WiCyS founder Ambareen Siraj. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Dr. Ambareen Siraj, Founder Of WiCyS, Named 2020 Cybersecurity Person Of The Year

Cybersecurity Ventures bestows third annual award on professor, researcher, and community organizer

– From the Editors at Cybersecurity Ventures

Sausalito, Calif. – Dec. 31, 2020

Cybersecurity Ventures announced that Dr. Ambareen Siraj, professor of Computer Science and founding director of the Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) at Tennessee Tech University, has been named 2020 Cybersecurity Person Of The Year.

Dr. Siraj is the founder and a board member at WiCyS (Women in Cybersecurity), the only non-profit membership organization with international reach that is dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring.

“WiCyS was established in 2012 and it has blossomed into one of the most important organizations in our industry due in large part to Dr. Siraj’s guidance and spirit,” says Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief at Cybercrime Magazine. “Dr. Siraj is selfless and never wants to take credit for anything, but she deserves to be recognized for giving us WiCyS.”

Cybercrime Radio: Dr. Ambareen Siraj

Founder and board member at WiCyS

The popular WiCyS annual conference was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t deter Dr. Siraj. She and her team pivoted and spearheaded a successful virtual conference. The next WiCyS conference is scheduled to be held in Denver, Colo. on Sep. 8-10, 2021.

A resident of Tennessee, Dr. Siraj endured a difficult year including storms that ravaged the local and surrounding areas. But she persisted and tended to her students at Tennessee Tech, and the WiCyS community.

Dr. Siraj’s effort to educate students and enhance the cybersecurity field of study goes beyond classes, research and outreach projects, workshops and conferences. She has authored or co-authored more than 40 journal and conference articles while taking an active part in promoting cybersecurity training throughout the nation. She is also a frequent speaker in various cybersecurity conferences nationwide. Dr. Siraj was a recipient of the ­Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education Exceptional Leadership in Education Award in 2018.

In 2018, Cybersecurity Ventures named Sylvia Acevedo, Girl Scouts of the USA CEO, its first Cybersecurity Person Of The Year. In 2019, Craig Newmark, billionaire philanthropist and founder of Craigslist, received the award.