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Cybersecurity Success Stories

Succes Stories

Brian Gallagher

Brian GallagherAs a NOVA student, Brian Gallagher pursued a Career Studies Certificate in Cyber Security and was able to use his education to begin his new career path toward Cyber Security. He was fortunate to receive the National Science Foundation's Scholarship-for-Service Cybercorps and continue his academic pursuit of a master's in Cybersecurity at Marymount University. Currently, Gallagher is an IT Specialist for the NSF. If it wasn't for the opportunities presented to him at NOVA, he would not have been able to fully realize his potential academically and professionally.

Robin Burkett

Robin Burkett Robin Burkett received a bachelor's in Information Systems from Florida State University and worked in the computer field for several years. After the company she worked for went out of business, she decided to switch directions and start a photography business that she has run for the past 12 years. Burkett's work has been published in numerous media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CBS News, books, magazines, calendars, greeting cards and her work has sold internationally.

She recently decided to attend NOVA to dust off her technical skills. When she learned about Cybersecurity, she was hooked. Burkett has taken advantage of every opportunity afforded by NOVA to learn more about the field, including giving a virtual presentation for the National CyberWatch Center on digital photography forensics, competing in numerous cyber competitions including the National Cyber League and 2014 Cyber Aces Virginia State Championship and visiting the DHS command and control center.

She also participated in the 2014 US Cyber Challenge and was competitively awarded a scholarship to attend a week-long cyber camp at Virginia Tech. She finished up her Certificate in Cybersecurity in May 2014, and entered NOVA's A.A.S. Cybersecurity degree program. She is currently part of the DHS Secretary's Honors Program Student Volunteer Initiative gaining hands-on experience that allows her to apply what she learned at NOVA to real-world situations.

Ryan Trost

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.