News + Noteworthy

Cyversity delivers news and information about cybersecurity as an industry and a discipline, but it also filters the content to ensure its relevance and connection industry practice and its connection to issues of diversity and inclusion.

Latest Cyber Security News and Updates

Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ through scholarship programs, mentoring programs, industry outreach and diverse workforce development

New York – Thursday, December 1, 2022 – Cyversity, a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of women and underrepresented minorities, last week announced the launch of the Cyversity Ambassador Program intended to convene changemakers and industry leaders with a demonstrated commitment to the creation of a more diverse cybersecurity workforce to amplify further the corporate efforts and community engagement of the 501c3 Non-profit organization.

“We are excited to be working together with so many passionate diversity advocates across various sectors and industries, who will use their platform to advocate for and champion cybersecurity workforce diversity and inclusion efforts, continuing our mission of achieving the consistent representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry,” said Beverly Benson, Executive Director at Cyversity.

This initial cadre of Cyversity Ambassadors are among the most recognizable names across the industry with an established track record and demonstrated commitment to tackling issues relating to the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the field of cybersecurity.

Cyversity Ambassadors will support the organization’s mission primarily through advocacy, stewardship and mentorship. Among the key requirements of the program are:

  • Must be an active Cyversity member
  • Must be enrolled in the Cyversity Mentoring Program
  • Established track record of advocating for women and minorities

Ambassadors will serve for one-year terms and are expected to act with the Cyversity Speakers Bureau and Cyversity Writer’s Bureau.

The inaugural program includes the following Ambassadors:

DEVON BRYAN joined Carnival Corporation in October 2021 as the Global CISO with responsibilities for conceiving, implementing, and leading technology solutions that assure compliance, protect personal data and corporate assets, increase organizational capability and advance productivity within Carnival Corporation and our world-leading cruise line brands. Prior to Carnival Corporation, Devon held CISO roles at MUFG Union Bank N.A, KPMG US & Americas Ltd, US Federal Reserve, and ADP LLC. His information security career began in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a Captain and lead network security engineer working on systems and programs to protect the critical network and communications networks of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command. Devon is a co-founder of Cyversity and co-chairs the Cyversity Ambassador Program with Nelson Soares.

NELSON SOARES is the Founder, President, and CEO of C-Vision International, a global event and advisory firm dedicated to convening leading visionaries in an exclusive environment for peer-to-peer collaboration. Nelson is also a Board Member of Pocket Security, Inc., a cyber security nonprofit for nonprofits looking to educate, create awareness, and develop a plan in cyber security, risk management, and business continuity tailored to your nonprofit so individuals within your organization can make informed and strategic decisions as you continue to carry out your mission. Nelson earned his B.A. from the University of Greenwich in London and also spent time in the United States on a soccer scholarship in various colleges. Nelson is a proud husband & father of two girls and enjoys cooking and traveling with his family in his spare time. Nelson co-chairs the Cyversity Ambassador Program with Devon Bryan.

COLONEL CANDICE E. FROST is a U.S. Army officer serving as a commander in the United States Cyber Command. She has served in the past quarter of a decade in leadership positions across the military and intelligence community. Her focus on innovation combines strategy and policy with emerging technology. She is a tireless advocate for diversity in national security and the intelligence community. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, Central Michigan University, and the United States Army School of Advanced Military Studies. She teaches military strategy as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Col Frost also serves on the AFCEA Washington DC Executive Advisory Council.

NICOLE DARDEN FORD is Vice President, Global Information Security and Chief Information Security Officer at Rockwell Automation. As the company’s cybersecurity leader, Nicole is entrusted to protect enterprise IT assets with scalable, future-ready platforms that enable the business. She has guided complex organizations through security transformation journeys, built best-in-class cybersecurity programs, and led high-performing teams. Nicole has 20 plus years of IT strategic leadership in the corporate sector and federal government, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Prior to her role at Rockwell Automation, Nicole was the Chief Information Security Officer at Carrier Global Corporation, where she established Carrier’s cybersecurity program and initiatives that aligned with enterprise goals. Under Nicole’s leadership, Carrier teams were working to monetize cybersecurity by incorporating security features in products and developing security-as-a-service solutions to be sold to customers. Known as a future-focused technology executive, Nicole is most skilled at designing and executing complex business strategies, building best-in-class cybersecurity programs, and developing and leading high-performing teams.

Dr. NIDA DAVIS is currently leading Microsoft’s Digital Security & Resilience (DSR) security architecture team, which is dedicated to ensuring the security and resilience of every aspect of the Microsoft business. DSR is responsible for Microsoft’s company-wide information security and compliance, with a strategic focus on information protection, assessment, awareness, governance, and enterprise business continuity. As the Director of Security Architecture, Nida leads a high performing team of Microsoft PMs and Security Architects entrusted with all aspects of security architecture design, execution, and partner engagement. Previously Nida served as an Associate Director in the Federal Reserve’s Division of Supervision and Regulation (S&R) and was responsible for providing oversight and guidance on business operational resiliency, information technology, cybersecurity, data protection, and emerging technologies. Nida has received her Doctor of Liberal Studies from Georgetown University. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the American University in Cairo, a Master of Arts in Leadership from Bellevue University, a graduate degree from the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Chemical engineering from Jordan University. Lastly, Nida was recognized as an award recipient of the prestigious Computer World Premier Top One Hundred IT Leaders for 2006.

TODD HELFRICH has more than 20 years of experience on the front lines of cyber security, having advanced a wide range of cybersecurity solutions across an industry that protects commercial and federal government enterprises. Currently the Vice President of Federal for SentinelOne and the Identity Portfolio, he is responsible for all federal government go-to-market activities. In this role, he and his team support industry mission partners across the government by reducing the identity attack surface and deploying active cyber defense capabilities aligned with NIST cyber resilience, which empowers cyber operators. He advises innovation technology partners and serves as an Ambassador to Cyversity. Lastly, he has supported the AFCEA Cyber Committee, which is a volunteer group of public and private sector information technology and security experts which fosters collaboration between government and industry.

