To track levels of diversity and inclusion in the cyber security industry, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and KPMG UK, supported by Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) of Imperial College London, have compiled Decrypting Diversity 2020, the first joint report in an annual series aimed at promoting diversity in security teams.
A diverse workforce minimises the risk of leaving blind spots. After all, attackers do not come from one single background, so the more heterogeneous security team is, the better it is equipped to anticipate threat actors’ moves.
According to the report, 72% of respondents report confidence in being themselves in the workplace, but compared to the survey as a whole, LGBT respondents report discrimination 8 times as much, with female respondents reporting 2.5 times the level of negative incidents. For both groups combined these incidents were not reported 74% of the time.
Although the report didn’t purport to represent the industry exactly (it was based on 1,252 responses), it was interesting to see that almost a third (31 percent) of cyber security sector respondents were female, and 10 percent identified as gay – which is higher in both cases than the technology sector as a whole, and that the ethnic mix was representative of the country as a whole. But both Afro-Caribbean/Black British (41 percent) and Asian/Asian British (27%) had high reporting of negative incidents compared to less than three percent for straight white males from higher socio-economic groups.