HAMPTON, Va. (April 30, 2019) – The Hampton University Department of Computer Science hosted the 10th Annual Cyber Security Symposium on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The theme, “Pathways to the Future,” afforded many professionals in the cyber security industry, government and academia to come together to help give advice to students about the cyber security field and their future careers.
“Cyber security is such an important part of protecting government agencies, companies and our entire country. Hampton University was recently named a top school for our online Master’s Information Assurance degree program. We also received an almost $4 Million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for our CyberCorps: Scholarships for Service program. We are leading the way for cyber security technology,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “Thank you to the professionals who took the time out of their day to speak to our students about their careers.”
The Keynote Speaker for the Symposium was Mr. James F. Harris, the Deputy Director for Intelligence US Cyber Command. In his current position, Mr. Harris advises and assists the USCYBERCOM Director of Intelligence (J2) in the direction, coordination and integration of intelligence activities supporting USCYBERCOM and its subordinate commands and centers.
Mr. Harris also served as the Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Technology Officer and Chief, CTO Division, Chief Information Office, Office of the Deputy Director, DIA. He has also been a contractor and government electronics engineer in the Naval Air Systems Command Community and in the Army’s Communications and Electronics Command.
Mr. Harris spoke on global trends in technology, advanced cyber threats and the need for educated individuals in the cyber security industry. “Cyber is such a broad field. It touches everything, but the emerging areas that are growing is Artificial Intelligence. AI, like every new area in computers, doesn’t come out with cyber security. It’s an afterthought. We are taught in the field to build security in, so we need more people in the research phase, and the development phase, that are there to build security. Machine learning is going to saturate everything; it’s in every single field, every discipline, and every one of them need cyber security,” said Harris.
The Symposium included a government career panel, industry career panel and student panel. The Government panel consisted of Cristina M. Stone, Air Combat Command; Dr. Scott Batson, Naval Information Warfare Center; Maurice Civers, Naval Information Warfare Center; Tammy Morrison, NSWC Dam Neck Activity; Alveta Washington, NSWC Dahlgren; Tiffany Owens, NSWC Dahlgren; and Joycelyn Josey-Harris, NSWC Dahlgren.
The industry career panel included Antonina McAvoy, Cyber Security Director at PBMares; Peter DeFreece, President at FW Grey Consulting; Kevin Jennings, Millennium Corp; Antonio Johnson, President at GlobalKynect Solutions; and Paul Davis, Managing Director at CDP & Associates.
One major question that came up quite a bit during the discussions was what are the benefits of government work versus private industry? “I was interested in the fact that you can earn advanced degrees and the government will pay for it. You can even get time working on the clock to work on that advanced degree. There are not a lot of companies that will pay you to sit there and earn your advanced degree,” said Ms. Alveta Washington, NSWC Dam Neck Activity.
The industry professionals stated that salary was often a driving force for working for private companies. Also, often times the companies prefer employees who have a considerable amount of experience.
“One of the reasons why I invite so many government people to our Cyber Security Symposium is because they will take you with your degree and some experience. The government will train you and get you ready to go out to the industry. I’ve worked with the government, the military and in industry, so you don’t have to limit yourselves to one entity, do it all,” said Dr. Danny Barnes, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, and organizer of the Cyber Security Symposium.
For more information about the Cyber Security Symposium, contact the Hampton University Computer Science Department, 757-727-5344.