Cyber Insurance Specialist, Vaibhavi Sarkar, Discusses Female Leadership in Cyber Insurance

Check out this interview with Vaibhavi Sarkar, an experienced Claims Consultant at Sedgwick, Australia. In this article, Sarkar explains what challenges she encountered becoming a female leader in Cyber Insurance and how the CCIS course marked the beginning of her Cyber Insurance journey.
female leadership in cyber insurance interview

It’s not often that we get to discuss female leadership in cyber insurance with our graduates, but Sarkar is a Cyber Insurance Specialist and was chosen as 1 of 50 women to be supported by the Tangible Uplift Program – Women in Cybersecurity Leadership. The goal of the Tangible Uplift Program is to train and assist 50 women across Australia in 2022 to pass the CISM written exam in order to increase their cybersecurity skills/knowledge, uplift their credibility index and marketability, and provide a pathway to obtain CISM certification. 

Q: How did you get into the Cyber Insurance Industry?                                                                 

A: I have been in the Insurance Industry for over 7 years now. From around 2017, when Cyber Insurance claims started coming in, I started developing a keen interest in the nitty-gritty of the process. After beginning to think of how to gain the vital knowledge necessary to work in cyber insurance, I did a few skill-based insurance components but was not satisfied. I was an experienced Claims professional on the lookout for a course that will give me that edge and confidence to being a Cyber Claim Consultant but could not find a suitable Specialist Cyber Insurance course.

Q: What brought you to the Certified Cyber Insurance Professional (CCIS) course?                  

A: As mentioned, for a while I was frantically searching for Cyber Insurance courses on Google, and LinkedIn, talking to industry people, doing free cyber courses, etc. Then suddenly, I started seeing these dynamic Senior managers getting Cyber certified through Cyber Insurance Academy. Finally having found a course, which was tailored to Cyber Insurance Professionals, I felt happy and relieved at the same time. My curiosity about the content was awakened,  and after reaching out to alumni of the CCIS course, and hearing their high praise for the course, I decided to come to the Academy to gain the cyber knowledge necessary to give full justice to my Cyber Insurance Clients.

Q: How did taking the Certified Cyber Insurance Professional (CCIS) course benefit you in facilitating a smooth career change?

A: Since I came from a non-cyber background, I was worried if I would understand the cyber language, but even the technical content in the Certified Cyber Insurance Specialist (CCIS) course is easy to understand. The videos and graphics helped me fully comprehend and memorize the technical concepts and buzzwords of the industry easily. The assignments are very well designed, and the research assignments helped in cracking through the topics in a fun learning way. 

Q: What was your favorite aspect of the CCIS course, and would you recommend the CCIS course to other women working to become a leader in the field of Cyber Insurance?

A: My favorite aspect of the course was the required assignments, which we need to pass in one sitting. Preparing for them was fun and meaningful at the same time. The Certified Cyber Insurance Specialist (CCIS) course has given me the in-depth knowledge of cyber risks associated with hardware, software, and cyber concepts, such as attack surfaces, and had me hooked up from day one to the end. I would certainly recommend it not only to women but to men as well, and I would advise anybody who does not have a cyber background but has a keen interest to enter the Cyber Insurance world, to enroll in the CCIS course.

Q: What challenges did you encounter on your way to becoming a role model for female leadership in the field of Cyber Insurance and how did you master them?

A: This course was the beginning of my cyber journey. Once I completed a few modules, I had the confidence to apply for the Tangible upliftment program for Women, where 50 women all over Australia were screened and selected on various grounds. I was lucky to be selected as one of the 50 women and started studying towards this as well as the CISM course with Tangible. My hard work paid off when I got nominated in “Australia’s Best Cyber Security student of the Year 2022” category. Although I did not get the award, this humble beginning is more than what I envisioned when I started my first Cyber module with Cyber Insurance Academy. The Academy has laid a solid foundation for my future success. The biggest challenge  I faced was getting that first break, but I have now secured two casual Cyber Security Business Analyst roles besides my full-time role as Claims Consultant at Sedgwick. At this point, I would also like to thank my mentors Asaf Armoni and Nivi Newar for their support and encouragement throughout the course.

Q: Where do you see the biggest challenges for the Australian Cyber Insurance Market in the next three years?

A: In the next three years,  the biggest challenge for the Australian Cyber Insurance Market will most likely include educating employees and getting them certified with courses such as CCIS. This will help them understand this dense and highly technical field from its very foundations, understand the compliance part more effectively and relate the policy wording. The CCIS course also educates you in the underwriting capacity which is a bonus. This is a great way to transform oneself into a Cyber Insurance Pro. More Australians need to be cyber-trained and made aware of the dangers of cybercrime to safeguard not only us but also our country. This is the need of this new world!

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