TU Wien Informatics

20 Years

“If They Got into Cybersecurity – So Can You!”

  • By Theresa Aichinger-Fankhauser
  • 2024-02-01
  • Cybersecurity
  • Security & Privacy
  • Women in Informatics

We’re part of an initiative offering workshops for girls and women who want to delve into cybersecurity.

“If They Got into Cybersecurity – So Can You!”
Picture: Marco Squarcina

Ten people – that’s the headcount of an average cybersecurity department in Austria. Of these ten employees, statistically, only one is a woman. Cybersecurity might not be the first field women consider when choosing their studies. However, the facts speak for themselves: more job openings than ever before, excellent career opportunities, flexible working, and high pay. Often, the issue is simply a lack of exposure to the diverse topic. A new initiative aims to change this: with role models and introductions to cybersecurity for female school and university students.

Seventeen workshops in cybersecurity for all skill levels are planned within the Hackerinnen Training, organized by Stefanie Jakoubi. The goal is to awaken and strengthen interests, meet fellow women in the field, and find role models. Moreover, the team aims to “train the trainers” – school teachers, lecturers, and instructors at companies are invited to participate for new insights and teaching input in this fast-evolving field.

The first three workshops have already been held successfully with over 50 participants: In the introductory lesson, Alexia Konstantinidi from IBM X-Force and ICC’s Team Europe, Sarah Nöbauer and Xenia Indra from ECSC’s Team Austria explained how they got into cybersecurity and advanced their careers. They also shared their experiences during ICC and ECSC, two of the most prestigious international hacking (CTF) competitions. The following workshops were focused on specific fields and tools: Marco Squarcina and Magdalena Solitro from our Research Unit for Security and Privacy gave an introduction to web security and demoed a security challenge, showcasing how to use industry-standard tools tackle issues. Constanze B. Roedig, security expert at TU Wien and Head of the Austrian Open Cloud Community showed how a Linux shell works and how to use basic commands. The participants also collaboratively solved a friendly wargame.

The workshops are a collaborative effort of the TU Wien Cybersecurity Center, SBA Research, and Cyber Security Austria. Next on the list are topics like program analysis, cryptography, network security, mobile security, and reversing. And for the more advanced female hackers, higher level courses are in the making. If you’re interested, check out how to register and get more info here!

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