Cybersecurity Education Leading to A Career in Cyber Defense

Do you have a passion for creatively tackling difficult tasks? Are you able to analyze situations critically? Do you have a desire to constantly learn new things? If you said yes to any of those questions, then you may be suited for a career in cybersecurity! CCI’s School of Information has an incredible cybersecurity curriculum that is preparing future professionals for careers in the field. Some alumni from the cybersecurity program spoke to us about where they are in their careers now and how the iSchool helped get them there. Read below:

Britny Anderson Headshot Britny Anderson

Britny graduated from FSU in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. She then went on to obtain her master’s degree in Cybersecurity with a concentration in Cyber Intelligence from the University of South Florida. She now works as a Security Administration Analyst at TECO Tampa Electric, an Emera Company located in Tampa, Florida. “My day-to-day responsibilities involve, ensuring the integrity of the company’s information assets, which include maintenance of systems, creation and removal of user’s access, and prevent unauthorized access or systems for all Information Technology (IT) Systems,” she explains. While at FSU, Britny took the Information Security class with Dr. Ho. “This was a challenging course, but it sparked my interest in Information Security and helped me to build a basic framework of information systems,” Britny says. “Dr. Ho emphasized the importance of research and continuous learning and is why I constantly research new threats and vulnerabilities and keep up to date with new trends to stay aware of threat actors and malicious activity my company may encounter.”

Richard Johnson HeadshotRichard Johnson

Richard graduated with a degree in IT in 2018. He now works as a Cyber Security Analyst for Cognizant Infrastructure Services (CIS) in Tampa, Florida. While working from home, Richard has been deploying Microsoft Defender ATP solution to the client’s infrastructure. “I refer back a lot to the Information Security and Advanced Information Security courses that I took at FSU,” he says. “The labs that were completed in Dr. Ho’s classes involved Linux and Windows Security which has helped me in my current job.”

Trevor Madden HeadshotTrevor Madden

Trevor graduated with a degree in IT in 2018. He now works as a Security Analyst for Zoom Video Communications in Denver, Colorado. Each day, Trevor analyzes trends in Splunk, responds to security alerts, and conducts employee security awareness training. “Cybersecurity coursework at FSU has helped me understand different attack vectors more thoroughly and approach security principles in a more head-on way,” he explains. “Dr. Ho helped me to think outside of the box and gave me resume tips.”

Tiana PrinceTiana Prince

Tiana earned her degree in IT in 2019. She now works as an SOC Staff Consultant with A-LIGN in Tampa, Florida. Typically, she spends her days completing documents for audit reports, communicating with clients to discuss their systems and services, communicating with other auditors, and reviewing evidence to make sure audits will be successful. While at FSU, Tiana says the IT Leadership class with Associate Dean Ebe Randeree helped her to be more confident when leading projects and working with a team. She also enjoyed Dr. Ho and Professor Hemmingway’s classes that helped her understand the IT side of audit experience. “Understanding what a network and operating system are definitely come in handy when talking to clients about their different systems and services,” Tiana says.

Tyler SmithTyler Smith

Tyler earned his degree in Information Technology in 2016. He now works as a Cyber Threat and Forensics Analyst – Large Contractor in San Diego, California. He is the lead analyst/manager of the Threat Hunter program where he spends a lot of time finding leads to chase. “These can come from open source information, closed source information, talking with managers/directors/C-suite, or just looking for anomalies in logs/reports,” he explains. Tyler assists in the workload of other teams and programs as the need arises, and still utilizes information he learned from his courses at FSU. Both Dr. Ho’s beginner and advanced courses in cybersecurity were favorites of his. “Being able to pass CEH and/or Security+ right out of college puts you way ahead of the curve,” he explains. “Both her courses put you in this position. Plus, her labs give you a lot of hands on experience with tools.” He also enjoyed courses about Linux and Networking which gave him a well-rounded understanding of the field. “Knowing basic networking, the OSI and TCP/IP model, and basic protocols are also requirements for a lot of entry level positions,” he says. These courses were all important in making sure he had the right tools to excel in his field.