Thoughts on International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED22).

By Abigail Hipp, Engineering Program Manager, Imply

Last week, International Women in Engineering Day 2022 was celebrated. According to the event website, “This year we’ll be celebrating the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day. We’re profiling the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, the inventors and innovators who dare to be part of the solution and are helping to build towards a brighter future.” Brought to you by The Women’s Engineering Society, this year’s theme was, “Inventors & Innovators.” Abigail Hipp shared her thoughts on #INWED22:

International Women in Engineering Day celebrates the hard working women who dedicate themselves to innovating and progressing the engineering fields. While there’s been a lot of improvement in the industry for women over the years, there’s still more that can be done. Two primary areas where I see room for growth are around mentorship and recognition for women. It can be difficult to picture yourself in a job where there aren’t many people who look like you, so the more we can provide women with these kinds of resources, the more they will believe that they can have success. 

I also want to encourage women to be bold, courageous and feel confident that they have the skills, intelligence and perseverance to succeed. Find a mentor who can help you navigate your career and keep a circle of positive people around you. One great way to gain valuable experience is to volunteer your professional services for non-profit organizations—you’ll be giving back to your community while simultaneously practicing your craft.

One of my favorite things about my job is collaborating with an incredibly talented and diverse team of individuals to creatively solve problems. By bringing together diverse perspectives, your team will be able to create better products, which will benefit your company and the industry as a whole because it will open up a significant part of the customer base that shares those different perspectives.

Engaging families in cyber safety conversations.

By Kim Allman, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Government Affairs, NortonLifeLock

As parents, we want our children to learn and have fun with technology. We also want them to be safe, kind, and responsible digital citizens. Being a digital citizen is a lifelong experience with evolving challenges that can be difficult for families to keep up with. That’s why NortonLifeLock and National PTA created and reimagined The Smart Talk to provide an inclusive resource to help families have productive conversations about digital safety. Engage in your own “Conversations that Click” and check out The Smart Talk free tool that helps families set digital safety ground rules together.

Heard around the studio.

By the CyberWire team

We like to feature some of our newest and shiniest stuff in case you don’t have a chance to comb through our website like we do. This month, we wanted to share some more details about Control Loop now that the podcast launched and the newsletter is publishing. We also thought a look into our Hash Table might give you a new resource to check out as you continue our cybersecurity professional development and learning.

As we mentioned last month, Control Loop launched in the month of June. Control Loop is a new podcast and newsletter covering operational technology (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS) security. With the aim of bringing attention to industrial cybersecurity, Control Loop is an informative and educational resource for the international community of infrastructure operators and security professionals. Control Loop is a collaboration between the CyberWire, and Dragos. New episodes of the podcast release every two weeks and include the latest in OT cybersecurity news, an interview featuring a thought leader in the OT space sharing current industry trends, and the Control Loop Learning Lab’s educational segment. The newsletter is published monthly and you can subscribe to it and have it delivered to your inbox near the beginning of each month.

The CyberWire’s Hash Table is where the magic happens. The CyberWire’s CSO, Chief Analyst, and Senior Fellow, Rick Howard, sits at the head of the Hash Table and is joined a group of experienced cybersecurity experts that he’s curated to share their experiences and lend their perspectives to our podcasts and events. On Rick’s CSO Perspectives podcast, he and the members of the Hash Table meet and discuss today’s most pressing cybersecurity issues and challenges all through what Rick calls his Cybersecurity First Principles lens. If you have a chance and are a subscriber of CyberWire Pro, check out CSO Perspectives to hear from Rick and his Hash Table members. 

To connect or not connect?

By the CyberWire team

Face it, if you are reading this newsletter, you’ve got to be one of us, a cybersecurity professional who uses multiple devices and tools to assist us in doing our work in pursuit of our missions. These devices and tools make up the Internet of Things (IoT), or according to the CyberWire’s glossary: “A concept in which devices and appliances (and in some conceptions even animals and human beings) are assigned unique identifiers and afforded the technical ability to exchange data over networks without human-to-human or human-to-machine intervention. The Internet of Things encompasses devices and appliances not traditionally thought of as computers or endpoints: refrigerators, cars, thermostats, etc. Every day, the number of devices and the ways we can interact expands. The women’s team at the CyberWire recently started chatting about the Internet of Things on Slack. We discussed the pros and cons, privacy concerns, and ways these IoT devices make our lives easier. Here are some of our favs. Please share yours by sending us an email.

Jen Eiben, Senior Producer

Hands down, my favorite IoT device is my Apple Watch. If I run downstairs in the morning to grab something and forget to put my watch on, I feel naked. It’s the last thing I take off at night and usually the first thing I put on in the morning. I’m an Apple person through and through. In fact, our entire household is full of Apple products–Macs of all varieties, iPads with Magic Keyboards, iPhones, and Apple Watches. These devices help get my family through our days be it for work, school or our personal lives. As you know, those facets have intertwined somewhat since the pandemic started and many of us are working and learning remotely.

