Empowering Women in Cybersecurity: My SWICS Journey
Think about a typical office day when your manager’s email arrives in your inbox. But this email is no ordinary message it’s an invitation to a new adventure.
It marked the start of my journey with SWICS, particularly Cohort-3, unlocking a world filled with knowledge and expertise.
Let me introduce you to SWICS: SAP’s initiative empowering women in cybersecurity.
About SWICS: Empowering Women in Cybersecurity
SWICS, short for SAP Women in Cyber Security, is SAP’s flagship program. Its mission is to nurture in-house female talents, fortifying the Secure Intelligent Enterprise.
SWICS equips women with tools and mentorship to excel in the vital domain of Security & Privacy.
Our Managing Director, Sindhu Gangadharan, inaugurated the SWICS program on March 8, 2021. It’s a unique initiative at SAP, and in a nutshell, it’s a short-term investment for a long-term career opportunity.
Our journey began on March 8th, International Women’s Day, with the launch of Cohort-3. It was an exclusive experience with limited seats, making it truly special.
Cybersecurity isn’t merely a checkbox at SAP; it’s integral to our development methodology, the Secure Software Development and Operations Lifecycle. In today’s digital world, a security mindset is essential for every task.
The Learning Commences
My journey with SWICS continued as I eagerly registered for the SAP Women in Cyber Security (SWICS) Training & Mentorship program in 2023.
The first session, held on May 18, 2023, was the Product Standard Security Workshop. This session brought together 13 dynamic buddy pairs, each entrusted with comprehending two security requirements to be presented during the workshop. It wasn’t just work; it was a chance to forge connections, collaborate, delve into research, and effectively present our understanding of SAP Product Standard Security.
Exploring Diverse Horizons: A Journey of Discovery
But SWICS is more than just a single workshop. It’s an immersive journey that encompasses a many sessions, both online and offline.
We delved into a wide range of topics, from Audits and Compliance to Business Continuity Management (BCM). We explored the OWASP Top 10, engaged in Security Testing, delved deep into Threat Modeling, and dealt with Data Privacy Protection (DPP). One standout moment was the SWICS Cohort-3 Security Champion Program in June – a two-day deep dive into the realm of cybersecurity.
It offered profound insights into various security topics and allowed us to assess our understanding.
Mentorship Program: Shaping the Future Together
After months of enriching sessions, we reached a pivotal juncture – mentorship.
The SWICS team thoughtfully assigned mentors to each group, and these mentors have been our guiding stars.
They shared their rich experience and expertise to help us navigate the complexities of cybersecurity. This mentorship is the bridge that connects our newfound knowledge to real-world application, making career transitions a tangible reality.
Acknowledgments: Gratitude for the Guiding Lights
Before I conclude, I want to convey my sincere appreciation to the entire SWICS team. Their unwavering dedication and hard work in orchestrating these invaluable sessions have been incredibly inspiring.
I extend my gratitude to Santosh Chachadi, my manager, and offer a deep and heartfelt thanks to Sailaja Vadlamudi, Venkateswara Sarma Bhamidipati, GV, Venkateshbabu, and all those who contributed behind the scenes.
A special thanks goes to our MD, Sindhu Gangadharan, for inaugurating this program at SAP Labs India.
To the SWICS team, I’d like to say, “Keep up the fantastic work!”
Unlocking Your Path in Cybersecurity
Regardless of your background, cybersecurity welcomes all with a spirit of curiosity and a commitment to learning.
Women from diverse backgrounds are venturing into this field, leveraging their unique perspectives to tackle complex problems. You don’t require a cybersecurity degree to contribute in this fast-evolving landscape. Common traits among cybersecurity pros include curiosity, determination, an appetite for challenges, and a sense of enjoyment along the way. Whether you’re new to the field or an experienced IT professional, you can discover your passion and excel in your chosen area of cybersecurity.
“Remember, security is connected to every part of business; your path starts with discovering your passion”
Conclusion: A Bright Cybersecurity Journey
Reflecting on my SWICS journey, one word shines through is transformation.
I’ve acquired the basic skills to succeed in cybersecurity, and the future is full of promise. With my fellow cybersecurity enthusiasts, we’re ready to lead in this exciting field. Our journey is just beginning, and the cybersecurity world awaits our impact.
For more information, visit the SWICS page in the ASF JAM page