Let’s Get More Veterans to Black Hat

Posted by Kathleen Smith

Black Hat 2014 with Matt Devost

It has been an interest of mine and ClearedJobs.Net for some time to get more veterans involved with cybersecurity. Many of the challenges that face veterans as they transition into the private sector further complicate veterans moving into a cybersecurity career. Namely lack of network connections, understanding of the industry, and not knowing who could be a mentor.

We have been saying that the information security workforce shortage could be solved if we encouraged more veterans to transition into this field.  Veterans have the key skills and experience that all information security or cybersecurity companies are looking for.

A few years ago, Matthew Devost, CEO of FusionX, now part of Accenture, sent out a social media post about setting up a scholarship program for transitioning veterans to attend Black Hat for training, mentorship and networking.

Veterans who have been part of this program had a great time attending training sessions and networking with other IT professionals:

“Black Hat was an amazing experience, I got to network with the best minds in the IT security career field. I enjoyed how much they took time to talk with a transitioning veteran and provide mentorship and guidance in how to get into the IT Security field. Black Hat gave me an inside look into the leading technology and discuss current issues that many companies face in the cyber security realm. I got a better understanding on how cybersecurity is becoming a major concern for many and the urgency needed to become more secure.” 

– R.M.

“Joining Matt Devost and FusionX at Blackhat was one of the most beneficial experiences I have had during my transition from military service. It fully supported my transition by providing me real world examples to understand the aspects of the Cyber Security and the people within it. Networking, technical discussions, and career direction where the big things that I came back with during my time on this trip. Talking to people the about common interest propel the conversation to interesting levels and helped make contacts that eventually led to a new and more advance job, consulting in Cyber Security. Lastly, I saw the culture of the community and how engaging and positive everyone was to mentor and welcome veterans in to Cyber Security. People were excited to have us there and demonstrated it with advice and business cards for further contact. This was a one of a kind experience to learn and grow in not only Cyber Security but as a professional. Words can’t really express how amazing and beneficial of a trip this was.”

– M. 

10 Passes Available for Veterans

For 2016, the Black Hat veteran program has grown and Black Hat will be providing 10 passes for transitioning veterans to attend Black Hat. Matt Devost will be coordinating the selection process as well as serve as a coordinator and mentor for their activity at the event.

Interested applicants email Matt at [email protected]. The program is looking for veterans that have transitioned in the past 12 months or will be transitioning in the next 12 months that have an interest in transitioning into the information security field.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 25, 2016 6:57 am

One thought on “Let’s Get More Veterans to Black Hat”

  1. I ama retire navy veteran that just completed a bachelors degree in information System with an emphasis in computer forensics. My problem now is computer certifications and experience. I am also a wounded warrior and an currently enrolled in there transition training to pick up my A+, Security+, and Network+. I ran into a snag on the A+ 802 exam: consequently I now have only half of the A+ Comptia cert completed. I am trying to “get my foot in the door” in this great new career. What would be your advice in this situation?

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