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Security Technologies Student Says Real-World Experience is Preparing Him to Lead the Industry | Technological Leadership Institute

Posted on
March 28, 2016
Gallo Fall

“Security is critical right now. Every company, sector and agency needs to secure data, and a next generation of leaders is needed,” says Gallo Fall, Master of Science in Security Technologies (MSST) student.

Fall works as an information security officer at Wells Fargo, where he helps secure financial assets. When he recognized the growing need for security leaders, he decided to pursue an education that would help him become one of them.

“I thought it was necessary to get my graduate degree, and I wanted a program to help give me the skills to successfully lead in the industry.”

Fall was looking into an online program when he was referred to the Technological Leadership Institute by a coworker and graduate of the MSST program. After reading the program description, Fall liked that fact that he would be learning from world-renowned faculty members on campus rather than online.

“I enjoy being able to interact with the professors and students. The instructors are seasoned academics and industry experts,” he explains. “They utilize real-world examples in their teachings. They know what they’re talking about.”

Those real-world examples are taken to the next level in exercises known as red teaming – Fall’s favorite part of the program. Red teaming is a military term used to describe the process of challenging an organization to improve its effectiveness; for example, improving the security of a building to prevent acts of terror. In the MSST 8111: Methods, Theory & Applications course, students go on site to various organizations within the community and have the opportunity to practice the skills they’ve learned in the classroom. They assess the security of a building and write a report on their findings to present to the organization.

“We learn from experience and help our own community at the same time,” Fall says.

His original goal in enrolling in the MSST degree program was to learn more about cyber security, and he says the program has helped him expand on his knowledge of the topic.

“I’m confident in understanding the cyber security threat landscape and the cyber security ecosystem. Because of the program, I can communicate risks and have a discussion about the technology landscape, malware and cyber security.”

But Fall also says he has gained a deeper understanding of all critical infrastructures, such as homeland security, food protection and securing smart grids, as well as how to be an effective leader.

“The program has helped me be able to stand up and communicate clearly in a meeting and make a point,” he explains. “I can say, ‘Here is the problem and the solution.’ I can talk to an organization and explore why hacks happen and how to prevent them.”

The combination of expert faculty, hands-on learning, and real-world application of TLI’s M.S. in Security Technologies program make it stand out.

“The advantage of this program is that it teaches you how to make quick decisions and have good judgment,” he says. “It gives you the specific skills in security and also the skills to lead an organization. I have learned how to protect critical assets and hone my skills to help me become a better leader.”

Fall says he is going to use the skills he’s learned through the program to advance his career, and in five years he hopes to be in an information security leadership role.

“I’ve always felt security is the way of the future, and I want to be in a position to help companies counter threats and have the best security posture possible.”

In addition to red teaming exercises, Security Technologies graduate students complete an independent applied investigation on a relevant issue of particular interest to them as their capstone project. Visit the Master of Science in Security Technologies curriculum page to view the complete list of courses and hands-on learning experiences offered to students.

I’m confident in understanding the cyber security threat landscape and ecosystem. Because of the program, I can communicate risks and have a discussion about the technology landscape, malware and cyber security.

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