How can Someone with Autism Specifically Enhance the Cyber Security Workforce?

Conference:  BlackHat USA 2018



People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can excel in cybersecurity due to their ability to notice patterns and solve puzzles, but may struggle with controlling their investigative profile. Good management is crucial in harnessing their skills.
  • ASD individuals can excel in cybersecurity due to their ability to notice patterns and solve puzzles
  • ASD individuals may struggle with controlling their investigative profile and need good management
  • ASD individuals are successful in jobs such as SOC, counterintelligence, and signals intelligence
The speaker was introduced to a unit in the Israeli Defense Forces that uses autistic individuals to notice patterns in geospatial images, such as footprints and tank movements, that others may ignore. This inspired the speaker to bring attention to the fact that high-functioning individuals with ASD can contribute to the cybersecurity workforce.


This session outlines how someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) offers a unique skillset that can be very helpful in the cybersecurity field.A higher percentage of hackers show signs or are already diagnosed ASD than compared to most civilians who are not hackers and/or do not work in the security industry.Many organizations see hiring a young person with any type of mental illness as a gamble, including someone with ASD. In this talk, we are going to give three different perspectives on the positive and challenging elements of hiring, managing, and enabling an ASD employee to thrive, applying their particular characteristics to the tasks associated with cybersecurity.Hear from a hiring manager, a security professional that has been on the positive side of the spectrum for years, and a psychologist that has researched Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the specific behaviors that can be helpful for the corporate and/or intelligence sector.