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Success Stories

Ryan Trost

Ryan Trost‘s passion for computer security and network defense was only discovered after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He wanted a technical degree in Computer Security to improve his career path. Trost enrolled at NOVA to complete the necessary prerequisite credits and after four semesters he earned enough credits to transfer into GWU’s Computer Science program. Trost focused his coursework around intrusion detection and protecting computer networks. NOVA offered an impressive spectrum of courses in the evening that fit with his full-time employment schedule. Another benefit at NOVA was that the professors and adjunct faculty shared their own work experiences, tying the coursework into real-world applications.

While enrolled at GWU, Trost developed a geospatial intrusion detection algorithm to help companies identify malicious behavior targeting their computer networks using geographic information. After graduating from GWU with a master’s degree in Computer Science with a concentration in network security and computer forensics, he worked as a security analyst in a Federal Security Operations Center (SOC). At the request of his GWU professor, Trost participated in the first annual Cyber Collegiate Defense Competition (CCDC) as a part of the Red Team attack cell. At the CCDC Trost discovered that he enjoyed teaching and became an adjunct faculty member at NOVA's Alexandria Campus, teaching several security courses and leading the NOVA team at the annual CCDC challenges.

In 2009, Trost published Practical Intrusion Analysis and presented his geospatial intrusion detection research at DEFCON16. Trost accepted a position as the SOC Manager at a $32B defense contractor with a specific mission to detect, analyze and effectively respond to advanced targeting. He shifted the approach from a ‘whack a mole’ methodology to an intel-driven security operation by incorporating threat intelligence efforts by analyzing adversary tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), and applying them to the Cyber Kill Chain to learn more about the adversary. Trost has also presented at several prestigious industry conferences, including SANS, BlackHat, and ISACA’s ISRM on various security topics. Currently, Trost is the CIO of ThreatQuotient, Inc., and a Technical Advisor for the Cybersecurity AAS degree program.