Women In AppSec Panel Discussion

October 28, 2015

InfosecGirls were invited to AppSecUSA 2015 for a panel discussion on “Encouraging diversity and advancing cybersecurity education”. The panel discussion was at 3:30 pm PDT. It was a panel of 3 with Infosecgirls co-founders Apoorva, Shruthi and Elissa Shevinsky,‎ CEO & CoFounder at JeKuDo Privacy Company. The event was moderated by Astha Singhal. The moderator asked  the Infosecgirls about the initiative . Below are the questions asked at the discussion and the answers by us :

  1. What is Infosecgirls initiative?

We are a community for women passionate about information security. We organise events, talks, workshop for women who wish to learn Information Security.We do these events for free of charge.

  1. What made us start Infosecgirls?

Apoorva and Shruthi got introduced to The Null Community (null.co.in) by their mentor and become regular attendees to the meet-ups. When both saw that women attendees were very few at the meet-ups they discussed about this concern with their mentors to do something about it and then they teamed-up to start Infosecgirls.

  1. What is the Vision?

To reach out to women in large numbers and spread awareness about information security. We aim for active participation of women in Security conferences and meet-ups

  1. What are things that have been most effective to increase participation?

The workshops session on beginner topics in InfoSec and awareness programs.

  1. What is the biggest challenge?

Lack of volunteering to actively contribute to the initiative.

  1. If I gave you 3 wishes what would they be?
  • Growing big as an initiative with lot of volunteers
  • Active Women participation in the industry
  • Women groups winning CTF’s
  1. What is personally the most rewarding thing at these events for you?

The positive feedback from participants. Especially when the attendees say they learnt something new and also for us as instructors the learning we have at these session.

  1. What are the biggest near future initiative?

Starting online session with speakers from different locations, getting a fixed venue for the session.



Apart from these there were discussion on encouraging diversity, making work environment friendly for women employees, giving importance to diversity while hiring , how men can be supportive to women at their workplace.

Elissa, the 3rd panelist spoke about her book LeanOut, effective ways to improve diversity in InfoSec and few challenges faced by women in the world of Tech.

The last few minutes of the session was kept open to audience to share their experience on what their organisation has been doing  to create a friendly environment and also some brilliant ideas for Infosecgirls to grow big.