Women, Wisdom, Wine – yesterday was my first exposure to WISP (Women in Security & Privacy). WISP is essentially a nonprofit that aims to promote and connect women in the security and privacy fields. More can be found at their website.
This event specifically was co-sponsored by IOActive & Arent Fox LLP. I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer and gained experience on how WISP works. The board members of WISP worked so tirelessly to arrange the entire event, I was amazed. It really made me connect with the Confucius quotation about if you like what you do, then you won’t have to “work” a day in your life.
The event also had LIVE Tandem matching! Tandem is a program by WISP where it matches you with another person based on what you want to learn & what skills you have. It’s a mentorship program but where both individuals are mentors & mentees to one another. I have been part of this since they had first created it, earlier this year. However, it was the first time this was done live! Based on a questionnaire, the participants could choose who they wanted to be matched up with and because all of them were present at the event, it made the ice-breaking process much smoother. So far this way of networking has been the most effective, from all the various methods that I have seen.
I met so many talented, ambitious and successful women last night, it was extremely inspiring. Though there are many tid-bits that have remained with me from the conversations, an interesting and apt analogy for security compliance is what I shall share now. Security compliance by one of the lawyers present was described as standing on the edge of a cliff. You’re okay for now but as soon as the rocks start crumbling, you wish you had jumped on the security bandwagon earlier. And that is SO true. With the dynamic field like Cyber Security, many standards and regulations have not be established. Especially with aspects like cyber insurance. However, for the items that do have standards the companies think of them like a checklist instead of a leaping point. Company executives have told me all the time that they are compliant and meet the standards etc. However, the standards are just lowest common denominator. They should not be thought of as a one magical solution to a secure infrastructure.
Okay the bottom line? The food was amazing, the people were inspiring, and the ambiance was energizing.