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  • The security community in the the Indianapolis area have demonstrated their passion for the Alliance before, but this was a whole different story. Market Leader and Alliance founding board member, James Robinson (Deputy CISO for Netskope Cloud Security), along with Steve Lodin (Senior Director, Cybersecurity Operations for Sallie Mae), and Leon Ravenna (CISO for KAR Auction Services) rallied the troops and wow, did they bring a crowd!

    Eric Schmidt, CISO for Butler University, crafted an incredible experience for us on campus with a beautiful space, catering and technical support. His guidance on this event truly made an effortless experience for our staff.

    Building on the momentum of our event in 2018, security members from Sallie Mae, Anthem Health, Palo Alto Networks, Netskope, Eli Lilly, Citizens Energy Group, IU Health, Optiv Security, TruStar Security, and more joined us for a half-day workshop aimed at educating and inspiring the next generation of professionals.

    Students from Purdue Polytechnic High School, Shortridge High School and the Area 31 Career Center (draws from 11 area high schools), participated in the workshop.

    Dan Solero – Assistant VP of Technology Security, AT&T

    The event kicked off with a greeting from Dan Solero, Assistant Vice President of Technology Security for AT&T and member of the Indiana Governors Council on Information Security. Dan shared his personal experience in security along with some resources available to students through the Indiana government.

    Sidney Plaza – Executive Director, Security Advisor Alliance

    Our volunteer security leaders and Alliance staff spent the morning session talking through basic principals of cybersecurity, the growth of our space, and what that means for students, in terms of jobs. Professionals from all around the room shared personal experiences, insight and keen analogies with students, demonstrating their passion for the career path.

    Steve Lodin – Senior Director Security Operations, Sallie Mae

    Students were broken into small teams and guided through a virtual Capture The Flag platform. Groups were challenged with different types of questions, ranging from simple whois lookups, to more difficult challenges like spoofing geolocations. Alliance members worked with the students to help develop critical thinking skills, teamwork, communication, and creativity.

    Capture The Flag
    Capture The Flag

    Dustin Wilcox, CISO for Anthem Healthcare said of the Converge Tour events, “This is the single most rewarding thing I’ve done in my career.” Jennifer Darwin Director of Identity & Access Management and Security Technologist for Sallie Mae & Alicia Robinson, stressed the need for more women and diversity in general in the industry.

    Capture The Flag
    Winning Teams Received Books on Information Security

    The day concluded with a panel discussion between our volunteer mentors and the students on career pathways. Many of the Alliance members shared their stories, highlighting how few came to the space through a traditional path.

    Students asked questions and told stories of their own personal forays into “hacking.” Our professionals urged students to consider the difference between black hats and white hats, along with why it’s better to stay on the legal side of the industry.

    Many thanks are owed to Butler University, Palo Alto Networks, Microsoft, AT&T, Optiv Security, TruStar Security and everyone else that contributed to the experience in Indianapolis.

    Winning Teams with Many of Our Mentors

    The Alliance is building groups in major cities all over the united states.