As technology continually evolves, the world faces new cybersecurity threats every day, from every angle. I’ve spent the last 40 years battling security challenges—first with the U.S. intelligence community and now with Fortune 500 companies—and along the way, have made a personal investment in preparing the next generation of security leaders. Providing knowledge, training and hands-on-experience is vital to keeping companies’ and end users data—and livelihoods—safe, and I am proud to have helped launch the USA National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) to do just that.
The NCCDC brings together the top students from across the nation for a competition in my hometown of San Antonio. Students are given a fictional company, and tasked with the operational aspect of managing and protecting a network infrastructure—while red team hackers try to attack. Throughout the past 12 years, I have served in almost every function at the NCCDC event—from judge to event organizer and media contact—and I was honored to serve as the CEO of our fictional company for the 2017 event, alongside of team of volunteers from Accenture Security.
Students were given a theme—ransomwear for 2017—a day to research, prepare a briefing and present their findings and solutions to me the “CEO,” where I asked tough, targeted questions and tried to derail their thought process to see how they recover and react. They’re graded on poise, their ability to communicate and present a compelling argument and their use of visual aids. The result? Future leaders in the security industry are given invaluable experience they won’t get in a typical school environment, the opportunity to build skills they can apply when tackling security challenges in the real world.
We always have great attendance at the event—from senators to CEOs dropping by—and this year, we were excited to cover it live via Snapchat.
Within Accenture Security, we are committed to attracting and developing future talent. If you are looking to prepare for a successful security career, I encourage you to learn—about computer science, the way networks and computers function and how that technology is applied in business, to position yourself as a generalist and a valuable consultant.
Ready to join the next generation of leaders and tackle the world’s biggest security challenges? Find an opportunity with Accenture Security today.