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  • October 29th, 2019

    Butler University hosted its second Converge Tour stop of 2019 on October 29th.  Eric Schmidt, former CISO for the University, helped to coordinate an incredible day of networking and education for students from 7 local high schools.

    Students were treated with a half day workshop focused around the cybersecurity industry, and the career pathway it presents.

    “The goal of these workshops is to drive awareness and diversity within the industry of information security.  We currently have over 1.5 million job openings that are going unfilled due to a lack of qualified talent.  The Alliance is here to let these students know that if they have an interest and an aptitude, we’re willing to do whatever it takes to help them succeed in this industry.” – Alliance Executive Director Sidney Plaza

    Time and time again, the Indianapolis community has shown their dedication to the next generation of professionals.  Over 30 cybersecurity executives and practitioners from firms around the country volunteered to support the students and educators at this event.

    Plaza went on to state, ”We’ve learned that one of the biggest challenges we face in recruiting the next generation of information security professionals is the lack of resources available to teachers, administrators and parents on the topic.  We are constantly working on ways to bridge that gap, and close the loop for anyone interested in pursuing the career.”

    Students were guided through several real world scenarios how demonstrate many cybersecurity decisions are made by people, and not computer programs.  Topics like employee termination, ransomware and vulnerability management illustrate the kinds of things our professionals tackle every day.

    The Alliance Virtual Capture the Flag Experience put the students technical skills to the test through a variety of challenges.  Encryption, decryption, geo-spoofing, research tools, business ethics, and more showed the diversity of tasks employees face on the job.

    Students were broken into teams and encouraged to work together, highlighting the analytical thinking skills, creativity and organization of the groups.  The volunteers served as mentors to get students through the road blocks they encountered, and provided context to the challenges in the exercise.

    The day concluded with a discussion between professionals and students around the skills and traits that made our practitioners successful in their careers.  “It’s critical that we emphasize the importance of soft skills like team work, critical thinking and communications.”  – Sidney Plaza

    Many professionals shared organizations, conferences and internships that are available to students, highlighting the importance of being a lifetime learner.

    The Alliance would like to thank Palo Alto Networks, Microsoft and Mastercard for their annual support, and helping to make every Converge Tour event a huge success.  We’d also like to thank Butler University, Optiv Security and RiskIQ for their support of this event.

    We are excited to announce that this group of students will help pilot the new Alliance Virtual Mentorship Program, powered by Life Journey.

    Full announcement on that program is coming soon.