Virtual Kyle Kennedy - Stories, not resumes: Breaking educational and other barriers in cybersecuri

Listen to the full episode here:

Today's episode is a reading of an amazing written by Kyle Kennedy, president of The reading is performed by Allison, an IBM Watson personality. I also go through some recent resources discovered to help you on your journey to a Career in Infosec.


Kyle F. Kennedy is a social cybersecurity expert and president of His organization provides foundational soft-skills training for a small fee (supported by corporation donations) and plans to launch soft-skill Masterclasses in 2019.They helped organize an event called Day of Shecurity, for women of diverse backgrounds to have one day of learning: tech/ hard skills, soft skills. They had opportunities for mentorship and guidance. Day of Shecurity was FREE to attendees!


Article: Stories, not resumes: Breaking educational and other barriers in cybersecurity

Google Image Search for "cybersecurity"

Associate of (ISC)²

Adrian Kaylor's talk "Sales Engineering and getting into infosec"


City College of SF Cybersecurity Program

CCSF Information Security (Cybersecurity) Analyst Apprenticeship

Sam Bowne's Classes

Article in IBM Watson's Expressive SSML used on the show

Intro/Outro Music: Cascadia by Trash80

Full Text of Article:

When you search for images under the key word “cybersecurity,” a familiar shot always turns up: a guy wearing a hoodie, operating in a dark room, fingers on a keyboard.

I’d like to replace that image with…anything. To be a cybersecurity professional, you can be anything. And anyone.

We’ve heard the statistics. There is currently a human capital crisis, with 1.5 million cybersecurity jobs available and no takers. The number is projected to balloon to 3.2 million by 2021.

But who exactly are these cybersecurity professionals we are looking for?

For so long, we have had our own definition of who can fit that talent. A good cybersecurity professional has to have a computer science degree. They must have solid professional background. They have to be male. This pattern of defining success has led us to the shortage we are experiencing today. It’s kind of like insanity, really: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

What really makes up a good professional? Every human being brings a different experience. You need critical thinking and creative thinking, both. A variety of educational, ethnic, geographical, backgrounds.

For example, cybersecurity is not the obvious career path for someone with a biology degree; however, a biology major might help throw a new perspective on cybersecurity given that advancements of technology will eventually interface with the human body organically creating a scary threat landscape.

Often too we talk about cybersecurity in the context of oil and gas, or transport, or finance. Cybersecurity today and going forward, is a horizontal across every industry, as opposed to just being by itself.

Every industry needs cybersecurity professionals. People from other disciplines could provide their own perspectives and add value to how the job is done. For example, some of the best cybersecurity communicators otherwise known as “Social Engineers”, I know are drama majors, communication majors and liberal arts majors.

Why are soft skills critical? The risks here are complex. If these risks are not articulated in a business language, such that executives are not able to grasp their importance, then what you will have as a result are cyber policies, created from the ivory tower, which everyone must follow, and which would inhibit the business instead of enabling it.

If cybersecurity becomes more inclusive instead of exclusive, then we will be all the more superior to the attackers. As it is, it’s the enemy who are inclusive. They don’t have any requirement that hackers should have this or that degree or should have attended an Ivy League school. Most hackers are self-taught, and when something sparks their interest, they go online. They read. Nobody tells them they could not do it because they are not a good fit.

Initial strides

Foremost, before anything can be done, there must be an acknowledgment of the current situation and the need to be more welcoming. Business leaders and decision-makers must recognize the unconscious bias that they have. They have to understand that creating positive disruption and changing patterns are a business differentiator.

My organization is active in our advocacy for inclusion in cybersecurity, specifically for women. We have been speaking to organizations on positive disruption. A good way to create action is through regional events and grassroots involvement. We bring the community together, and it is these communities that conduct classes and organize meet-ups and training courses.

We did this in reaction to the more established cyber