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Engility’s Cybersecurity Programs

Posted by Kathleen Smith

EngilityAn interview with Tim Gillespie, Corporate VP, Business Development at Engility Corporation.

How do you describe cyber security

I am a mechanical engineer by trade, not an information technology professional, so my perspective is more from a layman’s view of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is everything from initial supply chain management to sourcing the components of the infrastructure to being informed about the design of an IT system to assessing the vulnerability of a system to actually deploying the system. In short, cybersecurity is a lifecycle of the information systems . We know that many of the systems that we work on, even those that are unclassified, are targets for our adversaries. These adversaries are seeking information or trying to disrupt our systems, either for commercial or espionage intent. Cybersecurity is a term that is part of our national defense lexicon because industry and our government leaders consider the risk of cyberattacks as the top national security threat to the United States.

The cybersecurity professional understands information and architecture security to decrease the vulnerability of the system while at the same time increase the performance of the system. I get very passionate about cybersecurity as it is very important for our nation’s security.

Why are veterans good at cybersecurity

Our veterans understand discipline and possess great skills. In today’s modern military they have used information systems and thus can provide a great user perspective to how the systems perform. I suspect many of them can help us assess these systems from a vulnerability or design-of-a-user interface. Veterans bring so many different perspectives in dealing with these systems that they become the best designers, developers and implementers of them. My conviction is that veterans must be part of your cybersecurity workforce because they bring so many skills to your team.

Veterans also have a tremendous advantage in that they have the security clearances required for many of our positions.

What are the key components of Engility’s cybersecurity program

There is an internal approach and then there is the external situation. As a $1.5 billion company with multiple U.S. Government military and civilian customers, we have to look at cybersecurity and protecting our internal programs. We have employed rigorous measures to protect our systems through our information security and information technology departments.

When I look at the range of external opportunities that we have across the full spectrum of federal and civilian agencies, as well as state and local governments work, there is no customer we don’t touch as a major services provider.

With the transition to the cloud, there is a great demand for professionals who can bring information systems background into how we protect and transition the stand alone applications into a cloud infrastructure. We are looking for individuals who can help us with this.

There are also tremendous opportunities in high performance computing. We are honored to work with DOD on their interface with the high performance computing centers around the country. Our teams leverage high performance computing with military and civilian customers to solve some of the most difficult problems.

What advice would you provide to veterans in their transition

It is important for military personnel to understand all of their education opportunities prior to separating from the service. Many IT and cybersecurity positions require specific certifications and obtaining these prior to separation provides a real advantage, especially since many of these certification classes are free. Successful veterans are always planning their next career move in or out of the military.

There are many programs and services available for military personnel from TAPS programs to online courses, but the unfortunate fact is that many men and women in our military do not, or are not able to plan for their next career as they are so focused on completing the mission at hand. While this is commendable, it leaves the soon to be veteran with little planning or preparation for their next career. I would encourage all military personnel to plan way in advance of their separation or retirement dates so they can develop a successful action plan.

One of our senior talent acquisition professionals, Bill Lewis, frequently provides advice to veterans during their transitions and anyone on our recruiting team is quite familiar with assisting veterans with finding their best career option with Engility.

What other MOS’s do well in cybersecurity

Veterans bring so many skills sets and talents to our workforce. Any transitioning service member with a baseline understanding of the fundamental information assurance principles, specific training and certification per DOD 8570 has potential to do well in cybersecurity. Many of the MOS’s pertaining to Signal Corps such as IT Specialist, Radio Operator, Electromagnetic Spectrum Manager, Network Switching Systems Operator, Cable Installer, Multimedia Illustrator, Nodal Network Systems Operator, Transmission Systems Operators; Satellite Communications, Electronic Warfare or Military Intelligence all provide the background and experience which would be an asset in a cybersecurity career .

These MOS’s do well in cybersecurity due to Information Assurance certification requirements normally required per the 8570 Program. As you know, 8570 is designed to produce information assurance personnel with a baseline understanding of the fundamental IA principles and practices. Each category, specialty and skill level has specific training and certification requirements. A veteran meeting these requirements will require a combination of formal training and experiential activities such as on-the-job training and continuing education. These training and certification requirements must be provided by DOD at no cost to government employees (military or civilian).

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:17 am

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