ROBERT COWANS is a Cyber Security Leader and Computer Forensic Examiner with certifications as a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Digital Forensic Examiner, and Harvard Business Publishing Leadership Program to name a few. Robert has guided, coached, and developed leaders and senior professionals across the public and private sectors for more than 20+ years. He is currently serving as a Cyber Security Manager over Threat Intelligence and Hunting, Digital Forensics, and Personnel Investigations. His passion is mentoring others to be their best, protecting children from being exploited and trafficked, and being committed to making a substantive difference in the lives of others –enabling their success is his mission.

JENNY MENNA is the Vice President for Threat Management and Response at Humana, Inc. Her current and past industry leadership roles include the FS-ISAC Board of Directors, the Global Cybersecurity Alliance Strategic Advisory Committee, the Risk Committee of Early Warning Services, and the National Cybersecurity Alliance Board of Directors. She is a Visiting Fellow at George Mason University’s National Security Institute. Prior to joining Humana, Jenny served as the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer for U.S. Bank. Jenny also held a variety of senior cybersecurity leadership positions in the Department of Homeland Security. Her responsibilities ranged from industry outreach to front-line operational and technical activities – including serving as US-CERT Director to leading national-level policy initiatives. Jenny received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Chicago and is a Certified Information Security Manager and Certified Cloud Security Professional.

KIMBERLY SANDERS is the Director of Security Operations for the Nation’s passenger rail provider, Amtrak. She is a goal-oriented, results-driven cybersecurity professional with more than 17 years of experience. Kim is a proud graduate of Bowie State University and enjoys giving back to the Industrial Control System and Cyber communities as a mentor. As part of DHS’s Public-Private Analytic Exchange Program, Kim co-authored The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): Opportunity, Risks, Mitigations and is a recent graduate of the InspireCIO Leadership Development Program.

COLONEL J. CARLOS VEGA, US ARMY (RETIRED) is a trailblazer in the cybersecurity discipline, a trusted strategic advisor, and digital governance, risk, and compliance leader. He is at the forefront of the information technology, cyber, and national security disciplines in business and government. He has held board of director and advisor roles in private corporations, non-profits, and government organizations. Carlos is currently on the Board of Directors for Sorenson Communications and chair of the Cyber and Privacy Subcommittee. With over two decades of cybersecurity experience, he has pioneered collaboration between the government and the private sector regarding cyber and national security.

RAMI El OUTA is a Global Technology Executive with over 12 years of experience in Consulting, FMCG, and Biotechnology. Rami successfully creates self-sufficient teams and empowers people in IT. Rami has a priority of ensuring diversity in the technology world and walks the talk on that objective. Coming from a Computer Sciences background with a Master’s in data mining and process automation, Rami can speak both the IT and the business language. Specializing in IT strategy and execution, keeping the cost component under control while ensuring a healthy and balanced work environment.

TOMÁS MALDONADO is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at the National Football League (NFL). He is globally responsible for leading the information security program for the League and its entities. Maldonado has over 23 years of experience in this area, having led global information security teams and programs at several large international Organizations. Prior to joining the NFL, Maldonado was the CISO at International Flavors & Fragrances, where he was globally responsible for establishing and leading the Cybersecurity & Technology Risk Management program. Maldonado was an executive director and CISO for the corporate sector of JPMorgan Chase, where he established and shaped the future direction of the security program and focus for the line of business. He was also a VP of technology risk management at Goldman Sachs, where he worked on several key initiatives, namely creating and leading the data loss protection program. He had additional opportunities at Schroders, where he was the network security officer, Ernst & Young and Bloomberg LP. Maldonado holds several industry-recognizable certifications: he is a CISSP, a CISM, a CDPSE, and a CRISC, while holding a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Fordham University.

LAWRENCE WELLS is Director of Threat Intelligence, Optum. He started his career in the Navy in 1991 during Desert Storm. During his 6 years of service, he was a Sonar Technician and was forward deployed for West Pac 94-95 during Desert Shield. From there, he did Research and Development as a government contractor for 6 more years, each of these crests are a part of his career. From there, he did Network Admin while starting to press into Cyber where he made his way to Optum 7 years ago. At Optum, he’s helped build the SOC, did logging and event engineering and now leads the Threat Intelligence group. He has a  wife and 4 adult daughters who together enjoy volunteering, going to sporting events, spending time with their 7 lbs Chorkie, Tippy and host as many game nights (Uno and Monopoly) as they can.

JAMEEKA GREEN AARON is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Auth0, a product unit of Okta. She is responsible for the holistic security and compliance of Auth0’s platform, products, and corporate environment. She is a recognized industry leader and brings 20 years of experience to the role, with a career that has spanned a wide variety of industries in both information technology and cyber security, including aerospace and defense, retail, and manufacturing, at both Fortune 100 and privately held companies—including Nike, Hurley, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Navy. Jameeka lives in Irvine, CA, with her husband Amilcar, who serves on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Commission for the City of Irvine. She is committed to advancing women and people of color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and has participated in the U.S. State Department’s TechWomen program and the National Urban League of Young Professionals, the National Society of Black Engineers. She is an advisor for the U.C. Riverside Design Thinking Program, and a member of Chief and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

JASON PARKE is a dynamic and experienced IT professional with a solid background in planning, developing, and managing projects and programs, including working with multi-disciplinary teams. He have an exceptionally strong IT background with over 20 years of experience in the field and over 10 years of experience teaching CISCO as an Instructor/Trainer. He is a skilled project manager for large-scale implementations, from creation through to fruition, within challenging IT environments.

STACEY HALOTA joined Graham Holdings Company (then The Washington Post Company) in 2003. She leads the development and implementation of information security and privacy programs, including Sarbanes Oxley, privacy law, Payment Card Industry compliance, and other data protection efforts and has more than 25 years of experience in the information technology, security, and privacy field. Before joining Graham Holdings, she served as the federal government and southeast region leader of Guardent (now part of Verisign), a security and privacy consulting and managed security services company. Prior to Guardent, she worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Technology Risk Services consulting practice. Ms. Halota serves on the strategic advisory boards of CyberVista, Y/L Ventures, Cytrio, the Cloud Security Alliance CxO Trust, and Piiano, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Technology Security Coalition (NTSC). She is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP).

