybersecurity experts in an attempt to combat systemic racism.
The #ShareTheMicInCyber event featured the social media accounts of more than 100 individuals and two dozen organizations and was used to promote racial diversity in cybersecurity on Friday. As part of the event, Twitter hosted live conversations through Twitter Spaces.
Government officials attending the event include Jen Easterly, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), who turned her account over to Ayan Islam, the director of the Critical Infrastructure Portfolio for CISA’s cybersecurity division.
Islam told The Hill in a statement it was excited to attend the event and hopes its story will motivate others to attend in the future.
“Participating in #ShareTheMicInCyber is special for me as I have the chance to give back and share my unorthodox path to cybersecurity,” Islam told The Hill. “As I move forward in this area, I realize that it requires different technical and non-technical perspectives for safer and more resilient critical infrastructure.
“There are many ways to serve and protect, and hopefully my story can encourage others to join the mission as well and contribute with their unique perspectives and skills,” Islam added.
Easterly greeted Islam on her Twitter account on Friday before abandoning her Islam account, adding that she was “excited to put this talented #cybersecurity star in the spotlight”.
Rob Joyce, the director of cybersecurity for the National Security Agency, is in control of his Twitter account. submitted Talya Parker, the founder and director of Black Girls in Cyber.
“With over 3.5 million unoccupied #Online Safety # Jobs, my goal is to take advantage of opportunities in cyber and #Information security to create a pipeline for organizations to find women of color. ”Joyce tweeted.
CISA and other government agencies have promoted the need to diversify their cybersecurity workforce. As part of the effort, CISA announced it would grant two organizations, NPower and CyberWarrior, $ 2 million to develop cybersecurity training for underserved populations and people of color.
A recent report from the Aspen Institute described cybersecurity workers as “overwhelmingly” white and male, finding that 5% of cybersecurity workers are Hispanic, less than 10% black, and less than 25% women.