The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Rachel Sitarz - Purdue University

Students: Spring 2023, unless noted otherwise, sessions will be virtual on Zoom.

Women In Cyber Security

Apr 30, 2014

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In our ever connected society, security has become an essential component for all facets of life. Businesses, government, academics, and individually, all facets have a need to protect and secure technology. Over the past 5-10 years, the demand for cyber security professionals has significantly increased. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Cyber Security Specialists is expected to increase much faster than the average career over the course of the next 10 years. Despite the growing demand, women represent an alarmingly low percentage. This can be demonstrated in nearly any university's technology courses. Cyber security especially is highly male-dominated. Research shows that having a balance of male and female perspectives facilitates diverse and creative innovation and problem solving, within the ever changing realm of cyber security.
The NSF SFS funded Broadening Participation of Women in Cybersecurity Project, which aims to build a movement towards diversifying Cyber Security. The program put on the Women in Cyber Security Conference (WiCyS), in Nashville, TN, April 11-12. I will discuss my experience at this conference. I will also discuss takeaways from this conference, and important information for anyone interested in pursuing a career in this ever evolving and highly demanded field.

About the Speaker

Rachel Sitarz is a PhD student in Cyber Forensics at Purdue University. She studies under the guidance of Dr. Marcus Rogers. She obtained her Master degree in Cyber Forensics in 2010 from Purdue University. She received her undergraduate degrees in Law and Society, Psychology and Forensics in 2007 from Purdue University. Over the past three years, while being a full-time student, Rachel worked full-time for the Indiana State Police, as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst, on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Currently, Rachel works for the IT Security and Policy section at Purdue, where she builds analytical products from the current threats that are seen on the Purdue network. Rachel is also an Adjunct Professor, teaching Research Methods. Rachel's area of research interest is on the psychological and behavioral analysis of cyber criminals. She aims to understand the user behind the crime. How they are behaving, what programs they are using to facilitate their crimes, how do they engage with other criminals, are among many of her areas of study.

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