SUZANNE HALL is a Partner/Principal at EY in the cyber consulting practice. She has 20+ years of experience as a technology and cybersecurity executive delivering strategic and tactical solutions to address today’s cyber challenges. Suzanne brings a successful background as a consultant and industry-leading CIO and CISO. Prior to joining EY, Suzanne was Global CISO and VP of Technology at Circle K, where she was responsible for the cyber program, infrastructure, and operations supporting over 16K sites worldwide. Also, she held key leadership roles at AARP, The American Red Cross and was a groundbreaking female CIO in sports during her time with the Washington Nationals. She has a proven ability to establish and align on vision, execute in organizations and diverse industries, and deliver solutions that balance risk, business realities, and operational impacts. Recognized for excellence in innovation, strategy, and technology solutions that produces results, she creates positive change through collaboration and high-performance teams. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, technology transformation, security and secure development programs, outsourcing, cloud solutions, and compliance management. Suzanne has been recognized as a top 100 CISO by CISOs Connect, a Top Woman in Convenience by CS News, and a former Woman of Influence award with EWF. Suzanne holds a BS from American University, is a CPA and CISA, and resides in Washington DC, and Scottsdale, AZ, with her husband, and has two adult sons.

SHAMLA NAIDOO is Head of Cloud Strategy & Innovation at Netskope and has led global cybersecurity programs for IBM, Starwood/Marriott, Anthem/Wellpoint, Northern Trust, and others, and serves as an independent board director for multiple global companies. She regularly advises Federal, State, defense, and intelligence organizations domestically and overseas. She supports the cybersecurity profession through leadership roles in organizations like Security50, the Shared Security Assessments Group, Cyversity, Institute for Applied Network Security (IANS), and the Round Table Network. As the former Committee Chair on Legal Technology for the Illinois State Bar Association. She frequently speaks at legal forums for the ABA, ISBA, and others. By creating and teaching ABA-accredited courses on law, technology, and global privacy for the UIC School of Law, she educates the next generation of lawyers and adjudicators in areas of critical importance.

KIM L. JONES is a 35+-year intelligence, security, and risk management professional with expertise in information security strategy, governance and compliance, security operations, and risk management. Mr. Jones is a former Chief Security Officer who has built, operated, and/or managed information security programs within the financial services, defense, and industries. He is also the principal architect for one of the cybersecurity degree programs at Arizona State University. Jones holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance from Norwich University. He also holds CISM and CISSP certifications.

MICHAEL WOODSON is Sonesta’s Director of Information Security and Privacy and was formally the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, the public agency responsible for operating most of the transportation services in Greater Boston, Massachusetts. He was responsible for the MBTA’s total information security needs and the development and delivery of their comprehensive information security strategy to optimize the security posture of the organization. Mr. Woodson is an IT information security professional with over 25 years of experience and has a deep understanding of operational and information technology processes, the implementation of cost-effective controls, and security safeguards to monitor and mitigate risks. He was previously a Principal at Infosys Limited in the Enterprise Application, Cloud, Infrastructure, and Security Services practice, a Senior Vice President, at Taino Consulting Groups Cyber Security Advisory Practice, Information System Security and VP/Cyber Risk Director for State Street Corporation, Director of Cyber and Network Security for Santander Bank, and Head of Forensic Information Security Services North America for Tata Consultancy Services and other positions in information and cybersecurity which includes 12 years of law enforcement experience obtained directly from the Boston Police Department as an IT specialist/Police Officer. Mr. Woodson has an extensive background in Network and Information Security, Data Privacy, Fraud Management, Technical Investigations, Regulatory Compliance, and Policy Development, Litigation Preparedness, Enterprise Governance, Risk Management, Computer Forensics, Law Enforcement Technologies, and Application Security Threats and Countermeasures. He is an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University and Cambridge College and has served as lecturer at Curry College, and Endicott College, and a visiting Adjunct Professor at Stimik Perbanas in Jakarta Indonesia. He is Certified in Information Security Management (CISM) and Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO). He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and several Master’s degrees from Boston University and Utica College of Syracuse University.

About Cyversity
Cyversity was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

Leslie Kesselring | Cyversity
[email protected]

Program made to establish educational pipeline for women and traditionally underrepresented minorities to obtain skills in cybersecurity and cloud computing

New York – Wednesday, November 9, 2022 – Cyversity, a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of women and underrepresented minorities, today announced its initiative with SANS Institute, Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks to tackle the “great cyber divide” through a multi-tiered program that provides a pathway for talented, diverse candidates to launch and advance careers in cybersecurity.

According to the 2021 ISACA report, “minorities comprise 26 percent of the cybersecurity workforce and only 21 percent of the overall workforce.” In the 2021 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, research shows that the cyber field continues to be predominantly male (76 percent) and Caucasian (72 percent). Women have higher rates of workforce entry from self-learning than men (20 percent vs. 14 percent, respectively) and pursuing cybersecurity education to land a job (20 percent vs. 13 percent, respectively). A similar trend is true for ethnic minority respondents: Black/African respondents (18 percent) and Hispanic/Latino respondents (22 percent) pursued education to land their first job at higher rates than Caucasian respondents (12 percent).

“SANS is excited to expand our partnership with Cyversity and further our collective mission to empower individuals launching careers in cyber, close the talent gap, and address the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field,” said Max Shuftan, Director, Mission Programs & Partnerships, SANS. “This program will bring new cybersecurity professionals into the workforce with the practical skills and knowledge needed to make our world a safer place.”

“Google Cloud is proud to work with partners like Cyversity and help connect women and underrepresented minorities, seeking to enter the cyber security field, with the cloud skills needed to bridge the cyber talent gap and build up the careers of skilled professionals in the space,” said MK Palmore, President of the Bay Area Chapter for Cyversity and a Director for the Office of the CISO, Google Cloud.

“We are thrilled to support the efforts of Cyversity as they launch a program that will help empower and educate the next generation of cyber professionals,” said Mary Ann Byrnes, Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy Manager. “Providing our Cybersecurity Academy courses through the Cyversity program offers a substantive, innovative way to engage aspiring professionals in cybersecurity.”

