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October 16, 2015

Venafi CISO wants to end security “clique by gender”

C-Level Briefing: Tammy Moskites says women have all the skills needed to get on in the security industry.

By Charlotte Henry

Venafi CISO Tammy Moskites is better placed then many to try and make sense of the rapidly changing security landscape. Her firm works with Global 5000 companies from around the world, and she’s personally been in IT since 1984.

She says now that the security landscape is "becoming a more and more heightened environment because of the large attacks on infrastructure. What we see as we go through is the landscape changing; breaches right now are at an all time high."

"Cyber criminals are always so many steps ahead of the companies," Moskites says, "and they are using multiple threat factors to get into companies, including certificate advancement as a threat."

Moskites is a strong advocate of getting women to follow her into the security industry. She said: "I think that we have to make sure we’re getting out to the schools and talking about valuing diversity in our team, what type jobs they can be doing, especially in the attack and penetration testing environment."

She concedes though that doing so is going to be a challenge. "It’s very hard to get women to devote a lot of time, it’s just not necessarily interesting. In some roles it’s kind of a clique by gender, and I think security, like IT as whole, has always been a man role," she says.

This is a regret, as women have much to offer the security industry, says Moskites: "It requires not only the technology skills, but also the skills that are very non-technical. You have to be very collaborative, you have to be able to keep your emotions in check, this is a very stressful job, you have to have good negotiation skills."

Given the security threat is changing so fast, and so dramatically, the industry could do a lot worse than listening to Tammy Moskites, and find ways to diversify their teams.

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