Are Women Better At Cybersecurity Than Men?

KEY POINTS
  • Cybercrime cost corporations $5.2 trillion in 2019 and is expected to rise to $6 trillion by next year
  • Women are more likely to use unique passwords on personal accounts than men, making it less likely they will be hacked
  • Young people are less concerned about cyberattacks than their elders

Women are better at cybersecurity than men, more likely to create unique passwords to protect themselves online and more concerned about the potential harm from hacking, according to a study by NordPass.

The study showed that 43% of women always use a unique password for online store accounts, 57% for banks and other financial institutions. Half have unique passwords for personal email and 38% for communication apps.

In comparison, just 36% of men use unique passwords for online stores, half for bank and other financial accounts, 42% for personal email and 31% for communication apps.

The result is that fewer women than men fall victim to cybercrime – 46% vs. 54%.

Yet only about 24% of cybersecurity workers are women.

Cyberattacks cost corporations $5.2 trillion globally in 2019 with damages expected to hit $6 trillion by 2021.

“Many women in IT [information technology] and security actually don’t have personal social media accounts. Here’s why: I regularly get DMs on Twitter and Instagram from men, asking for me to hack into an ex or current girlfriend’s account. Sometimes these people requesting this say they’re in a current relationship, but often, it’s really apparent they’re cyberstalkers,” Messdaghi said in response to a query by International Business Times.

Messdaghi said getting more women involved in cybersecurity is a must. Because of the glass ceiling, women often “up-skill aggressively and work hard to break through,” she said.

Shannon Lietz, DevSecOps leader at Intuit, agreed that more women are needed in the cybersecurity field.

“Cybersecurity is an art of problem-solving, and you need a lot of people looking at that problem from different points of view to arrive at a really comprehensive solution. Currently, there’s an incredible dearth of women globally who could participate,” she said.

Soudamini Modak, senior market planning manager at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said women approach cybersecurity from a multidimensional direction that goes beyond software programming.

“We bring additional skills to the table that set us apart including analytical skills, higher emotional intelligence, attention to detail and thought leadership,” Modak said.

Hannah Hart, technology writer at ProPrivacy, said women generally are more aware of threats to their personal security than men — both online and off.

“Women are less likely to take risks where safety is concerned, they’re better able to identify potential threats, and it’s paid off for them – women are 8% less likely than men to fall prey to cybercrimes,” Hart said.

The NordPass study also found young people were less likely to worry about cybersecurity than their older peers.

This article was written by Marcy Kreiter and originally appeared in International Business Times.

Take Back Your Day

Learn how the latest technologies can free up your time so you can focus on your business

Share This