The Global Cyber Diversity Academy will provide opportunities for skills development in cyber from different industry partners based on aptitude and career goals. Several hundred total participants globally will be selected for this scholarship and be offered at least one training course plus certification following final selection. Participation requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older at the time of application submission
  • Applicants must have residency status in one of three global regions (North America, South America, or Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA))
  • Cyversity Membership – applicants must sign up for student or professional membership (can join as part of the process) – details at
  • Not currently employed in a cybersecurity role (IT functions OK)

The scholarship closes on November 23. Applicants can apply here.

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cybersecurity events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cybersecurity. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master’s and bachelor’s degrees, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to manage their “human” cybersecurity risk easily and effectively. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet’s early warning system–the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community.

About Google Cloud

Google Cloud accelerates every organization’s ability to digitally transform its business. We deliver enterprise-grade solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology – all on the cleanest cloud in the industry. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to enable growth and solve their most critical business problems.

About Cyversity

Cyversity was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

Leslie Kesselring | Cyversity
[email protected]

TikTok Partners with Cyversity to Offer Cybersecurity Training Scholarship for Under-Represented Communities

Scholarship program made possible by TikTok makes entry-level roles in cybersecurity more accessible to women and minorities

The scholarship offers Cyversity members the choice of 1 of 3 cybersecurity cohorts: Application Security, Network Security, or Cloud Security. Training is provided by industry leaders Security Innovation, EC-Council, and Cloud Security Alliance, respectively. All training is mapped to the NICE framework from NIST. Scholarship recipients will also be enrolled in Cyversity’s mentorship program and have access to resume writing workshops, mock interviews, and private sessions with TikTok cybersecurity professionals. Recipients will also qualify for potential internship or full-time opportunities within TikTok, upon completion of their training.

TikTok and Cyversity share the goal of promoting diversity within the cybersecurity industry, ensuring individuals from all backgrounds are equipped for the exciting and lucrative career opportunities it offers. With more than1.8 million job openings worldwide, the industry is keen to develop new, innovative talent to continue protecting consumer, business, and government data.

“We believe it’s important to help bring representation into the cybersecurity industry through programs designed to diversify, educate, and empower,” TikTok said in a blog post. “Whether connecting Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students to the cybersecurity job of their dreams or creating a new scholarship program through Cyversity, we’re committed to nurturing next-generation talent and helping under-represented minorities start or advance their career.”

“TikTok is helping us tackle the need for more cybersecurity professionals, specifically in the disproportionate underrepresentation of women and minority populations,” said Beverly Benson, Executive Director at Cyversity. “Individuals from underserved communities will be able to receive training for in-demand security roles through this innovative program.”

About TikTok

TikTok is the world’s leading platform for short videos. TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring fun and exciting experiences to its users. TikTok has offices across the world, such as in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.

About Cyversity

Cyversity was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

PR Contact
Leslie Kesselring  | Kesselring Communications for Cyversity
l[email protected]

Cyversity Announces Annual Power Up Conference Agenda and Keynote Lineup

Cyversity continues to elevate the dialogue on the global under-representation of women and other minorities in the fast-growing field of cybersecurity

Press Release: New York – October 10, 2022, Cyversity, a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals, announced today their annual Power Up conference taking place November 6-8, 2022 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. The event offers opportunities to interact with top industry experts, thought leaders, and cybersecurity professionals to learn about emerging technologies and services gaining traction in the marketplace.

The three day event will feature the industry’s most prominent voices including Kamau Bobb, Director of STEM Education Strategy and Research at Google, Deneen DeFiore, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at United Airlines, Jen Easterly, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Kim Jones, Director of Security Operations, Intuit.

“We are thrilled to be hosting this event and seeing not only our members but also new faces. It’s more critical than ever to achieve consistent representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry,” said Larry Whiteside, Jr., President, Cyversity. “The conference will bring together peers and industry leaders to collaborate and learn new ways to thrive in a challenging world.”

Key sessions throughout the day include:

  • Behind the Scenes with Target’s BISO Team
  • Challenges of Finding Minority Talent in Cybersecurity
  • Zero Trust is a Team Sport
  • Elucidating the Paths and Mindsets of Leaders

The full agenda can be found here. In addition, the conference will feature a career fair, where attendees will learn about opportunities for entering the job market or landing their next role. Some of the companies who will be onsite and ready to share some of their open positions include: Pega, Citi, Netskope, North Star, Now Secure, McKesson, ISC2, WiCYS, AttackIQ, SANS Institue, Target, and CyberBennett. Registration is open for professionals and students until November 8, 2022.

About Cyversity

Cyversity was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.


Leslie Kesselring

Kesselring Communications for Cyversity | l[email protected]

Women’s History Month Spotlight on Beverly Benson, Director of Workforce Development, Cyversity

Beverly Benson has worked in technology for 15 years and is currently a Cybersecurity Education Manager at AttackIQ. Benson also holds a leadership position within Cyversity as director of workforce development.

She first became interested in cybersecurity after experiencing a personal data breach. “I wanted to learn more so that I could understand it, and to understand what I could do differently. From then on, my interest just grew,” she said. “I’ve been in technology for about 15 years, so, for me, it was just a natural transition. One thing I learned is that I was doing cybersecurity tasks, but it wasn’t called cybersecurity at that time.”

After pursuing her master’s degree in cybersecurity, Benson wanted to connect with like-minded individuals to expand her network. She came across ICMCP, now Cyversity, through an internet search and was immediately drawn to its mission to achieve the representation of women and minorities in the cybersecurity industry. “For me, that checked off two boxes. First, I’m a woman and a minority, so I immediately wanted to know what they had to offer.”

Benson became a member of Cyversity and applied for the mentoring program. She paired with a mentor and absorbed a wealth of information and guidance to help identify some gaps in experience. Based on the feedback she received, she pursued a second master’s program with a focus on gaining more technical skills. After attending the annual conference in Atlanta in 2019, she was sparked with so much enthusiasm and inspiration for Cyversity that she decided to become a volunteer. “[Cyversity] had given me so much,” she said. “This was my way of giving back to other women and the minority community. When we begin to advance, it’s so important for us to bring someone else with us.”

