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  • One of the great treats for Alliance staff is to mentor students alongside founding members that were around for the genesis of the Security Advisor Alliance in 2013.  just 7 years ago, 35 security leaders rolled up their sleeves and decided to do something for their community, the security community.

    Three of those founding members, along with a huge group of local security professionals from the Dallas Texas area showed up big for nearly 100 students in the Frisco Independent School District.  Rick Holland, Parrish Gunnels and Chris Ray each helped recruit attendees and brought decades of insight for our students to gain from.

    Microsoft and Mastercard have continued to show why their firms are so respected in the industry with support for our nationwide student education program.  Cisco has joined us in 2021 and will continue to support the Alliance in 2022, a partnership we are excited to see grow.

    Our mentors joined the students early in the morning for a discussion around the basic principals of cybersecurity, including real world scenarios that security professionals must address in the changing landscape of business and government.  The professionals also exposed students to the vast diversity of the career field, including roles in communications, marketing, planning and governance.

    The real excitement kicked off with our new Capture The Flag gamified learning experience.  Students were broken into teams of 2-4 students and guided by mentors through a complex set of challenges aimed at teaching analytical thinking skills, teamwork and creativity.  One team even challenged the concept of “Policy vs Controls” by logging in twice with the same user name, doubling their ability to answer questions.

    The Alliance concluded the day with a fantastic conversation around career pathways and the skills that are most important to security leaders today.  The Alliance is encouraged that programs like ours are making a difference in the future talent pool our organizations can recruit.  Over the last four years, we have seen a nearly 40% increase in the young women participating in this program through Frisco ISD, great progress for certain!