I am an early adopter and proud owner of one of the original Apple Watches and while that is now tucked into a box with my original iPhone, I use my current watch to help with many tasks. Aside from telling time and reminding me what the date is, it helps me feel safe (knowing that my family can locate me if I’m out running and gone longer than they expect). It reminds me when I have meetings or appointments or have to take medication. When I inevitably misplace my phone, I can answer calls on my watch and it plays that handy chime to help me locate my phone. I can use my watch to take photos with my phone, or play my fav podcasts. And, it has some pretty handy health features like telling me to get up and move or to take a moment to pause and center myself.

I know having a connected device like my watch opens me up to privacy issues, and I try to be smart about the apps I employ and the data they are permitted to share.

Rachel Gelfand, Staff Writer

My Amazon Echo Show and Alexa-enabled soundbar are my favorite IoT devices, hands down. The fact that I can have any question answered for me just by asking my Alexa-enabled devices has been pretty life-changing. Not to mention, I also have some of the most delicious recipes that have been provided by the Echo, which has been really nice as I’ve gotten to experience new food while living alone. My partner really likes the devices too, and uses the Echo for white noise at night to help himself sleep. I plan on buying more devices, like a Ring doorbell and Amazon-enabled smart plugs to push my mid-70s dwelling into today.

Gina Johnson, Advertising and Sales Operations

For as long as I can remember, I have been on the search for things that make life a little bit easier. I remember getting my first Palm PDA in 2004, and I knew my life was changed forever. As clunky as that thing was, I was able to keep my very busy days as a restaurant manager, as well as my personal life, somewhat organized. A Blackberry (which I still have in a box) followed in 2008, and it was a revelation. Having access to the Internet and dozens of apps in the palm of your hand truly was life-changing. I bet you’re thinking “I know where she is going with this…” and wondering if I am in love with my smartphone. Sorry to disappoint, but I am not. I actually kind of hate that it has become a must-have device. That moment of panic that everyone feels when they can’t find their phone or realize that they have left it on the kitchen counter as they are pulling into the grocery store (because that is where the shopping list is) is awful.

That being said, I have begun adding bits of IoT-connected devices to my house, because they are fun and oh-so-helpful. My Nest doorbell is my favorite. Who doesn’t love when solicitors ring the bell, opening up an app on your smartphone of choice and hitting that quick response button that says “Thanks, not interested”! Of course, the doorbell wouldn’t be complete without the Google Hub that allows you to see the doorbell camera from anywhere in the house, adjust the thermostat, turn on the oven, or check the status of the washer and dryer in the laundry room (I love that Google Nest integrates with Samsung SmartThings). A lot can be said for the integration of technology into our everyday lives, down to cooking and laundry, and obviously the biggest concern of IoT tech is security. I used to have major reservations about having appliances connected to my wifi, like many people. However, I also am of the school of thought that using brands that you trust, that have a good reputation, will leave you better off than using off-brand devices from fly-by-night vendors in online marketplaces. Having a connected home certainly makes my busy life a tiny bit easier, if not more comfortable. But in doing so, make smart choices and know that the risk is there. Oh, and don’t forget to disconnect every once in a while. 

Eliana White, Senior Digital Media Marketing Manager

My dad has been a self-proclaimed tech wiz since I can remember. Think of him as the Rick of our family. If anyone was on the market for a new computer or gadget, they’d always seek out his “expert” recommendation. (Editor’s note: Rick is Rick Howard, the CyberWire’s CSO, Chief Analyst, and Senior Fellow and all-around techie and pop culture aficionado.)

Recently, my dad came to visit me and was appalled by the fact that I have an “Amazon Household” since I have a Ring doorbell and an Alexa smart devices in my living room, kitchen and bedroom. Until he phrased it that way, it never really occurred to me that Amazon and Google have entire Smart Home divisions and were literally competing over the devices you use in your home. So I guess when you have a Google Assistant and a Nest doorbell, you’re on your way to becoming a “Google Household.” 

They’re really good at making you choose too, because everything in the same Smart Home division connects seamlessly. I had a Google Home assistant at one point, but it didn’t connect to my Ring doorbell, so I got an Alexa. Then I figured out I could control Amazon Smart Plugs and Bulbs with Alexa, and now I can turn just about anything on or off in my house by shouting to Alexa. Google has similar products in their offering, but once I went down the Amazon Smart Home rabbit hole, it was kind of hard to turn back.

I didn’t give much thought or do any research before my house became an “Amazon Household,” it kind of just happened. With that being said, what should’ve influenced my decision was to research which device had the better security and privacy policies. I’d say that’s definitely important when it comes to a device that quite literally is constantly listening to you. 

So do your research and pick your poison.