Wanted: More women hackers – TechRepublic

Capture the Flag challenge encourages women to pursue cybersecurity careers and connects experts with newcomers

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Several security companies are hosting a capture the flag challenge this weekend to build the pipeline of women in information security careers.More than 1,000 people have signed up for the all-women event from noon – four on Nov. 2: “Women Unite Over Capture the Flag.” 

The Capture the Flag (CTF) competition tests information security skills including: Cryptography, stego, binary analysis, reverse engineering, mobile security, and other talents. Event organizers said beginners will have the opportunity to practice their skills in a reverse engineering challenge, while experienced security experts will take on more advanced challenges. 

People will join the sold-out event online and at physical locations in San Francisco and Baltimore. Point3 Security is hosting the East Coast location. Participants will use the company’s Escalate training platform in Saturday’s CTF event. The company specializes in workforce development and measurement for cybersecurity professionals.

Synack is the lead sponsor of the event, along with Remediant, Magic, and Cybrary.  Point3 Security, Gatebreachers, Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, @WoSECTweets, and WomenHackerz are also supporting the competition. 

Aisling MacRunnels, a founding member of Synack and the company’s CMO, leads Synack’s Courageous Women CISO Initiative, which encourages more women to enter the cybersecurity field. MacRunnels said the CTF challenge is part of several projects to keep women who major in STEM in college in the IT industry after graduation. 

“Fifty percent of STEM majors are women, but the numbers go down to…