Amid high-profile breaches on websites such as Ashley Madison and the IRS, experts say the need for cybersecurity professionals—including women—is only growing.
Nearly 2 million global cybersecurity professionals will be needed by 2017, according to the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College. At the same time, the cybersecurity industry is facing a gender gap.
"One of the interesting things that we see is that 50 percent or more of those graduating from college are women, and 11 percent only are in the cybersecurity field," said Shelley Westman, vice president at IBM Security. "So what we see is as an industry, we're leaving a lot of talent on the table," she said.
Westman was among several keynote speakers at a New York City conference last month on recruiting more women to cybersecurity.
Professor Nasir Memon of New York University said the conference was designed to reach high school and college students as well as women looking to change careers. "We do that by getting leading women from industry and getting them to talk about what it is to be doing cybersecurity," said Memon, who heads NYU's computer science and engineering department.