BU Leads Efforts Towards Educating Women about Cybersecurity

Boston University is among the small number of organizations featured in The Wall Street Journal for their efforts to teach young women about computer science- and cybersecurity-related problems.

According to the WSJ, there is a significant shortage of women in the cybersecurity field today, with women filling just 11 percent of current cybersecurity jobs. With a projected growth of 28 percent by the year 2026, the goal is to inspire more young women to pursue a field in cybersecurity.

Sarah Larbi, a recent BU graduate who now works at Liberty Mutual Insurance on cybersecurity issues, has spent her past two summers teaching Codebreakers, a program  sponsored by the BU-affiliated Modular Approach to Cloud Security NSF Frontiers project. Run by Cynthia Brossman with faculty mentors Manuel Egele, Sharon Goldberg, and Mayank Varia, the summer program teaches high school freshman and sophomore girls about cybersecurity. During this program, girls will perform exercises such as finding websites with the high third-party trackers, which seeks to keep tabs on the websites people visit to provide relevant ads.

“It’s an inspiring thing to see girls not feel like they [have] to be quiet, that it [is] OK to be curious and learning,” Larbi said about the passionate young women.

[Read the entire article on the Wall Street Journal, subscription required]