3 minutes read

Cyber Security Specialist, Dara Gibson, discusses Female Leadership in Cyber Security.

Check out this interview with Dara Gibson, an experienced Alliances Manager at Avertrium, Pheonix. In this article, Gibson explains why she chose to combine her technical background in cyber security with a better understanding of the insurance sector.

Gibson is a Cyber Security Specialist and President at Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) – the premier organization with national reach dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research, and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking, and mentoring.

Q: You have a very technical background as a Cyber Security Specialist; how did you get into the Cyber Insurance Industry?

A: As a cyber security specialist, with a focus on incident response, it is important to strategically align with cyber insurance and cyber law professionals prior to the cyber event occurrence. To better understand the marketplace, I wanted to become an expert in the overall insurance concepts. It provides credibility and the ability to speak about the necessity of cyber insurance and cybersecurity controls to provide proper risk management strategies for a cybersecurity program.

Q: Were you satisfied with the results of the Certified Cyber Insurance Specialist (CCIS) course and what was your favorite part?

A: The CCIS course was very well designed to ensure the success of the participants. Success was apparent not just from “passing the test”, but complete comprehension of the course work and materials. I enjoyed the “real world application” with the assignments that were included in the coursework.

Q: What would you recommend to others seeking a career in the field of Cyber Insurance?

A: The insurance industry has very specific requirements and the cyber liability side of it is no exception. I would suggest people utilize the course work and certification from the Cyber Insurance Academy’s course, along with the network of professionals that work in the field to enhance their own expertise and the expertise of their colleagues in the industry.

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: I guess my biggest challenge was my own limiting belief. I had to overcome myself and stand strong in my expertise. So often, new professionals lack the confidence to ask for guidance from a mentor or a sponsor. The mentors and sponsors want people to succeed and will give you the belief that you need to succeed until you have your own!

I remember the conversation I had with another cyber insurance specialist, and that person said, “I asked YOU to present at the conference, not your male counterpart. YOU! Because you have expertise and insight that others do not!” This was a clear point in my career when I realized I had become a leader.

I continue to learn, listen, and share knowledge with my mentees, mentors, colleagues, and clients, every day. And sometimes, I must be the belief system in others until they own their own belief! This continues to make me a better cyber insurance professional and role model for others in the field.

Q: Would you recommend the CCIS course to other women who are seeking to step up and become a leader in the field of Cyber Insurance?

Definitely – the CCIS course provides strong foundations for both insurance and cybersecurity concepts, which will enhance the credibility of leaders in this industry.

A: Where do you see the Cyber Insurance Market in the next three years?

As a professional with viewpoints on the cybersecurity side of the domain, I think the insurance market will continue to grow, as companies recognize the importance of insurance as a portion of the cyber resiliency structure. Cybersecurity controls and insurance should be utilized in tandem to create a cybersecurity program, not prioritizing one over the other. I expect that the cyber insurance industry will continue to grow and go through changes within the next three years. In order for us to stay ahead of threat actors, who continuously discover new attack vectors, the Cyber Insurance Industry must continue to adapt and develop timely response mechanisms to new emerging threats.

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