There are people in the cybersecurity industry who earn their chops sifting through the Dark Web or analyzing code and trends, but then there are others whose special skill is assembly a great cyber team.
Janine Darling, founder and CEO of Stash Secure Data, falls into this category. Janine's varied background includes stints heading the decidedly non-cyber focused companies Medallion Retail and Spin: The business of brands to recently becoming a member in December 2017 of InfraGard National, a partnership between the FBI and members of the private sector.
Darling is known in the industry as a person who solves problems, a skill that is certainly needed in the cybersecurity space.
“I think Janine's ‘special sauce' so to speak is that she has an eye for understanding problems, and being able to empathize with her clients. What makes the flavor of her sauce so memorable is her passion which I think is what makes her so good and being a creative problem solver,” says Lydia Kostopoulos, founder of Sapien21.
This past year Janine is particularly pleased with the work her team has done.
“I am very proud of our track record over the last year, as the quickly moving security landscape has finally and publicly landed on the crux of our current data security maladies: it's the data itself that needs protecting. Defensive postures help but were not built to protect the data.” she says.
Kostopoulos also noted that Darling is perfectly comfortable hopping down into the trenches with her team where she is always open to possible solutions that might help solve the problem.
“I personally believe that the companies people should build are companies that solve problems, and as someone who is looking to start her own company one day I look to Janine for inspiration,” Kostopoulos says.
Darling is also putting her problem solving and creative skills to use to help attract more women to the security field through her activity in Women in International Security and Google Women Tech Makers, however, what she truly believes will help tip the balance is the classroom. She notes that cybersecurity as a sector faces its own challenges when it comes to becoming more gender diverse noting there are still very few women that have made a career of security, and also have become known as cybersecurity experts and evangelists.
“What will tip the balance is education. Women need to be exposed at early ages to the benefits of a STEM education, the proliferation of jobs that exist particularly in cybersecurity, and what an impact can be made by concentrating their efforts there,” she says. “There are also some grains of truth in the fact that there are more women than men who simply aren't interested in a STEM career path or lifestyle. The point is, the more women that are educated about cybersecurity, the more women that will sign on to the cause. It's about volume, exposure, and having the right data that fosters the right choices.”