Today’s digital world is one where everyone can be connected to one another almost instantly. With communication that can be nearly instant, advancing your career through networking has become even more essential. No longer are you limited to a chance encounter or hours at various events. You can also connect with individuals remotely. Whichever method you choose, the most important thing to remember is to grow your own cyber security community.
For students in George Mason’s Master’s in Management Information Systems degree program, there are many ways to further connect to the cyber security community and grow your professional network in this flourishing field.
Our cyber security program faculty provide a starting point as they are actively engaged in the cyber security community in both research and practice in the private sector and government–working with major corporations including in the banking and energy sectors to enhance their cyber security, working with small companies to bring new cyber security technologies to the market, and working on research with organizations including NSF, DARPA, NIST and the Department of Homeland Security.
Global Cyber Security Community Partners
Our cyber security program students can take advantage of our relationship with the Information Systems Security Association Northern Virginia Chapter (ISSA-NOVA). ISSA-NOVA represents one of the fastest-growing technology corridors in the nation. Monthly meetings bring together members to address diverse subjects ranging from technology to policy perspectives, and delivery formats include informative presentations, tag team efforts, and panel discussions. This group is a great way to build your cyber security community regionally.
As important as it is to build your community locally, it is also important to grow your global cyber security community as well. We have a partnership with (ISC)² and recently co-hosted a cybercrime conference with ISACA. (ISC)² is the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information security professionals worldwide, with nearly 80,000 members in more than 135 countries. They have a local national capital region chapter where members can interact locally, while taking advantage of the organizations global reach. Their mission is to advance information security in local communities throughout the world by providing members and other security professionals with the opportunity to share knowledge, grow professionally, educate others, and collaborate on projects.
Previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, ISACA is an independent, nonprofit, global association that works to develop, adoption and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems. There is a national capital chapter where individuals can join to build their cyber security community.
Also internationally, the our cyber security program has partnerships throughout Asia Pacific and Europe building upon the School of Management’s co-founding and active engagement with the International Academy of CIO.
Local Cyber Security Community Network
Of course, networking is not just about joining organizations. One of the most overlooked, but best way to build a cyber security community around yourself is to start with your classmates and program alumni–your own cohort comprised of professionals from the private, government, and military sectors. These classmates share the same passions and interests as you, and one day may be in the position to help you in your career or with your business. Tapping into the resources of the people around you can make a big difference in the success of your career.
We also hold quarterly Cybersecurity Innovation Forums bringing in cyber security experts and technology innovators to campus to speak on innovations in information security that have recently or are about to be coming to the marketplace. This is a great opportunity to not only learn from but network with cyber security industry professionals. In addition, our cyber security program also has an advisory council consisting of a select group of regional IT security executives that serve as student mentors and keep our program on the leading edge of the technology industry.
The main thing to always remember is that a network is only as good as the time and effort you put into it. Making the time to attend events and to reach out to others will help your network build and grow. The students that are your classmates today may be your colleagues tomorrow, or even the CEO of a firm you are interested in joining. You never know. Don’t forget that every encounter with anyone you meet is a chance to grow and build your own cyber security community.