Harnessing the Momentum of Women in Cybersecurity

Uniting Women Cyber Symposium

This week, some of the brightest subject matter experts from across the U.S. and beyond gathered virtually to talk about women in cybersecurity, recognizing that the internet is filled with both opportunities and risks, and that it’s up to all of us to defend, protect and secure critical internet infrastructure.

Called Uniting Women in Cyber (UWIC), the organization’s third annual symposium is focused on celebrating successes of women leaders thriving in today’s cybersecurity ecosystem and advocating for women to reach critical leadership roles in the cybersecurity field. Verisign supports UWIC and its mission because of our fundamental belief in the contributions women make to the industry. The work that UWIC is doing to encourage women to embark upon and invest in cybersecurity-focused careers is key to increasing the impact and influence that women will have on the overall technology industry.

Our support comes in many forms. For example, Hema Lakshminarayanan, senior director of information security governance, risk and compliance, is a member of UWIC’s Symposium Advisory Board and was a panelist at last year’s symposium. This year, Heidi Austin, senior director of IT service delivery, participated in a virtual panel while Danny McPherson, executive vice president and chief security officer, was recognized with an award. For the third consecutive year, Verisign is an anchor and platinum sponsor of the UWIC symposium.

Workforce Strategies for Women

Heidi Austin joined other cyber industry professionals on a panel that was focused on workforce strategies and the state of the cybersecurity workforce around the world, with an emphasis on the talent needed to defend, protect and secure critical internet infrastructure.

“As cybersecurity continues to be a focus around the world, it’s critical that companies are able to attract and retain qualified talent with expertise to support ongoing innovative and strategic solutions,” she said. “It takes a collaborative effort in the industry, as well as across all sections of a company to support cyber initiatives. Each individual needs to take ownership and have security constantly on their mind with everything they do to protect the workplace from the inside.”  

Cyber Champion Award

It was also an honor for Danny McPherson to receive UWIC’s Cyber Champion Award. Recognized for the support and time he has dedicated to UWIC since its 2018 founding, the organization called out the many contributions he provided in getting the organization off-the-ground.

“We are lucky that someone like Danny McPherson, who brings so much expertise and insight for our cause, has given so much of his time and energy to support us,” said Mary Beth Borgwing, CEO and founder of UWIC. “Without his dedication, our efforts would be that much more challenging. He has truly been an asset.”

Danny McPherson has worked for Verisign since 2010, and has been a member of the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee for more than a dozen years. He is also a member of the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability, Interoperability Council in Washington, D.C.

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