Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2018

Intel grad fighting cyber threats

The global rise in cyber crime has created an unprecedented demand for cyber security professionals, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 37 percent job growth over the next four years. To meet this growing need, Mercyhurst University recently announced two new online master’s programs in Cyber Security and Cyber Risk Management. Generously funded by Betsy Hirt Vorsheck, a 1977 Mercyhurst graduate and board member of Erie Insurance, these programs leverage Mercyhurst’s reputation as an international leader in intelligence and cyber education. Cyber Security Housed in the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, the Cyber Security program prepares students to analyze cyber threats to computer systems, networks and networked devices, and protect those systems from cyber attacks. Students will also evaluate the legal, regulatory and ethical issues related to cyber security and privacy, and learn to efectively communicate complex cyber security information. One of the few online programs in the nation to address cyber threats to business as well as national and international security, this program prepares students for careers as cyber analysts and IT security specialists in virtually any industry. Cyber Risk Management Although cyber security risks are a growing concern to businesses, managing cyber risk through insurance is relatively new, and thus difcult to quantify. A joint ofering from the Ridge College and the Walker College of Business, this program integrates traditional elements of risk management with cutting-edge science in big data and cyber security, providing students with the skills to assess and mitigate cyber risks. Coursework highlights the technical, legal and business aspects of cyber risk management, with special emphasis on monetizing cyber risk through insurance. This unique program prepares students for careers as cyber security managers in small and large enterprises, as well as for careers in the insurance industry. New programs address need for cyber professionals Both programs consist of 36 credit hours and expect to enroll their frst cohorts in Fall 2018. Visit for more information.

Henry Peltokangas ’10 entered the intelligence feld focusing on cyber threat intelligence when much of the attention was on terrorism. Now, nine years into his career, he’s at the forefront of the fght against cyber threats. For the past two years, Henry has worked for Cisco, where he played an important role in creating the frm’s Threat Intelligence Director technology, which helps customers rapidly operationalize cyber threat intelligence to protect their computer networks. Henry was a teenager in Finland when he watched the World Trade Center fall in 2001. “I couldn’t believe what was happening. When it was confrmed that it was a terrorist attack, I decided that I wanted to make a diference, which eventually drove me to work in security.” An assignment to military intelligence and long-range reconnaissance during his military service introduced him to the career he would pursue, and his search for schools quickly focused on the United States. “Mercyhurst was the only place that really had a dedicated program for intel studies and the best set of courses available,” he recalls. The day after taking his last exam at the Hurst in 2009, Henry few to Amsterdam and his frst job with iSIGHT Partners, a U.S. cyber threat intelligence frm acquired by FireEye in 2016. He had studied traditional intelligence methods, but he soon found himself heading to the cyber side of the security spectrum. Promoted to team manager of cyber threat intelligence, he transferred back to the States two years later. “I really enjoyed producing intel reports but eventually moved to a product management role because I wanted to make better intelligence products. Intelligence has always struggled with what constitutes ‘good intelligence’ and I think there is

still much we can improve, especially on the cyber side.” He moved to Symantec in 2013 as product manager for its DeepSight Intelligence Portal and created an intelligence program to provide a new service known as Managed Adversary and Threat Intelligence (MATI). Now at Cisco he’s tackling a longstanding problem. According to Cisco, “Part of the genius of Threat Intelligence Director is its ability to ingest third-party threat intelligence and operationalize it with Cisco’s network security devices. The ability to have these two parts work together – intelligence on one hand and security technologies on the other – was the missing link in making the intelligence valuable.” Virtually all cyber security companies use their own intelligence in their products, but major companies have to take intelligence provided by the FBI, Homeland Security and industry sharing groups and use it to defend their networks. “Companies can’t rely on just one source of intelligence and, without our technology, putting it in use has been largely a manual process,” Henry explains. Cyber security wasn’t a focus of Mercyhurst’s curriculum when he was here, but Henry says the analytical skills he learned here have served him well in the feld, and he’s not alone. He says he’s encountered many Mercyhurst graduates who have become infuential in the cyber world. And he’s excited about the new programs in cybersecurity being developed at Mercyhurst. “Look at any report on the skill gap in cyber security – there’s defnitely room for every single Mercyhurst grad to work with cyber and they’ll fnd lots of opportunities.” Henry and his wife Jacqueline married in 2016 and now live in Silver Spring, Maryland.


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