As part of its commemoration of Women’s History Month, the University’s Connecticut Institute of Technology welcomed two leaders in cybersecurity who discussed the challenges they have overcome and shared their wisdom with the University community.
April 12, 2021
On March 22, the University’s Connecticut Institute of Technology’s Cyber Legends Series welcomed Diane Janosek, commandant for the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency, and Lynne Clark, deputy chief for the Center for Cybersecurity Education, Innovation and Outreach. The webcast focused on the importance of expressing individuality and growing as a professional in both technical and non-technical aspects.
The conversation began with a discussion about the challenges of being a female leader and the obstacles they faced during their careers, which included personal, work environment, and external challenges.
“An open door might not be the only way in,” said Clark. “You might have to climb through a window or break a hole in the wall to get in. If you believe in yourself, there is always a way in.”
Clark also discussed how, when she began her career, her biggest challenge was having faith in herself and not being afraid of what was ahead.
‘You are unique’
Janosek is a big believer in depending on yourself, as well as understanding your ability to succeed in the workforce. She emphasized the importance of continuing to grow as an individual, both personally and professionally.
"You know who you are, and you know what your passions are,” said Janosek. “Depend on your own innate competence. You are unique.”
Both Clark and Janosek told students that some of the biggest things to remember when they are working to overcome obstacles is to celebrate individuality and their unique skills. They highlighted the importance of being honest with yourself, as well as knowing yourself and your skills. They encouraged students to keep growing and to push past barriers that they may face throughout their careers.
“Your work quality proceeds you,” said Janosek. “Not only is being honest with yourself an important aspect of success, but showing that you care about your work quality and your product, as well as respecting ethics, paired with a high confidence level, are also essential.”
Joining the discussion, Tiffanie Edwards ’22 M.S., a candidate in the University’s graduate program in cybersecurity and networks, asked about how to attract and retain women in cybersecurity. Both women discussed the importance of creating a more open and welcoming community. They say the field needs to be made more accepting of individuals regardless of factors such as gender, race, and sexual orientation, and that future leaders need to be the ones to change that.
On Monday, April 12, the Cyber Legends Series will feature what promises to be a lively and in-depth conversation with Roger Grimes, a data-driven defense evangelist for KnowBe4, Inc., the world's largest integrated platform for security awareness training combined with simulated phishing attacks. He also is the author of a dozen books. The webcast, which will stream on Twitch, will begin at 4 p.m.
Sarah Kispert '22 is a forensic science major at the University of New Haven and a cybersecurity marketing intern. She is the daughter of Karl Kispert, host of the Cyber Legends Series.