• Owen Astrachan

    Owen Astrachan | Computer Science Educator, Duke University

    I develop resources and ideas to enable students to apply computational approaches to solve the problems that interest them.

    [+] MORE

    High School Activities:
    Soccer, Student Government, Bicycle Touring
    Undergraduate Institution + Degree:
    Dartmouth College, Mathematics
    Graduate Institution + Degree: 
    Duke University, M.S., Teaching; Ph.D., Computer Science
    To Do My Job You Need:
    Programming skills, understanding of math and science, writing skills, to know how to engage an audience

    In college, I taught Native Americans at a Job Corps Center for a semester, to get a taste of teaching. That led to a master of arts in teaching, and I then became a high school math teacher. I did that for seven years and started teaching computer science as part of my teaching responsibilities. I realized how interesting it was—I had missed this when I was in college—so I went back to grad school to learn more computer science.

    As I was finishing my Ph.D., Duke University developed a track for those interested in teaching and doing research that enables others to be effective teachers: from understanding how students learn to developing courses and resources to make computer science connect and resonate with students. My experience as a high school teacher continues to help as I teach and develop resources that, I hope, will continue to create the next generation of cyber-capable scientists, engineers, and, most importantly, citizens. My former students help current students by connecting with me via social media and email to let me know how things are going; so there's always a connection between past, current, and future students.

    My Advice: Find an area or a problem that's interesting or intriguing. Read about it, meet people who work in that area, and talk to them about what they do.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Astrachan

    [-] LESS

  • Suzanne Barber

    Suzanne Barber | Director, Center for Identity at UT Austin

    I work to build solutions that help people and businesses manage and secure their personally identifiable information (PII).

    [+] MORE

    High School Activities:
    Basketball, Volleyball, Debate Team
    Undergraduate Institution + Degree:
    Trinity University, Engineering Science
    Graduate Institution + Degree: 
    The University of Texas at Arlington, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering
    To Do My Job You Need:
    Knowledge of software engineering, mathematics, and artificial intelligence; problem-solving skills

    I’m the AT&T Endowed Professor in Engineering and the director of the Center for Identity at The University of Texas. At the center, our mission is to deliver high-quality discoveries, applications, education, and outreach in identity management, privacy, and security. I also formerly served as the director of software engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. I’ve worked on research in the areas of cyber-trust, cybersecurity, agent-based systems, and software engineering. I invented technologies that help people and businesses establish reliable authentication and trusted online transactions. My research has been supported by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Congress, the state of Texas, and numerous corporate organizations.

    Currently, I serve as a member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, appointed by Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, offering guidance to the DHS chief privacy officer.

    My Advice: Good scientists must be open to exploration as well as new ideas and opportunities. I tried out a few different majors—even English!—before landing on software engineering. It wasn’t until later in my career that I discovered how much I enjoyed working in the identity and cybersecurity field.

    http://www.identity.utexas.edu/

    http://www.utexas.edu/know/2014/04/14/looking-for-a-tax-r...

    [-] LESS

  • Terry Benzel

    Terry Benzel | Research Scientist, Deter Cyber Security Project

    I lead the DETER Cyber Security Project, a state-of-the-art scientific computing facility for cybersecurity.

    [+] MORE

    High School Activities:
    Math, Computer Lab, Data Processing Internships
    Undergraduate Institution + Degree:
    Boston University, B.A/M.A., Mathematics and Computer Science
    Graduate Institution + Degree: 
    University of California, Los Angeles, Executive M.B.A.
    To Do My Job You Need:
    Proficiency in computer science concepts and practice (master’s level), grant writing skills; business management experience

    In high school, I took advanced math classes and pursued special projects. I often worked independently with my teachers. In my senior year of high school, I got a job working in data processing at NASA Ames Research Center. This propelled me into research and government-sponsored research. I worked for DRAPER Labs in graduate school where again I was working in a research environment.

    After graduating, I got a job at the MITRE Corp working in computer security, which provided me with a blend of formal mathematics and computer science. After seven years at MITRE, I joined a small start-up company performing research in computer security for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). During this time, I began managing a research group and later pursued my executive M.B.A. The start-up company had an IPO and was acquired by a large Silicon Valley company, where I was the vice president of advanced research.

    After several years and during the Silicon Valley downturn, I helped engineer the divestiture of our research groups into government contracting organizations. After this I went to U.C. Berkeley and then to my present position at USC.

    My Advice: Study cybersecurity topics that have a multidiscipline aspect, such as how cybersecurity relates to human behavior, economics, and engineering.

    http://www.isi.edu/people/tbenzel/about

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsWsDW56XF_jWbox_QzGDZA

    [-] LESS

  • Ian Brown

    Ian Brown | Professor, Oxford Internet Institute

    I research and teach information security, privacy-enhancing technologies, and Internet regulation.

    [+] MORE

    High School Activities:
    Skiing, Tennis
    Undergraduate Institution + Degree:
    University of Newcastle, Computer Science and Psychology
    Graduate Institution + Degree: 
    University College London, Ph.D., Computer Science
    To Do My Job You Need:
    Good understanding of mathematics and how computer systems work, writing skills, public speaking skills, and curiosity!

    While completing my Ph.D., I founded a start-up company with some colleagues to commercialize our research on digital movie security. I was the managing director for 18 months, raising $700,000 in venture capital and patenting our technology. Following this, I headed a think tank, the Foundation for Information Policy Research, which studies the interaction between information technology and society. A particularly interesting aspect of this job was briefing politicians on the impact of legislation relating to new technology—including acting as an advisor to the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. I then moved back to academic life, working as a senior research fellow at University College London on Internet security and medical record privacy, before starting my current job in 2007.

