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SAY first in­tro­duced you to Bon­nie But­lin in our Win­ter 2018 is­sue when it was an­nounced that But­lin (mem­ber of the Métis Na­tion of On­tario, Canada) was a fi­nal­ist for the Women in IT Awards 2018 – “Global Leader of the Year” and a re­cip­i­ent of the “Women of the Decade Award” which was pre­sented at the 2018 Women Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WEF) in Birm­ing­ham, UK, in June of this year.

Deemed “Canada’s First Lady of Se­cu­rity” by Se­cu­ri­tyIn­foWatch back in 2015 and most re­cently in SOV­ER­EIGN Mag­a­zine, But­lin con­tin­ues to make her mark on the world of se­cu­rity (a largely male-dom­i­nated field) through her ex­em­plary lead­er­ship and de­ter­mi­na­tion. But­lin’s rep­u­ta­tion in the se­cu­rity sec­tor con­tin­ues to catch the at­ten­tion of prom­i­nent me­dia out­lets. She was just named a Top In­flu­encer in SC Mag­a­zine’s Women in IT Se­cu­rity 2018, and But­lin’s show­ing no signs of slow­ing down.

In March 2018 and in hon­our of In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day, But­lin an­nounced the of­fi­cial launch of the African Women in Se­cu­rity Net­work (AFSWN). The pur­pose of the AFWSN is to en­cour­age the ad­vance­ment and ca­pac­ity of women in­volved in all as­pects of the African se­cu­rity sec­tor through the ex­change of in­for­ma­tion and the cul­ti­va­tion of pro­duc­tive re­la­tion­ships. But­lin, along with nu­mer­ous fe­male se­cu­rity pro­fes­sion­als from across Africa, con­tinue to work dili­gently to es­tab­lish this net­work, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a govern­ing Coun­cil. Other par­tic­i­pat­ing groups and as­so­ci­a­tions that served as in­spi­ra­tion for the AFSWN in­clude the Aus­tralian Women in Se­cu­rity Net­work, the Women’s Se­cu­rity So­ci­ety, Women in Se­cu­rity and Pri­vacy, and the Women’s So­ci­ety of Cy­ber­jutsu, to name only a few.

Af­ter The Women Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Birm­ing­ham, But­lin was in­vited to speak at the Eco­nomic Club of Canada on June 25th, the lead­ing speak­ing plat­form in Canada – a plat­form typ­i­cally re­served for se­nior politi­cians and no­table dig­ni­taries. She also re­cently wrote the fea­ture edi­to­rial for the up­com­ing spe­cial “Women in Cy­ber­se­cu­rity” edi­tion of the Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Jour­nal and is cur­rently draft­ing a book re­view for The Se­cu­rity Jour­nal, the lead­ing peer-re­viewed pub­li­ca­tion in the se­cu­rity field.

Cy­ber­se­cu­rity ser­vices are grow­ing in Canada and one of the big­gest chal­lenges the in­dus­try and the Cana­dian Gov­ern­ment faces is find­ing ef­fec­tive staffing. For soonto-be univer­sity or col­lege grad­u­ates who are in­ter­ested in the se­cu­rity dis­ci­plines (in­clud­ing cy­ber se­cu­rity), But­lin rec­om­mends be­ing pre­pared to keep learn­ing af­ter grad­u­a­tion and to learn from ex­pe­ri­enced se­cu­rity pro­fes­sion­als; to stay imag­i­na­tive and per­sis­tent since se­cu­rity will change quickly and will take un­ex­pected di­rec­tions; and to sup­port each other and pro­mote ex­cel­lence in or­der to en­hance ev­ery­one’s ca­pac­ity as se­cu­rity pro­fes­sion­als in a bal­anced and in­ter­con­nected way.

But­lin truly walks the talk as she con­tin­ues to ed­u­cate her­self by work­ing to­wards the com­ple­tion of a Mi­cro-Mas­ter’s pro­gramme in In­ter­na­tional Law from the Univer­sité Catholique de Lou­vain.

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