June 17, 2024

New U of G Cybersecurity Club Dedicated to Uplifting Community

When graduate student Keerthana Madhavan initially arrived to the University of Guelph last semester, she noticed two points: a welcoming neighborhood and the absence of a pupil cybersecurity club.  

With the aid of Dr. Rozita Dara, a professor in the University of Laptop or computer Science at the School of Engineering and Bodily Sciences, she started out CyberGryph. The new club is U of G’s chapter of Ladies in Cybersecurity (WiCyS), an American-dependent group fostering global communities of girls in cybersecurity through networking and professional enhancement options. WiCyS is sponsored by corporations like Google, Microsoft and The Residence Depot. 

Earning cybersecurity far more accessible 

A yellow promotional poster for CyberGryph. Text, above a square image of gryphon with the words "CyberGryph", reads "Cyber security, Gryphon-style. creating a safer and more secure online environment for everyone". The word "Coming" in bright red, capital lettering is aligned vertically on the left-hand side of the gryphon graphic, below which is the word "soon" in the same style as "coming". The logos for Women in Cybersecurity and the University of Guelph are below "soon".

Making a club is not new to Madhavan, who from time to time questioned her choice to pursue her bachelor’s degree in personal computer science. 

To inspire herself and other people in cybersecurity, and to teach the broader group about the rising field, she made Windsor’s WiCyS chapter, the initial in Canada. 

At U of G, Madhavan is now pursuing a grasp of computer science with an synthetic intelligence specialization and investigation in cybersecurity. 

About 18 months back, An Nguyen, former system supervisor for the class-dependent learn of cybersecurity and risk intelligence, was approached by a agent from WiCyS to produce a U of G chapter and then achieved out to Dara for assistance. 

Generating diverse spaces 

Keerthana Madhavan
Keerthana Madhavan

Ahead of signing up for U of G in 2013, Dara labored for the Privateness Commissioner’s Workplace of Ontario and for BlackBerry. Her activities there and before in grad faculty ended up usually enjoyable, she explained, and even though there weren’t a large amount of females all-around her, she was between diverse college students from various backgrounds and ethnicities.  

“I was lucky that business and federal government environments were being fairly varied,” she claimed. “I understood how considerably it can support generate new concepts and foster an innovative culture. It is also an natural environment that is much more compassionate, exactly where you will feel bundled.” 

Dara has found escalating recognition of gals in cybersecurity. In 2014, she brought the Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing conference (then referred to as the Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing) to U of G. 

“There were all-around 300 attendees, so it was a huge function at the time,” she reported. “Events like this aid raise consciousness about the IT and cybersecurity work opportunities for females and the need to have to create more inclusive and diverse workforces.” 

Applying passion for change 

Dr. Rozita Dara smiles for a photo in front a stone brick building
Dr. Rozita Dara

CyberGryph is nonetheless becoming formulated, with web-site structure and member and board recruitment underneath way. By March, Madhavan, who is CyberGryph president, and Dara hope to start off internet hosting networking occasions, workshops, mentorship packages and talks showcasing cybersecurity at U of G.  

Further than that, they hope to persuade a growing sense of local community. 

“We want to make a house for pupils to get to know each and every other and make connections,” reported Madhavan. “I experienced some great guidance and mentors support me all through my degree, so I want to do the exact for many others.” 

Make contact with: 

Dr. Rozita Dara 
[email protected]