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  • San Diego is a hotbed of information security professionals, and organizations.  Our members from the area proved that to be true at Point Loma University on October 10th, 2019.  Dr. Maria Zack, Chair of the Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Sciences  and Physics departments for the University, helped the Alliance coordinate an incredible event with 70 local university students.

    The Alliance brings together information security professionals from companies of all sizes & industries to inspire and engage the next generation of cybersecurity superstars.  In San Diego, other organizations like the San Diego CISO Roundtable and City of San Diego really showed up to support.

    John Caruthers, former Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI, kicked off our program with an overview of how the FBI looks at cybersecurity and the global threat landscape that adversaries present to our way of life.

    Students were then guided through several real world scenarios that highlight the risk decisions companies engage in every day.  Topics range from employee termination, to ransomware and vulnerability management.  Our professionals discussed the information they would need to make each decision and students were then challenged to support their decisions.

    Our Virtual Capture the Flag experience has long been a highlight of our Converge Tour program and this event was no exception.  Students of varying experience levels were challenged with questions on ethics, encryption, decryption, geo-spoofing, online lookup tools and more.  The platform is designed to promote analytical thinking, team work, attention to detail and creativity.

    We weren’t surprised by how talented these students were, but what did catch us off guard, was their ability to handle technical difficulties that presented themselves during the event.

    Our evening concluded with a discussion around pathways into the career field led by Alliance member, and former FBI agent, Darren Bennett.  Darren now serves as the CISO for the City of San Diego and he led an incredible panel of industry experts.  Our professionals shared what made them successful, exposing some not so obvious skill sets like passion, learning and communications.

    We’d like to thank our Global Sponsors Palo Alto Networks and Microsoft for making every Converge Tour event possible.  This local event was also generously supported by the San Diego CISO Round Table and Point Loma Nazarene University.

    The Alliance is incredibly grateful to Macy Dennis, CISO for Evotek, Darren Bennett, and Dr. Maria Zack for their support and coordination of such an incredible evening.