Successful First Women in Security and Cryptography Workshop

The first Women in Security and Cryptography (WISC) workshop of the CASA cluster of excellence took place from 21-23 September 2021. WISC is a sister event of the renowned computer security conference "Women in Theory" (WIT) and will take place every two years from now on.


Copyright: CASA

The digital workshop was opened by Axel Schölmerich, Rector of the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) and Eike Kiltz, Speaker of CASA and Holder of the Chair for Cryptography. Their words of welcome were followed by a broad and exciting three-day programme with contributions from renowned female scientists from all over the world. The first was Tal Rabin, who, as co-founder of the WIT, gave a talk on "MPC in the YOSO (You Only Speak Once) Model" at this year's WISC. In addition to presentations by Elette Boyle, Michelle Mazurek, Kenza Ait Si Abbou and Camela Troncoso, Adrienne Porter Felt also contributed on the topic of "An Industry Career Path, in Security and Beyond".

Professional and personal input from the speakers

With exclusively female speakers and participants, the WISC was all about the scientific exchange of women in IT security. The speakers at the workshop not only provided technical expertise, but also recommendations and tips for career paths for women in a field that is still dominated by men. The speakers particularly emphasised the exchange with other scientists - which is why a focus was placed on networking by all attendees during the WISC. Especially in the Open Space on the third day of the workshop, the participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas on topics and focal points they had chosen themselves. For example, career paths in the field of IT security, the balance between work and private life, ethical aspects or trust in cryptography were discussed in the open discussion round.

A thought-provoking event

The participants of the workshop were very satisfied with the organisation and content of the WISC. In the lightning talks, the participants had the opportunity to give their own impulses through short presentations and to report on their projects. Exciting discussions arose here about feminist reading circles for computer scientists, contributions on data protection in machine learning or answers to the question "Why shall we care about 'Cryptoagility'?". The workshop provided participants with a wide range of insights into shaping their career paths and the relevance of IT security.

More detailed information on the WISC speakers and their presentations can be found here: Website of WISC

General note: In case of using gender-assigning attributes we include all those who consider themselves in this gender regardless of their own biological sex.