Joyce Brocaglia on The Cyber Security School Challenge and Cyber Bullying

Joyce Brocaglia is the founder and CEO of Alta Associates. Founded in 1986 Alta Associates has become the most prominent boutique executive search firm specializing in Information Security, IT Risk Management and Privacy. Joyce is a strategic advisor to her clients who has gained the trust and respect of the industry’s most influential executives by accomplishing their strategic and diverse hiring goals. She is a career advisor to industry thought leaders and a trusted member of the Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy industry.

LIFARS: Tell me briefly about yourself and background.

Joyce: I founded Alta Associates in 1986, today we are the most prominent boutique executive search firm specializing in Information Security and IT Risk Management. When the Russians hacked into Citibank in 1994, Alta built the first ever information security organization and has been placing CISO’s and the teams that support them ever since.

As you know, cybersecurity is a very male dominated industry. After spending most of my career as the only women in the room, I founded the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF) on Information Security, Risk Management & Privacy  in 2002 whose mission is to develop and advance women leaders in our field. Today, the EWF is the largest member organization for emerging leaders and prominent women executives in Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy. 

LIFARS: What inspired you create the EWF and the Cyber Security School Challenge?

Joyce: I founded the Executive Women’s Forum to create a safe place where women could gather, share ideas, gain knowledge and develop leadership skills. What’s unique about the EWF is that we take a holistic approach of enabling women to achieve their professional goals, preparing them to become more resilient, authentic leaders and nurturing them to fulfill their personal dreams. We offer something for everyone at every level of their career including conferences, mentorship and leadership development programs, an online community and a membership roster of the most prominent women in our field. All of our programs are based out of our member’s needs and passions. So when our members expressed concerns about keeping kids safe online we partnered with the best organizations we could find to make it easy for people and companies to take actions. To date we have educated over 100,000 kids.

LIFARS: What is the Cyber Security School Challenge?

Joyce: The Cyber Security School Challenge is a collaborative outreach program founded by the Executive Women’s Forum and in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, (ISC)2 and the National Cyber Security Alliance to help educate our youth on the topics of online security, privacy, and safety. The EWF provides an award each year to the individual and Corporation that educate the most kids.

Through its Cyber Security School Challenge, the EWF provides an opportunity for volunteers to work directly with schools and community centers to teach critical cyber safety skills to children, teachers and parents.

Anyone interested in teaching children of all ages about being safe online can find lesson plans, games and all the content they need by going to and clicking on the Programs tab. There you can:

  1. Review the information, games and programs provided by our partners and choose the lesson plans that best suit your needs.
  2. Go to the schools or groups of your choice and teach the lessons.
  3. Download the official submission tracking sheet and report your progress back to the EWF by September 2, 2017 to be enrolled in the CSSC and eligible for the award.

LIFARS: How does the Cyber Security School Challenge help stop cyberbullying?

Joyce: Since statistics show about half of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying it’s important for kids to learn as early as possible how not only to keep themselves safe, but what the proper online etiquette behavior is. The most common types of cyber bullying tactics reported are mean, hurtful comments, as well as the spreading of rumors. Teaching kids the repercussions of misbehaving online and how to report those who aren’t acting properly is an important step in raising awareness and lessening cyberbullying. Our partners provide games and lessons that teach kids how to react to cyberbullies and how to be more aware of how their behavior online affects others.   

Connect with Joyce on LinkedIn.