AMU Cyber & AI Editor's Pick Original

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: A Look Back

By Wes O’Donnell
Managing Editor of In Military, InCyberDefense and In Space News.

As we look back at National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2019 and our Cyber Snapshot series, we’ve heard from some incredible experts about why cybersecurity is important to them.

Dan Sorensen

First up, Dan Sorensen explained how continuous learning is pivotal to his success. He said, “I always believe in continuous learning. For me, I had the realization that there is always someone behind the keyboard. It’s not just malware, it’s the person who wrote it. Understanding the culture behind that fascinates me; behavior analysis of malware and specifically the intent behind it.”

Dan credits American Military University (AMU) with helping him to achieve his goals, noting that “One of the things that struck me at AMU and while serving was how everything is moving toward cyber defense, especially with DHS and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR).

Once I saw how cybersecurity fits into the national security apparatus, I said to myself, ‘You know, if I want to have a job until I’m 70 or 80 years old, why not look into cyber?’ I also found that I had a knack for the technological side of it. I started taking courses.”

Bradley Deacon

Next, Senior Investigator Cyberbullying and Cyber Abuse Team at The Office of the eSafety Commissioner (Australia) Brad Deacon explained the importance of cybersecurity to him. He observed,

“In the ever-connected world, the security landscape has changed, cybersecurity needs to be front of mind just like ‘stranger danger’ was to children in the 1970s and 80s. The Internet of Things (IoT), interconnectedness, the cloud, and cryptocurrencies have demonstrated the vulnerabilities we all face in the digital age.

Cybersecurity must not be an afterthought with startups, developers or current technology-based corporations. It is important to adopt the principles of ‘Safety by Design’ (SbD) from the outset of design or at the very least have them incorporated in current products and or practices.”

Jerry Graham, an Information Systems Security Officer at ManTech, spoke to us about people who may want to follow his cybersecurity career path: “Cyber is hot, and competition for great talent is intense, meaning you will find many opportunities. Just a few pointers before you set out.

“If you plan on transitioning from the military to the business world, take your time, ask lots of questions and consider all your options. ManTech advises retiring military personnel to begin this process at least one year ahead of time. Make sure the company you choose is a good fit for your skills, provides meaningful work, and [creates] the opportunity to advance.”

Angela Hill

And finally, Navy veteran and former intelligence contractor Angela Hill expressed her love for technology: “At heart, I am an artist, and from the STEAM model, I believe my love of technology is from the Art aspect. I love the design aspect of building collaborative environments leveraging the latest technology. Additionally, I believe technology can be the conduit for creating a shared consciousness and breaking down silos to increase collaboration and teamwork.”

In a fantastic article about the origin of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, InCyberDefense contributor Susan Hoffman reminded us “that public education is an important aspect of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. By becoming more aware of cyber threats, organizations and individuals can take the steps they need to improve their cybersecurity.”

The field of cybersecurity will need to fill 3.5 million cybersecurity positions globally by 2021. Now is the perfect time to consider a cybersecurity education. If our experts are any indication, the industry is both emotionally rewarding and financially lucrative.

Take a look at some of our hottest articles from October from our industry thought-leaders!

We Asked NASA: Is It Possible to Hack into a Spacesuit?

Should You Hire a Hacker? Benefits of Ethical Hacking Services

Phishers Are Finding New Ways to Bypass Email Gateways

The Origin of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Are you interested in contributing your expertise to InCyberDefense? We’re always looking for knowledgeable writers in the tech and cybersecurity space. Reach out to Wes O’Donnell, the Managing Editor of InCyberDefense at with your pitch. Sorry, no promotional material accepted.

Learn more from our latest magazine, Preventing a Cyberattack: A Guide to Cyber Readiness. Download it now.

Wes O'Donnell

Wes O’Donnell is an Army and Air Force veteran and writer covering military and tech topics. As a sought-after professional speaker, Wes has presented at U.S. Air Force Academy, Fortune 500 companies, and TEDx, covering trending topics from data visualization to leadership and veterans’ advocacy. As a filmmaker, he directed the award-winning short film, “Memorial Day.”

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