cybersecurity cloud
March 16, 2017

AZ Business Magazine

Women in Cybersecurity holding annual event in Arizona

Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) will hold its 4th Annual Women in Cybersecurity event on Friday and Saturday, March 31 and April 1 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., in Tucson.

The event, which is hosted by the MIS department at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management, is open to both seasoned professionals and those wanting to learn more about careers in cybersecurity. This is the first time the Women in Cybersecurity event is being held in Tucson.

WiCyS is regarded as the forum for women to expand their opportunities in the field of cybersecurity. It was launched in 2013 by Dr. Ambareen Siraj, director, Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center, Tennessee Tech University, as a collaborative project between Tennessee Tech, University of Memphis and Jackson State Community College.

“WiCyS continues to innovatively expand its mission to bring together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry,” Dr. Siraj said. “This event is exclusively designed as the forum for speakers and guests to exchange knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring to raise interest in the fascinating and lucrative field of cybersecurity. Any individual or organization interested in supporting recruiting and retention efforts for women in cybersecurity is encouraged to participate.”

Dr. Hsinchun Chen, 2017 Conference co-chair, serves as UA Eller College’s Regents’ Professor of MIS, Thomas R. Brown Chair in Management and Technology, and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. UA Eller College and the MIS Department house the largest cybersecurity fellowship program in the nation under the National Science Foundation ($5 million over five years), and the department has been actively involved in fostering education and research for under-represented groups, such as Women in Cybersecurity.

“This past year put a spotlight on the need for qualified cybersecurity professionals,” Dr. Chen said. “Not only do government entities need to worry about cyber breaches, but businesses of all sizes are also at risk. There is a severe labor shortage, and women make up just 11 percent of the world’s information security workforce. We hope this event will inspire more women to explore this growing field.”

Speakers for this year’s event are:

  • Dr. Annie Anton, professor and chair of the School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Michelle Finneran Dennedy, vice president and chief privacy officer, Cisco
  • Jenn L. Henley, director of security, Facebook
  • Linda R. Medler, director of cyber, Raytheon Missile Systems Advanced Missile Systems
  • Diane Miller, director of InfoSec Operations and Identity Management, Northrop Grumman
  • J. Radowicz, security engineer, Google
  • Rinki Sethi, senior director of security operations and strategy, Palo Alto Networks
  • D. Renee Tarun, deputy special assistant to the director / deputy director, NSA for Cyber / National Security Agency’s Cyber Task Force
  • Wendi Whitmore, global lead, IBM X-Force Security Services

The conference includes keynote presentations, workshops, poster competitions, mentoring sessions and a career fair.

This year’s corporate sponsors include Facebook, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, Raytheon, Palo Alto Networks, IBM, Target, Endgame, the CyberWire, Google,, and CyberTraining 365.

Supporting academic and government institutions include Eller College of Management, the University of Arizona, Department of Homeland Security, Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group, Rochester Institute of Technology, Indiana University, University of Texas Dallas, ACM SIGSAC, Mississippi State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbus State University, SANS, CISSE and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Tickets cost $150 for academic participants and $350 for non-academic participants. To register, visit