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Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship Fund for Diversity and Inclusion

Here is the winner of our annual Women in Cybersecurity scholarship program for 2022.  This year’s winner is Veronika (Nikki) Jack:

I am delighted to have been chosen to be the recipient of the Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship. I am a current graduating high school senior (class of 2022). In the fall I am going to attend George Mason University, located in Fairfax Virginia, majoring in information technology with a focus on Cybersecurity. This scholarship will help me extend my education in cybersecurity.”

About the Winner

I have taken rigorous IT courses throughout high school, including computer math, AP computer Science, and The Academies of Loudoun Cyber Security course, which challenged me, but prepared me for a future in cyber. In my Cyber Security course, I learned a lot about computer systems, and I achieved my CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications.

I participated in many clubs throughout my high school including The Nation Honor Society, Computer Science Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Girls who code. I participated in the girls who code summer immersion program last summer, which introduced me to html and CSS styling. I competed in the CYBERPATRIOT national youth defense competition and placed in the gold tier this year.

Cyber-attacks can target certain people, but it can create an even bigger problem when there is an attack on something that impacts the functionality of everyday life. Like the recent US colonial pipeline ransomware attack which shut down the pipeline, and affected everyone’s life. The US paid 5 million to the attackers to open the pipeline again. This is something that showed me how important it is to have the right security on every system. Systems that are vulnerable, and can be hacked into can cause big problems and have a huge impact on everyone’s life, and can spark public outrage. We need strong security measures so that hackers are not able to disrupt these necessary functions. This wouldn’t have happened if the vulnerability in the system was found and patched before the hackers got into it.

Systems, whether big or small, need to be secured and people need to be informed of how something small like clicking on a link in an email can exploit your information. I want to help create secure systems, and inform people of the importance of security in their systems within their companies, as well as personal use.

-Veronika (Nikki) Jack

With her award, she has received an opportunity for a part-time internship with CDM as a cybersecurity reporter and blogger.  Reach out to her with story ideas:

[email protected]