George Mason University – Leading the way to develop the next generation of cybersecurity experts

30663596996_b097f60748_oSplunk4Good recently sponsored a Youth Cybersecurity Conference on October 29 hosted by George Mason University at its Fairfax, VA conference. Since it was the first such event, we did not know what kind of reception we would have. It turned out to be a stellar success – 800 confirmed registrants with 300 on a waiting list!

Organized by Dr. Kammy Sanghera, Exec. Director, STEM Outreach for the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University, the event had a high-profile billing – Dr. Angel Cabrera, President of GMU kicked off the event and was followed by Ruthe Farmer, Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion Office of Science & Technology Policy Executive Office of President, White House. Dr. Dietra Trent, Virginia Secretary of Education and congresswoman Barbara Comstock rounded off the main stage.  While each of them had their perspective and insights, they all emphasized the importance of cybersecurity and the significance of ensuring prudence and being safe online.

Of course, Splunk’s tee-shirts were a big hit! Our stockpile ran out even before the main event started!  Here is a tweet from Ruthe from the conference:


To keep with the theme of ensuring that the youth understood cybersecurity, Craig Vincent from Splunk had a session on the basics of networking and security. It was a standing room only crowd. It was amazing to hear the questions he fielded from kids and parents alike – going to show how interested folks are on the topic. They were curious about internships and from the reactions and knowledge the youth demontsrated it was clear that we have some excellent security talent in the making.

While Splunk’s aim is to help businesses gain insights from their data to succeed, we take our civic responsibilities seriously. We recognize the growing resource and skills shortage in cybersecurity and do our part to ensure that we can close this gap. Our college curriculum program, where Splunk is used in the classroom is another testament to this effort.

Adversaries are growing more sophisticated and with digital transformation the attack surface is increasing. It is imperative automation be an important part of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. Raising awareness of cybersecurity as an important hygiene item as part of our lives is as important as ensuring our youth recognize it as an exciting career option.

And George Mason University is doing their part to ensure that. And Splunk with its Splunk4Good program is there to make an impact and determined to support similar efforts.

Until next time,

Ashok Sankar
Director, Solutions Strategy

Haiyan Song
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Haiyan Song

Haiyan Song has been with Splunk since 2014 and currently serves as our Senior Vice President, Security Markets. From 2012 to 2014, Ms. Song served as Vice President and General Manager of HP ArcSight, a security and compliance management company previously acquired by Hewlett-Packard Company. From 2005 to 2012, she served as Vice President of Engineering at ArcSight. Ms. Song previously served as Vice President of Engineering at SenSage, an event data warehousing company, from 2004 to 2005. She started her career at IBM/Informix, a database software company. Ms. Song is one of the thought leaders of the cyber security industry in the US. She is named Top 50 most powerful women in Technology in 2016 and 2017. Ms. Song holds a M.S. from Florida Atlantic University and studied Computer Science in Tsinghua University in China.

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