Throughout her experience in technology, Benson has noticed that there are very few women in leadership roles. “I would like to see more women in senior-level roles,” she said. “I have a hard time believing that organizations are not able to find women with the credentials and experience to fill those C-level suites. There’s an opportunity for organizations to look for talent in different places.”

As head of Cyversity’s mentorship program, Benson encourages more females to join and make lasting connections. “My mantra is ‘dare to dream.’ I encourage women to go for it and not allow anyone to tell them they’re not welcome or that what they set out to pursue cannot be done. I encourage women to knock on doors, and if they can’t get that door to open, they can build their own house. We are here, and we have a lot to offer.”

Benson takes it further and aims to demystify how cybersecurity is portrayed on television and in the news. Most often it’s a male figure with a hoodie sitting in the basement coding – an image that women can’t relate to. “Maybe some women are not interested in being a developer based on that perception. To them I say, cybersecurity is about problem-solving. It’s about collaborating and being able to communicate different ideas effectively. And they’re like, oh, I didn’t know that. So I want us to demystify it for each other. And for my young women, I say excel, work hard, and you too can achieve whatever dreams you want.”

Beginning in January 2022, Cyversity moved to a paid membership model. Although Benson volunteers her time as director of workforce development and mentoring program lead, she emphasizes the importance of investing in yourself. “I paid my membership because I think that the organization adds value. Cyversity provides mentoring, training, scholarships, webinars, and online training opportunities. If you were to take that type of course or those opportunities elsewhere, you would be spending more than the cost of membership,” she said. “The organization needs funds to continue to make these types of resources available. I consider membership dues as a way of investing in yourself. My membership is an investment in me.”

With the ever-changing technology landscape and security breaches happening more frequently, Benson charges cybersecurity professionals to commit to lifelong learning. “Everyday technology continues to change,” she said. “I think even if someone you know wants to get into cybersecurity simply to be aware, learning the basics will allow you to make more informed decisions about yourself and who you give your data to.”

Cyversity is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month throughout March and International Women’s Day on March 8. 

Cyversity Announces Three New Members to the Board of Directors

Security executives from Equifax, Amplitude and government bring unique perspectives to help build diversity in cybersecurity

New York – March 16, 2022, Cyversity announced today three new members to the board of directors: Octavia Howell, Munish Walther-Puri, and Olivia Rose. Voted in by Cyversity members in February, these individuals will begin their three year term in March. Each of these new Board members brings with them a unique perspective and the same unyielding drive to consistently represent women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry.

“We look forward to having these influential leaders be a part of elevating the mission of Cyversity and engaging with members,” said Larry Whiteside, Jr., President, Cyversity.

Octavia Howell, VP, Head of Information Security and Risk, Equifax Canada Co.

Recognized as a 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Awards Modern Day Technology Leader and shortlisted as the 2020 Security Champion of the Year by Women in Technology, Howell is an experienced technical leader who specializes in Networks, Cyber Security, and building operationally excellent, motivated cross-functional, multi-cultural teams. She currently serves as VP, Head of Information Security and Risk at Equifax Canada Co., and is also the Founder and CEO of Augustus Redefined, an organization focused on the advancement of Black Women in Cyber.

“Cyversity has been a mainstay for advancing minorities and women within the Security Industry. I am honored to be a part of the journey and I’m eager to see what’s next. Cybersecurity has come a long way, but in order to build the pipeline, we must ensure the pipeline is solid end to end,” added Howell.

Munish Walther-Puri, Municipal Cyber Security Strategist and Risk Practitioner

Walther-Puri works for a major US city focused on cyber risk and critical infrastructure. In addition to building partnerships about collective cyber defense of city services, he has advised on data privacy, industrial control systems, incident response, and third-party risk management. Previously, he led research and analysis at a dark web monitoring firm and worked at the intersection of geopolitics, terrorism, fraud, and cyber investigations. He was twice selected for the DHS-ODNI Analyst Exchange Program and as a Yale Cyber Leadership Fellow, is an advocate of #ShareTheMicInCyber, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Cyversity stands out for its intersectional approach to diversifying the cyber workforce – inclusion is crucial and I’m excited to support the organization’s efforts to partner across the community,” added Walther-Puri.

Olivia Rose, CISO, and VP of IT & Security, Amplitude

Rose is a proven cybersecurity leader with over 20 years building, transforming, and optimizing successful IT and cybersecurity programs. She possesses a unique blend of technical, governance, and business acumen and experience, enabling IT and security initiatives to align with the business and demonstrate value. In 2021 Rose was recognized for the Volunteer of the Year award for her outstanding efforts to drive and support diversity and inclusion in the Cybersecurity industry. She is frequently requested at speaker events and podcasts, and is regarded as a mentor and thought leader in the industry. Rose holds numerous IT and security certifications, including CISSP, CISM, CCSK, and is an active participating member of several industry groups.

“Cyversity’s mission of supporting the consistent representation of women and underrepresented minorities in Cybersecurity, in tandem with their dedication, drive, and exceptional programming, is unmatched. I am honored to be on the Board to help make change happen, particularly for the abundance of incredible talent entering the field,” added Rose.

The new appointments will join the following Board members: Ed Adams, Devon Bryan, Sherron Burgess, Michee Smith, Larry Whiteside, Jr., and Julian Waits, Jr. To learn more about the Cyversity Board of Directors.

About Cyversity

Cyversity’s mission is to achieve the consistent representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry through programs designed to diversify, educate, and empower. Cyversity is a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals.

PRWeb Release

Penelope Rozhkova recently landed a dream job. One that she thought was out of reach and in an area of cybersecurity that she had so often been discouraged applying for due to ‘lack of experience.’ Penelope came into the cybersecurity environment working within Blue Team roles coaching a top Kentucky middle and high school CyberPatriot Team, of which her son is a part.

A Cyversity member, Penelope understands the value of networking and community to help her unlock her full potential. “I applied for several scholarships through Cyversity and did get selected for the Google Security Innovation Red Team opportunity,” that she acknowledges as the experience responsible for “bolstering her confidence and helping to understand the value of what she knows.”

