The week in security: Women speak out on cybersecurity careers, CISOs struggle for relevance

Credit: ID 90729941 © Pavlo Syvak |

The Australian Cyber Conference – an amalgam of the former AISA and ACSC events – drew thousands of information-security specialists to Melbourne in a massive, sell-out event that included a host of technical presentations, such as the warning that cyber insurance liability isn’t always as clear-cut as you might hope.

Fresh from the recent CSO-AWSN Women in Security Awards, a series of vox-pop videos allowed attendees to weigh in on topics including why cybersecurity has struggled to attract women, and what people say when women tell them they work in cybersecurity.

They were also sharing their thoughts about whether the cybersecurity industry is welcoming to women, and how the industry can better attract women from other professions.

Meanwhile, figures suggested that CISOs are stressed out and struggling to assert their relevance to business operations.

Also struggling are small businesses, whose employees’ continuing poor habits at home are leaving them open for compromise at work.

Complacency can be as dangerous as a team of hackers, of course – and most organisations are dealing with it in volumes.

And a bit of plain English sometimes helps where technical concepts get a bit muddy, which is why the Australian Signals Directorate has launched a plain-English guide to self defence.

Self defence failed horribly at a US hospital that was recently hit by a ransomware attack – at around the same time Victorian regional hospitals were – and ultimately decided to pay for the keys to unlock its encrypted data, in the wake of FBI advice on the subject.

Hospitals are regularly under fire and struggling to develop effective security strategies. Yet a host of US presidential campaign websites may also want to reconsider their security measures, with a non-partisan analysis of 23 sites finding all kinds of privacy issues.

On that topic: tracking devices may be designed to keep you safe, but sometimes they take their job a little too seriously. Do you know how to protect yourself?

Continuing CSO’s Security Leaders series was a chat with Datto’s Ryan Weeks, who has adopted some proactive strategies to better understand customer needs.

Speaking of adopting new strategies, artificial intelligence researchers at MIT have developed a way of modelling and detecting bad behaviour to stop Internet address hijacking much more quickly.

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