Minister for home affairs and cybersecurity in Australia, Clare O’Neil has presented the 2023 ESET Women in Cyber Security Scholarship to this year’s recipient at Parliament House, Canberra, in conjunction with International Women’s Day. This is the second year for the scholarship in Australia.
The scholarship is part of ESET’s global Women in Cyber Security Scholarship program for women currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.
This year's winner is Shradha Angrish, who is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) with a Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at the University of Adelaide.
The ESET Women in Cyber Security Scholarship was launched in 2016 to help support and encourage women who aspire to have a career in information security. Applicants must be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited college or university within Australia, be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (or equivalent GPA in 9.0 scale).
A recent cybersecurity study found that the percentage of women in the cybersecurity workplace has remained nearly constant over the last three years, with women making up approximately 25% of the security workforce. To address this issue, most survey respondents said that they believe the best way to increase women's representation in the field was to encourage women to pursue STEM degrees in college.
“To make Australia the most cyber-secure country in the world by 2030 we need to invest in the people who will defend Australians and our assets from this massive and growing threat. The percentage of women in cybersecurity is growing, and initiatives such as ESET scholarship compliment the work the government is doing to support that influx of women. Women rising through ranks in cybersecurity will encourage the younger generation into STEM-related studies, and into technical roles,” says O’Neil.
“We believe this initiative, and our alignment with Minister O’Neil, as a leader for Australia’s cybersecurity portfolio, will inspire more women into the IT Security sector. Shradha’s exceptional talent and passion for cybersecurity, particularly in the areas of digital privacy and hygiene, will make her a valuable asset to the industry,” adds Parvinder Walia, ESET Asia-Pacific Japan (APJ) President.
“For more than 30 years, ESET has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure and consumers worldwide from increasingly sophisticated digital threats. From endpoint and mobile security to endpoint detection and response, as well as encryption and multifactor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use solutions unobtrusively protect and monitor 24/7, updating defences in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption.”
“Being awarded this scholarship is an honour and a privilege that inspires me to do more. To be recognised for my efforts is the best kind of encouragement. It's an incredible reminder that there are people and support systems that want me to succeed," says Angrish. Her participation in STEM subjects in high school uncovered her passion for cybersecurity in high school, completing two research projects around digital privacy and reconnaissance (spy) satellites. She was awarded the STEM Award for exceptional contributions to STEM learning in 2020. Since commencing her double degree at the University of Adelaide, she has received the SACE Stage 2 merit for a research project on digital privacy, data rights, legal systems and public awareness and won the Future Physicist Award from the Australian Institute of Physics.