“I had always been told that I didn’t have the skills for Red Team roles and taking the Google training made me realize I knew more than I thought. It put an organizational order from a beginning, middle, and end, and a process,” she offers. “It was due to this experience through the Cyversity membership that positioned me well to take the next step into a Red Team role.”

Advice to anyone thinking about becoming a Cyversity member: “I do recommend Cyversity, when I talk to others – especially women or people of color. Cyversity helps you identify the skills you have and build upon the skills you need for a career in cybersecurity.”

If you are new to cybersecurity or have years of professional experience, learn about Cvyersity and the benefits of membership. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

Cyversity’s mentorship program was developed to create lasting and mutually rewarding professional networking and learning opportunities for participating cybersecurity executives and practitioners.

After serving as a mentor since 2016, David Elcock, vice president of Cyversity’s Texas Chapter, helped create the Cyversity Impact, formerly known as the Hustlers Club, a monthly interview series featuring senior-level cybersecurity professionals. “Some of the mentees assigned asked to continue the mentoring engagement even after the six-month program ended, and that turned into a monthly conversation – one that has been going for nearly four years,” Elcock said.

Not too long after the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) rebranded to Cyversity, the Cyversity Impact followed suit. “We went from ICMCP to Cyversity, and so, of course, it’s an opportunity to freshen everything up,” Elcock said. “We decided to change the name and some of the dynamics of the group. I think progressing to ‘impacting alumni’ is an appropriate move.”

Elcock stresses the importance of recruiting mentors from within, noting that many organizations, corporations, universities, fraternities, and sororities, have established alumni groups. The goal for these groups is to have alumni come back and give something of themselves to the organization from which they’ve benefited. “That’s our approach – to focus on one of our most valuable resources, which are our mentees,” Elcock said.

Involvement from mentees is encouraged as many of them become primed to take on the mentor role or serve as an advocate after completing the program. Elcock charges his mentees with the task of talking to their colleagues and friends at their high schools and junior high schools to bring them into the Cyversity mentorship program model.

While there are plenty of mentees and potential mentees, there is a need for more mentors as the program grows. Mentors have the option of either group mentoring or individual mentoring over six months. “Inclusion by association is good. Most folks who see someone involved may be interested in getting involved themselves,” Elcock said.

Cyversity’s mission is to achieve the consistent representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry through programs designed to diversify, educate, and empower. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, you can learn more and apply here. Cyversity membership is required to participate in the mentorship program. The next Cyversity mentoring cycle starts in February 2022.

In the meantime, register in advance for the upcoming Cyversity Impact Interview Series held every fourth Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, moderated by David Elcock:

  • Saturday, February 26, 2022, | 2:00 pm – 3:30pm EST | Register here
    Guest: Michael Palmer, CISO at Hearst
  • Saturday, March 26, 2022, | 2:00 pm – 3:30pm EST | Register here
    Guest: Brandon Perkins, Practice Manager at Amazon Web Services
  • Saturday, April 23, 2022, | 2:00 pm – 3:30pm EST | Register here
    Guest: Octavia N. Howell, CISO, Equifax Canada
  • Saturday, May 28, 2022, | 2:00 pm – 3:30pm EST | Register here
    Guest: Lisa Beth Lentini Walker, CEO at Lumen Worldwide Endeavors
  • Saturday, June 25, 2022, | 2:00 pm – 3:30pm EST | Register here
    Guest: Ryan A. Higgins, CISO and Deputy CIO at US Department of Commerce

Cyversity scholarship sponsored by Intuit aims to make roles in the cybersecurity industry more accessible to women and minorities

January 20, 2022 Cyversity and Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), the global technology platform that makes TurboTax, QuickBooksMintCredit Karma, and Mailchimp, announced today their partnership to create a scholarship program which will help women, minorities and under-represented communities advance within the cybersecurity industry.

Intuit’s scholarship will sponsor computer-based and simulation training courses led by Cyversity for those looking to enter the world of cybersecurity and advance their cybersecurity skillsets. Scholarship recipients will also receive mentorship and potential internship opportunities to gain professional experience within Intuit, upon completion of their training.

One of Intuit and Cyversity’s shared goals is to promote diversity within the cybersecurity industry, ensuring individuals from all backgrounds are equipped for the workplace of the future. With more than 100M consumers and small businesses trusting Intuit to keep their personal and financial information safe, Intuit is always looking for new, innovative talent and technologies to continue protecting customers’ data.

“Intuit is proud to sponsor Cyversity’s scholarship program and help build the next generation of cybersecurity professionals,” said Atticus Tysen, Chief Information Security Officer at Intuit. “We strive to provide critical skill development, break down barriers in the technology industry, and lift up those who may not have access to technical training without organizations like Cyversity.”

Cyversity’s Cybersecurity Training Program tackles the need for increased cybersecurity professionals in the United States, specifically in the disproportionate underrepresentation of women and minority populations. Students, veterans, unemployed professionals and individuals from underserved communities will be able to receive training for in-demand security roles through the program.

“What Intuit is offering is more than just a scholarship for our Cyversity members, it’s the first step toward a lifelong career in cybersecurity,” said Larry Whiteside, Jr., co-Founder and President of Cyversity.

How to Apply:

  • Cyversity Membership is required (Link to Become a Member).
  • Complete Training Scholarship Application that Opens on Jan 24, 2022 (Link).
  • Submission period: Jan 24, 2022 – Feb 3, 2022.
  • Recipient announcement: Feb 15, 2022.
  • Training period: Early-March to Mid-May 2022.

Scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to enhance their experience through the Cyversity Mentoring program (link). Participation in the Mentoring Program is highly recommended as scholarship recipients will be given access to a cybersecurity professional for career coaching, job application assistance and resume workshops.

About Intuit
Intuit is the global technology platform that helps consumers and small businesses overcome their most important financial challenges. Serving more than 100 million customers worldwide with TurboTaxQuickBooksMintCredit Karma, and Mailchimp, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper. We never stop working to find new, innovative ways to make that possible. Please visit us for the latest information about Intuit, our products and services, and find us on social.

