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Training the Next Generation of Cyber Investigators; Be Fearless Says Patrick Dennis

High profile breaches, like Target, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Our CEO Patrick Dennis discussed the state of cybersecurity with students at the National Technical Institute of Deaf, who are participating in their first-ever forensics boot camp.

“There are many more breaches that people never hear about,” Patrick said. He believes that the number is much higher and that it is more likely there are at least 90 million breaches per year.

Attacks are becoming more sophisticated and cybercriminals are customizing their attacks to the organization that they’re targeting. At least 60 percent of organizations will be successfully attacked or targeted this year.

The cyber landscape is also constantly changing. For example, the number of devices attached to the Internet is increasing.

“If it attaches to the Internet, it can be attacked and everything is connected to the Internet,” Patrick added.

Companies are also shifting to doing more business digitally. However, there’s an estimated $3 trillion in lost revenue because companies can’t digitize fast enough due to security issues.

Today’s Cyber Job Market

There is a major labor shortage in the IT security industry, Patrick told the students. Thousands of jobs are going unfilled. “There’s an opportunity for you today,” he said.

According to a project conducted by the Stanford University Journalism Program, more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the United States and postings are up 74 percent over the past five years. The demand for information security professionals is expected to grow by 53 percent through 2018.

“You’re picking up the industry’s hottest skill set,” he said.

The Road to CEO

“I didn’t have the most traditional path,” Patrick added.

After his father had a heart attack when (Patrick) was in high school, he decided to go to college closer to home. He ended up working full-time at Eastman Kodak while attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) at night.

“I believe things in life happen for a reason,” he suggested.

He started out as a developer, eventually transitioning into sales. He worked at Oracle, where he led the development of Oracle’s commercial business in North America. Patrick went onto become senior vice president and chief operating officer of EMC’s Cloud Management Division.

“The path to CEO is not so straight,” he told the students, later adding, “I think it’s important to have goals but you never know what’s going to happen.”

He also stressed the benefits of traveling and experiencing different cultures. Patrick has visited at least 20 different countries.

“Traveling gives you a greater appreciation for communications and dealing with diverse people,” he said.

Patrick also encouraged the students to embrace the ideas they come up with while at NTID, noting that his most inventive years were when he was younger.

"Be fearless in acting on your great ideas."

NTID Forensic Boot Camp: Learning to be Your Own Advocate

The inaugural National Technical Institute for Deaf (NTID) forensics boot camp kicked off this week with a day-long training session. Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to learn more about digital forensics, including Guidance Software’s suite of EnCase products.

On Monday, participants met with Scott Van Nice, an NTID alumnae and computer forensics manager at Procter & Gamble (P&G). Scott discussed his career path, offering advice to the students on navigating the post-college world.

When Scott interviewed at P&G, although he asked for an interpreter, one was not available. Working together, they were able to find a compromise – Scott and the interviewers used his computer to communicate.

“Sometimes things go wrong and you have to find a way to make them work,” Scott told the students.
Although he had been planning to take a trip to Europe, Scott decided to accept an internship at P&G. He told the students that they will sometimes have to weigh short-term gains versus long-terms gains to make decisions.

After his internship, Scott accepted a full-time position at P&G. While there, he worked hard to ensure that the company can accommodate his and other people’s needs. He helped push towards a central fund for workplace accommodations at P&G – as opposed to having each department pay for it.

“You need to become your own advocate,” Scott said.

Scott has discussed his experiences at P&G publicly – “P&G exec: I've learned to embrace being deaf,” helping highlight issues around accommodation to pave the way for future employees.

During his career, Scott earned his law degree and began to work in electronic discovery and computer forensics. However, he recognized that communication in the workplace was a challenge. Working with P&G, who helped him identify how to succeed at his peak, he was able to have a more vocal role – addressing team meetings – and eventually was assigned a personal interpreter. Currently, he is on track towards a Master’s in Informatics and is interested in insider risk which involves studying how to better protect internal data from malicious employees, third parties, or business partners. 

During an interview about his experiences at P&G, Scott noted: “P&G recognizes that everyone is different, but what they bring to the table is exceptional.”
Fast facts about NTID

NTID is the first and largest technological college in the world for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The college was established after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act. The bill provided for the establishment and operation of a co-educational, post-secondary institute for technical education of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Total of 1,413 students enrolled as of fall 2015. Undergraduate: 1,167 deaf and hard-of-hearing students, 151 students (enrolled in ASL-English Interpretation program).

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2016!

Now Available OnDemand: Advanced Internet Examinations Course

Good news: Now you can learn the latest browser artifacts and peer-to-peer sharing applications in our newly recorded EnCase OnDemand Advanced Internet Examinations course. Examiners who take this updated class will leave equipped to understand user activity and recover evidence critical for your investigations.