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  • February 2017,  Alliance Members and partners set a new standard in student engagement while attending this weeks’ information security conference.

    The Alliance partnered with consistent supporter RiskIQ along with Optiv and Microsoft to bring together nearly 100 students, over 30 security leaders and 4 schools to discuss pathways into the industry.  Dustin Wilcox opened the day with an explanation of security by design when creating new products, in an ever more connected world.

    Security experts Gary Warzala, Larry Whiteside, Will Nig, and Jason Zann joined moderator Juliette Okafor to educate the students on the skills, personality traits and experience needed to find begin a career in the cybersecurity industry.

    Agents from the FBI also spoke with students about opportunities and responsibilities in cyber law enforcement.

    The students were made aware of the daunting employment gap facing our space and were encouraged to establish connections with the 30 plus security leaders in the room and the over 400 additional members of the Alliance.

    Students were then organized into groups of 2-3 and invited to compete in a virtual Capture The Flag exercise.  Security leaders worked side by side with students to encourage creative problem solving, critical thinking skills and teamwork.  Our partners at Facebook provided the software to gamify cybersecurity education.

    The Alliance has long been committed to encouraging women and minorities to enter the industry.  This event, with our friends from Project Lead The Way and the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals, accomplished that goal in a big way.   The majority of our students, who came from four different schools were female in gender.  The majority of our students, were also from ethnic minorities.

    The first Converge Tour stop of the year was an enormous success in all three areas of our mission, Aligning, Growing and Giving.

    The tour will stop next in Indianapolis where we will continue to encourage students, parents, educators and other security leaders to pursue this space, advancement and personal development.