    From the time I started on my Ph.D., I’ve been a consultant for a wide range of organizations, including the United Nations, Council of Europe, OECD, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Allianz, McAfee, BT, the BBC, the European Commission, the Cabinet Office, Ofcom, and the National Audit Office.

    My Advice: Find out as much as you can about different areas of science—the Internet is an incredible resource for this. You never know when a specific subject will grab your attention. That interest is the most important thing in deciding on your career path.

    [-] LESS

  • Keren Elazari

    Keren Elazari | Cybersecurity Analyst, Gigaom Research

    I explore the intersection of emerging cybersecurity trends with political science and national security questions.

    [+] MORE

    High School Activities:
    Robotics Workshop, Theater Club, Computer Games, Computer Hacking
    Undergraduate Institution + Degree:
    Tel Aviv University, History and Philosophy of Science & Technology
    Graduate Institution + Degree: 
    Tel Aviv University, M.A. (candidate), Security Studies, Political Science
    To Do My Job You Need:
    Communication skills, understanding of cybersecurity technological topics and awareness of new developments and technologies

    Since 2000, I’ve worked with government organizations, Big Four accounting firms and Fortune 500 companies (such as AT&T, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Matrix, and Verint Systems) in the roles of network operations analyst, risk management associate, operational security expert, and product manager. In 2012, I went into academia. I joined a private think tank called Singularity University, where I held the position of teaching fellow for security. In 2013, I joined Tel Aviv University as a research fellow with the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security. My academic research focuses on the effect of new phenomena such as cyber weapons or hacktivism on global politics and national security issues. I also work as security industry analyst, tracking trends and emerging security technologies for Gigaom Research, a leading independent media source on emerging technologies.

    My Advice: Dig deep into your selected topics of interest, but also run wide. Science and technology developments in coming years will require multidisciplinary know-how and skills and a broad perspective that takes into account data from multiple fields. Many scientists become experts on one single narrow topic, but I think we need more generalists.

    http://www.k3r3n3.com/

    [-] LESS

  • Ashley Hamilton

    Ashley Hamilton | Application Security Engineer, WhiteHat Security

    I manually assess web applications for vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting, SQL injections, cross-site request forgery, and more.

    [+] MORE

    High School Activities:
    Marching Band, Color Guard, Concert Band, and Year Book
    To Do My Job You Need:
    A desire to constantly learn and a knack for seeking out ways to use an application that the creators didn't intend

    My father was a software developer and, as a child, I used to sneak into his study to watch him work. This inspired me to teach myself about computers.

    I worked as a professional chef in San Francisco but had to leave the profession due to medical issues caused by the long hours on my feet. Because I loved computers, a close friend invited me to interview at WhiteHat Security. After being hired at WhiteHat, I threw myself full throttle into learning everything I could about web application security and how to better protect the web from attackers.

    My Advice: Always be honing your skills in cybersecurity. For example, participating in Capture the Flag competitions opens you up to learning new skills and discovering new ways to use the ones you already have.

    http://www.playing-catchup.com/

    https://info.whitehatsec.com/OnDem-HackerMarketplaces-Jan...

    [-] LESS

  • Ed Skoudis

    Ed Skoudis | Teacher, Sans Institute

    I’m a professional ethical hacker. My team and I measure organizations' security by trying to hack them. I also teach others how.

    [+] MORE

    High School Activities:
    Computer Programming, Reading Physics Books, Kite Making, Electrical Circuitry
    Undergraduate Institution + Degree:
    University of Michigan, Electrical Engineering
    Graduate Institution + Degree: 
    Carnegie Mellon, M.S., Information Networking
    To Do My Job You Need:
    Knowledge of computer networking, programming, and system administration; risk analysis aand business skills

    I got started in computer security by finding security flaws during my college studies. After college, I worked at Bellcore, a part of the Bell System focused on research and coordination among the Baby Bells. After a stint working in operator services, I jumped into computer security with gusto, helping respond to attacks against phone company networks.

    I moved from Bellcore to SAIC, where I branched out to work with large banks, major high-tech firms, and other Fortune 500 companies. Later, I started performing incident response and penetration testing for government agencies and military customers. I began teaching for the SANS Institute, sharing my passion for computer security and ethical hacking with thousands of students every year.

    In 2002, I formed the InGuardians company with several like-minded friends. At InGuardians, I focused on security research in virtual machines and malware. In 2010, I formed a new company, Counter Hack Challenges, an innovative organization that designs, builds, and operates popular infosec challenges and simulations, including CyberCity, NetWars, Cyber Quests, and Cyber Aces. As director of CyberCity, I oversee the development of missions, which help train cyber warriors in how to defend the kinetic assets of a physical miniaturized city.

    My Advice: Learn how to program a computer. It’ll help you think more clearly and you can use these skills to automate tasks throughout your life. Maintain your integrity and follow a strict code of ethics in interacting with computers and networks. Don’t do anything illegal, because that will stick with you, limiting your opportunities as your career.

    http://counterhack.net/Counter_Hack/Welcome.html

    http://counterhack.net/Counter_Hack/Just_Your_Typical_Off...

    http://www.irongeek.com/i.php?page=videos/derbycon3/1103-...

    [-] LESS