About Cyversity
The International Consortium of Minority Cyber Professionals (Cyversity) was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

About Security Innovation
Security Innovation is a pioneer in software security. Since 2002, organizations have relied on the company’s assessment and training solutions to secure software wherever it runs. The company has a long-standing commitment to supporting the diversification of the cybersecurity workforce by bringing meaningful, hands-on training to women and underrepresented populations. Security Innovation is a proud sponsor and corporate member of the Cyversity, Women in Security and Privacy, OWASP, and the Executive Women’s Forum.

Link to Original PR on  PRWeb: HERE

Cyversity Media Contact: Leslie Kesselring, [email protected]

Cyversity evolves its community program through innovative engagement and job opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity field

New York City, NY. – Jan. 12, 2022 Cyversity, a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals, today announced a new partnership with minority founded and owned technology company Burst, the leading User-Generated Content (UGC) engagement platform for broadcasters, media companies, and brands, to bring Cyversity members a seamless way to tell and share their story via video taken on their phone.

In addition to the integration of Burst, Cyversity is launching a new online Jobs Board in early 2022 that will provide extensive opportunities for Cyversity members and non-members and allow sponsors, partners, and the public to post available cybersecurity roles. The public-facing Jobs Board connects employers with people who want to get their foot in the door or wish to expand their career. Cyversity members receive priority placement as an added benefit of their membership.

“We are excited to offer this innovative engagement platform to make it easy and inspiring for Cyversity members to share stories and experiences for effective and social communications. Further, we are thrilled to offer unique access and connections between employees and employers that will lead to more tailored job opportunities. Together these are a significant step in advancing our community building program,” said Maggie Domond, Cyversity Executive Director.

Beginning January 1, 2022, Cyversity has move into a paid membership model with a yearly cost of $20 for Students and $100 for Professionals. Cyversity membership benefits include mentorships, scholarships, skills assessments, training resources, events and an entire community to offer the tools needed to succeed in a cybersecurity career. Current members and new members who joined prior to the new year will receive an invoice to continue accessing full Cyversity membership benefits.

“I highly recommend Cyversity to everyone – especially women or people of color. Cyversity helps you identify the skills you have and build upon the skills you need for a career in cybersecurity,” Penelope Rozhkova, Cybersecurity Consultant, Accenture. “I was selected for the Google Security Innovation Red Team opportunity, through scholarships I applied to offered by Cyversity, which tremendously bolstered my confidence and helped me understand the value of my skills.”

About Cyversity

Cyversity (formally The International Consortium of Minority Cyber Professionals/ICMCP) was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

About Burst

Burst enables broadcasters, media companies, rights holders and brands to instantly deliver mobile video to broadcast, OTT, digital and social platforms at low-cost. Burst’s technology allows reporters, viewers, fans – anyone with a smartphone, a point of view and a subject to record – to get their video into live or curated media streams seamlessly without requiring the download and use of a mobile app to participate. For media companies, live event venues, brands and marketers, this means fresh and compelling content that is rights-controlled and readily monetized with no workflow disruption. Burst is the only solution that gives companies complete control of their content and a defense against social media cannibalization that allows them to build new revenue streams from their content.

Link to Original PR on  PRWeb: HERE

Cyversity Media Contact: Leslie Kesselring, [email protected]

Established non-profit has unveiled a new name, logo, tagline, and website as part of an extensive rebranding initiative to more fully align with its growth and impact on diversity in cybersecurity

New York City, NY. – Sept. 14, 2021– The International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals, a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals, has completed an extensive rebranding effort that embodies the organization’s growth and represents their achievements in facilitating bold, large-scale initiatives that aim to bring principles of diversity and inclusion to the cybersecurity industry.

According to a recent report by The Aspen Institute’s Tech Policy Hub, it is estimated that only 4% of cybersecurity workers self-identify as Hispanic, 9% as Black, and 24% as women. As cyber attacks on global technology infrastructure grow in both number and complexity, they must be met with a cybersecurity workforce that is growing in size and diversity. A workforce that embraces diversity of race, gender, socio-economics, culture, and thought is more capable of responding to today’s array of threats and mitigating risk to their organizations through the wider range of perspectives and unique insights that come from teams with a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. Developing a diverse cybersecurity workforce has been identified as a national priority for the Department of Homeland Security and the federal government under the Biden-Harris Administration and by the private sector at large.

Since its founding in 2014, the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) has focused on its mission of achieving consistent representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry through programs to foster diversity, education, and empowerment. At a total member base reaching nearly 3,000 that continues to grow month-over-month—with 40 percent growth in the first eight months of 2021 alone—it is time for the organization to grow the brand alongside its mission.

A play on the words cyber and diversity, the new name Cyversity directly reflects the organization’s ongoing mission and is bolstered by the introduction of a new tagline that succinctly describes the goal of Cyversity on behalf of its members and partners: “Diversify. Educate. Empower.” Along with the new name, Cyversity also introduced a new logo and color scheme that is appropriately symbolic of an organization that is working to change the face of cybersecurity.

“We’re excited to introduce our new Cyversity identity to our members, chapters, and partners,” said President and Co-Founder Larry Whiteside, Jr. “This organization needed a name with the same level of impact as it has had on the community, which is to change and strengthen the world of cybersecurity, one person at a time.”

“The world of cybersecurity demands businesses, institutions, and practitioners continually adapt their knowledge and skills to guard against threats that are growing in scale and complexity,” said Vice President Sherron Burgess. “Education is a fundamental element of what we do at Cyversity.”

In addition to a new name, logo, and tagline, Cyversity also unveiled a new website at The new website is designed to better tell the organization’s powerful story and more closely define the membership journey as the organization continues to grow in both membership size and industry impact.

“Our new site is a means by which to provide a logical and immersive experience for members,” said Cyversity Treasurer Ed Adams. “Whether someone is entirely new to cyber or is a cyber veteran, the site ushers visitors through a process to introduce them to the roles in cyber, assess their skills, direct them to scholarships and educational opportunities, and equip them with mentors and career placement services, as needed.”

“As cybersecurity professionals, we work alongside and within some of the most important, most recognizable institutions in the world,” said Maggie Domond, Cyversity Executive Director. “While our programs and services have been and remain in high demand, our brand didn’t measure up. That needed to change.”

