ShaktiCon 2021, a women-only, international eConference on cyber security, by the Coimbatore-based Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, a deemed university, and one of India’s leading multi-campus, multi-disciplinary teaching and research institutions, has attracted the participation of over 3,000 cybersecurity students and professionals, from across 16 countries, spanning 7 continents.
The three-day conference featured talks and presentations by 25 international speakers and experts. Among the key topics taken up for deliberations during the panel discussions and live interactions were cryptography, bluetooth security, 4G & 5G security on drones, Machine Learning for cybersecurity, threat modeling, cyber crimes, fuzzing, and cyber warfare.
ShakiCon 2021 also witnessed the distribution of prizes to the winners of a women-only Capture the Flag (CTF) cybersecurity competition, held earlier this month in which contestants faced challenges from the fields of cryptography, reversing, forensics, Pwn and web exploitation.
Commenting about this global conference, Dr. P Venkat Rangan, Vice-Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, said, “Cybersecurity remains a male dominated industry, where women account only for 11% of the jobs. Though nearly half of computer users are women, they are not adequately represented in the cybersecurity space. But cybersecurity offers a viable career path for women. In this context, we are glad to organise ShaktiCon as an exclusive platform for women researchers and hackers from around the world to gain skills and help fix the gender gap in cybersecurity
We believe that conferences like ShaktiCon play an important role in advancing the leadership and professional development of women in cybersecurity. The presentations of experts participating in the conference highlighted the growing opportunities for women in cybersecurity and created awareness about the next generation of offensive and defensive security technologies, among the women participants.”
Among the main speakers who participated in the event included Ms Rinki Seth, VP & Chief Information Security Officer, Twitter Inc, Ms. Rama Vedashree, CEO, Data Security Council of India, a premier industry body on cybersecurity and data protection in India, Ms. Marion Marschalek, founder, Blackhoodie, an organisation that conducts women-only reverse engineering boot camps and conferences, and Ms. Neeta Verma, Director General of National Informatics Centre, a premier technology organization of the Government of India.
The speakers highlighted the career opportunities women have in cybersecurity and the need for more women to enter the cybersecurity field. The technology sessions covered topics such as basic types of cyber protection, security architecture, components, and models, the working of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and its importance in securing current day devices, basic cryptography, quantum cryptography, quantum key distribution and hardware and software approach to Quantum cryptography.
A session dedicated to drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles featured discussions on 4G and 5G security on drones, data mining systems, anomaly detection in drones, protocols and robots used in controlling drones and the security involved. The conference hosted talks on Machine Learning for security, threat modelling, secure software development lifecycle, malware forensics, among others.