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Friday, July 24, 2020

PCI SSC boosts women in cybersecurity

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) unveiled a year-long blog series in January 2020 designed to improve gender diversity in the payment security profession. Closing the Gender Gap in Payment Security, highlights female security leaders who are shaping payments industry security, compliance and best practices, council representatives stated.

"We at the PCI Security Standards Council believe strongly that there is a need for more women in cybersecurity and in 2020 we are pleased to be launching the Women in Payments: Closing the Gender Gap in Payment Security series," wrote Mark Meissner, vice president and global head of public relations at the PCI SSC, on Jan. 6, 2020. "This series will profile a different woman in our industry each month and highlight their remarkable career as well as their guidance and advice to other women on how to develop a career path in cybersecurity."

Profiles in leadership

Meissner and Alicia Malone, senior manager, public relations for PCI SSC, profiled security leaders from a variety of backgrounds, including law enforcement and hospitality. Year to date, the following on-camera and text version interviews with industry leaders have been posted to PCI Perspectives on the PCI SSC website:

  • Stacy Hughes, senior vice president, IT governance, risk and compliance, Global Payments Inc.

  • Amy Zirkle, payments and deposits program manager for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and former vice president, industry affairs, Electronic Transactions Association

  • Marie-Christine Vittet, data compliance manager, Accor Group

  • Tracey Long, head of strategy and subject matter expert, PCI standards programmes, Worldpay from FIS

  • Julie Quandt, senior manager, payment services data security, Discover Financial Services

  • Diane Rogerson, managing director, technology controls and cybersecurity, JPMorgan Chase

  • Lisa Conroy, senior leader, merchant and partner compliance, Worldpay from FIS

While not all interviewees had initially chosen to specialize in security, all have found rewarding careers within the sector. For example, Vittet referred to her career as "a way of life," and Rogerson claimed that her career "chose her" and not the other way around.

Formalized path to inclusion

Having a clearly defined path to diverse representation on a company's board of directors was among the themes explored in the security leader interviews.

"Diversified boards are extremely important, not only to have members that can provide a view on diversity issues, but also for varying perspectives on the company and industry in general," said Stacey Holleran, senior director, corporate communications at ControlScan. "Companies that haven't already done so should make and execute on an 18- to 24-month plan to diversify their board in a way that better represents society's make up. It's a sound strategy that can only fast track, or further cement, their position as an industry leader."

Conroy also expressed the hope that women will be better represented in the information security sector, which she stated offers endless opportunities for women. She pointed out that women bring a fresh perspective to security in general, and communicate differently, which she noted would benefit the industry as a whole.

"Hopefully we will start to see the percentages rise in terms of women representation in all cybersecurity roles, but especially in the senior roles," Conroy stated. "We need to see more and more women as chief security officers and founders of new security-related companies."

For additional information about Closing the Gender Gap in Payment Security, visit blog.pcisecuritystandards.org/topic/women-in-payments? end of article

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