About Cyversity

Cyversity (formerly The International Consortium of Minority Cyber Professionals/ICMCP) was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

Cyversity Media Contact: Leslie Kesselring, [email protected]

NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2021 / International Consortium of Minority Cyber Professionals (Cyversity), dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals, announced today that it has named Maggie Domond, CAE, PMP, CMP as its first Executive Director.

Improving diversity in cybersecurity is vital to the growth and success of the industry. Minorities and women are dangerously under-represented, and this workforce gap presents a real and significant threat to capabilities of the cybersecurity teams entrusted with guarding global technology infrastructure and ultimately the economic viability of the nation. Today, females represent only 14% of the cyber workforce. Only 6% percent of STEM workers are African American compared to 11% of the US workforce. Hispanics comprised only 7% of the STEM workforce while making up 15% of the US workforce.

The Cyversity was formed with the mission to tackle this “great cyber divide” and has hired its first Executive Director to support its rapid expansion with a host of new programs to improve cybersecurity education, diverse workforce, and economic outcomes.

“Cyversity hiring its first Executive Director shows that not only is Cyversity poised to handle the growth needed to fulfill its mission, but that it has matured to meet the needs of the industry and community it serves. Maggie Domond’s background, experience, and sheer passion will enable Cyversity to handle the ever growing complexity of needs that diverse candidates require to become their best selves as cybersecurity professionals,” said Larry Whiteside, Co-Founder & President, Cyversity.

Maggie will report directly to the Chairman of the Board, Julian Waits, and will also join the Executive Committee which includes Ed Adams, Treasurer; Larry Whiteside, Co-Founder & President; and Sherron Burgess, Vice President.

“I am grateful and overjoyed for the opportunity to serve as Cyversity’s first executive director and will work collaboratively with the board to continue the work of achieving equality and parity for women and minorities in the cybersecurity industry,” said Maggie Domond. “Cyversity is more relevant today than ever and I know we will continue to thrive and provide the transformational programs and services our members and partners deserve.”

Maggie is a results-driven association executive with extensive experience in providing leadership and direction in the management of association communication and marketing strategies to maintain a strong domestic and global presence. She also specializes in fostering high levels of member involvement, satisfaction, and retention, as well as developing and diversifying the financial resources necessary to fulfill strategic plans and ensure future stability and sustainability. She previously served as Vice President of Operations at Patriots Technology Training Center, where she directed and implemented management services in a wide variety of critical areas including finance, governance, meetings, membership, marketing, and business operations. She has also held the role of Director of Meetings and Education at Heart Rhythm Society, where she prepared, developed, and monitored department budget and ensured adherence to society/finance committee guidelines and objectives.

About Cyversity

The International Consortium of Minority Cyber Professionals (Cyversity) was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Its mission is to achieve the consistent representation of women and minorities in the cybersecurity industry through programs designed to foster recruitment, inclusion and retention – one person at a time. The Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs. Learn more at

 More than 200 Emerging Cybersecurity Professionals to Participate in the Robust, 6-Month Program

NEW YORK—May 4, 2021—The International Consortium for Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (Cyversity) announced today the kick-off of a training scholarship program for more than 200 emerging cybersecurity professionals. Google has sponsored the scholarships for the six-month training and mentorship program targeting students, unemployed professionals and others looking to enter the cybersecurity workforce from underrepresented populations.

The 214 scholarship recipients were selected from a diverse applicant pool of more than 400 Cyversity members. Overall, 43% of the class of scholars self-identify as women and more than 62% of the recipients are currently unemployed. The recipients are also geographically diverse, coming from 13 different nations and 32 US states. They will participate in Red Team and Blue Team training with industry-leading training providers, Security Innovation and RangeForce, to develop essential skills for offensive and defensive work roles, which are in high demand in the industry. There are currently an estimated 3.2 million open job positions in the global cybersecurity industry.

“Google is committed to supporting and developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals while actively partnering with Cyversity to ensure this next wave of professionals is truly representative of the overall population. Cyversity is creating the opportunity for participants to not only learn, but to build a community of supporters, peers and mentors, which can be critical to success in cybersecurity,” said Sarah Morales, Outreach Program Manager, Security & Privacy at Google.

“This scholarship program is working to change the face of the cybersecurity workforce,” said Beverly Benson, Workforce Development Committee Chair, Cyversity, and Program Director, IT & Security, the American Women’s College at Bay Path University. “Beyond that, it has the potential to fundamentally impact the professional careers of more than 200 smart and ambitious professionals through access to training, networking and job placement opportunities.”

“We are grateful to Google for their support of the core mission of Cyversity,” said Larry Whiteside, Jr., President, Cyversity and CTO & CSO, CyberClan. “Ultimately, we hope to work with many more of the companies in the cybersecurity community in an intentional and concerted effort to foster recruitment, retention and inclusion of underrepresented minorities in the profession.”

The online training courses and hands-on cyber range events, from both RangeForce and Security Innovation, map to the NICE Cybersecurity Framework, ensuring that scholarship recipients will have marketable skills upon completion of the training. After the three-month training phase, recipients will work with Cyversity volunteer mentors on career readiness components such as resume development, mock interviews and community networking.

About Cyversity

The International Consortium of Minority Cyber Professionals (Cyversity) was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. The Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.

About the Training Providers

Security Innovation is a pioneer in software security. Recognized 6x on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for computer-based security training, its CMD+CTRL SaaS platform combines role-based courses with hands-on cyber ranges to build skills that stick. With over 3.5 million users, CMD+CTRL helps all software security stakeholders address the risk of today’s tech stacks – flawed design, defenseless code, expanded attack surface, and misconfigured deployments.

RangeForce creates accessible cybersecurity training experiences for you and your team. Powered by the industry’s first integrated training platform and virtual cyber range, we help customers operationalize a SaaS-based cybersecurity training program in hours, saving up to 65% over traditional training and up to $1M annually on hosted cyber ranges. RangeForce is revolutionizing cybersecurity training with its adaptive learning technology to better train and cross-train DevOps, IT, and security professionals.

Cyversity Media Contact: Leslie Kesselring, [email protected]

Want to get Cyversity news?