General manager of Smarttech247 Raluca Saceanu and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, sitting at the Smarttech247 office.
From left: Smarttech247 general manager Raluca Saceanu and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath, TD, at Smarttech247’s Cork HQ. Image: Michael O'Sullivan/OSM Photo

Academy for women in cybersecurity opens for applications

17 Aug 2020

The specialist six-week course is aimed at women looking to develop skills in cybertech and infosec.

Today (17 August), the Smarttech247 Women in Cybersecurity Academy was launched by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath, TD.

Cork-headquartered managed security services provider Smarttech247 said its programme will offer women an “intensive course” in cybertech and security skills.

The six-week programme will give participants access to expert knowledge, industry experience, exposure to relevant technologies and the chance to work alongside Smarttech247’s analysts, penetration testers and threat hunters.

The course will be run remotely out of the company’s offices in Cork, Bucharest and Krakow. Participants will complete an end-of-term assessment, after which the top performers will be offered year-long placements with Smarttech247.

‘Cybersecurity needs more diversity in thought and action to help drive innovation’

Raluca Saceanu, general manager of Smarttech247, said the course was partly inspired by her own experiences as a woman in cybersecurity.

“Men outnumber women three-to-one in the cybersecurity sector, which means that the industry has a wide pool of untapped talent as we face an increasingly sophisticated level of threat from our adversaries,” she said.

“With this programme, we want to demonstrate to young women who are at the start of their cybersecurity career that many opportunities await them.”

The need for ‘more diversity in thought’

Applications are now open and the first course intake is planned for autumn 2020. It is open to women who have relevant experience or a degree in computer science, information security or network engineering.

According to Smarttech247, women who are already working as threat hunters or penetration testers and want to further develop their skills are just as welcome as those who are recent graduates in the field.

Because students will be given assignments and projects to complete in their own time, the company said that the course is open to a wide pool, “from a student in final year to a parent or carer at home who’s considering a return to the workforce, or someone working in the sector who’s looking for a new challenge”.

Saceanu added: “Cybersecurity needs more diversity in thought and action to help drive innovation, improvement and resilience, especially now as the coronavirus pandemic raises significant risks in unprecedented ways.

“We look forward to seeing graduates of the Smarttech247 Women in Cybersecurity Academy playing their part in the fight against cybercrime activity.”

McGrath said that the initiative is “a positive example of a company playing their part in establishing a more gender-balanced working environment”.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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