Alma R. Cole, MBA, CISSP
Masters of Business Administration – CIS/Information Assurance Emphasis
Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho May 2007
• NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education
• National Science Foundation (NSF) Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service (SFS) recipient
Bachelor of Science - Business Information Systems – E-Commerce emphasis
Utah State University, Logan, Utah May 2005
• Cum Laude
OVERVIEW OF QUALIFICATIONS
Executive level management and technical IT information technology security expertise
• Managed the DHS Security Operations Center (SOC), a 13 million dollar operation (Contractor, Government FTE, and tools), which is responsible for overall cyber incident management for all DHS Component information security incidents and continuous monitoring of DHS security posture
• Regularly briefed CBP and DHS senior executives on cyber security issues including multiple briefings to the Deputy Secretary of DHS, Commissioner of CBP, and briefings to the DHS Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council.
• Widely recognized within DHS and among other Federal Civilian Agencies as a cyber security subject matter expert for computer network defense and incident response
• Managed a highly diverse team of security analysts and effectively recognized, respected, and utilized the unique skill sets and perspectives contributed by each analyst.
• Represents CBP on DHS taskforce to define DHS Strategy for Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) Mission 4 – Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace
• Recognized by 1105 Government Information Group as a Rising Star for contributions to the security of DHS and CBP
• Key Subject Matter Expert and primary DHS representative to the OMB Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) interagency working group
• Highly influential in the establishment of DHS-wide information security policy, and DHS common security architecture including Continuous Monitoring, TIC, Policy Enforcement Points (PEP), and computer network defense
Senior level experience in classified information technology security systems
• Directly lead Focused Operations branch which responded to and mitigated classified threats to DHS Information and Information Systems
• Developed system concepts for cross domain security operations to enable secure transfer and matching of key security log data with classified indicators
• Drafted proposed training standards for Committee on National Security Systems Instructions (CNSSI) for Risk Manager and Information System Security Manager (ISSM)
• Established Secret level information sharing presence for DHS SOC on Homeland Security Data Network (HSDN) and DoD Secret Internet Protocol Routing Network (SIPRnet) using the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Intelink system
High level research and development in the information technology security field
• Develops and analyzes multiple technical strategies for improving security posture and applies detailed cost benefit analysis techniques to determine most desirable solutions.
• Detailed cost benefit analysis expert in and champion for immerging information technology solutions including the adoption of controlled consumer mobility solutions, cloud computing as a service, and modern operating systems
• Organizes pilot evaluations of compelling new security technologies to determine overall tool effectiveness and assess potential added value to the organization
• Analyzes shortcomings in current information security defensive posture, assess possible solutions, and champions action to resolve
• Meets with a wide range of information security tool vendors to stay abreast with changes in the security current product space, to learn about immerging tools and cutting edge techniques, and determine suitability for CBP and DHS
• Partners with other Federal Agency Security Operations Centers and related Defense Contractor SOCs to understand industry best practices and build information sharing coalitions
• Maintains a high level of awareness of the cyber security industry to include current events, evolving security trends, and public policy changes
• Actively contributes back to the security community through volunteering with the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² on the development and maintenance of information security certification exams.
Vice President of Cyber Security, Robbins-Gioia, LLC
Alexandria, VA May 2013 – present
Responsible for customer-facing cybersecurity lines of business designed to bridge security performance gaps by implementing state-of-the-art, risk-based, intelligence-driven, and cost-effective cyber security solutions, service, and operations.
• Works with customers to develop strategic priorities, policies, and architectures to provide resiliency against cyber attack and espionage.
• Leverages principles of Enterprise Architecture to understand the organization, align cybersecurity strategy with business priorities, and enhance the overall effectiveness of security tools and programs.
• Establishes strategic relationships with key security vendors and service providers to seek out advanced cyber-related technologies and design enterprise security architectures to align with business objectives and organizations risk tolerance.
• Presents at multiple conferences and venues about now to leverage threat intelligence data to enhance proactive security measures, and improve detection and response to cyber incidents.
• Developed the flexible security services and solutions strategies tailored to customer needs and risk tolerance.
• Champions the importance of solid metrics development and tracking and Program Management as key elements of an effective security program.
• Developed project to modernize and enhance remote access, identity management, and strong authentication mechanisms for large commercial sector Research and Development Company.
Chief Systems Security Officer (CSSO) ST-2210-00
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Springfield, VA Jan 2012 – May 2013
Responsible for applying information assurance risk management strategies to ensure the consistent and secure delivery of IT systems and information in support of CBP’s strategic goals and objectives for carrying out its missions.
• Served as the most senior cybersecurity executive for the largest Law Enforcement Agency in the Country.
• Acts as a subject matter expert on current organizational security posture, active cyber threats, Federal cybersecurity policy, and statutory security compliance requirements.
• Develops policies for and provides governance over the Information Security Technical Architecture.
• Leads the CBP efforts to assess risk, develop risk mitigation strategies, monitor the effectiveness of mitigation measures, and enhance its cybersecurity policy.
• Manages threat and vulnerability information with regard to organizational information systems and the environments in which the systems operate.
• Verifies technical compliance with established security baselines and establishes real-time continuous monitoring of system security posture.
• Recommends appropriate risk management activities to be followed each stage of the System Life Cycle (SLC).
• Promotes a CBP-wide organizational culture that is mindful of cyber threats and cognizant of personal responsibilities to protect sensitive information.
• Aligns cyber security related investments and resources with DHS and CBP strategic objectives and prioritizes security efforts to ensure most efficient and effective use.
• One of three individuals handpicked by the Deputy Secretary of DHS to present at a special cybersecurity training session for the most senior DHS leaders.
• Deeply involved in Cyber Workforce Initiative led by the DHS Deputy Secretary which is designed to improve DHS cybersecurity workforce recruitment, capabilities, and retention.
• Initiated and championed CBP Secure Mobility pilot designed to securely integrate consumer-grade mobile devices into widespread enterprise use and standardize use of next generation dynamic remote access solutions for improved user experience and security.
• Established CBP working group for examining insider threats and developing resource plans for effective monitoring and defense.
• Serves as DHS Senior Official for Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) which ensures centralized coordination and the facilitation of rapid collaboration in response to a National Level Significant Cyber Incident.
• Conducting CBP wide vulnerability assessment to determine the Component’s ability to sustain cyber activities without interference from malicious actors or their software.
Director, DHS Security Operations Center (SOC), GS-2210-15, Step 2
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Springfield, VA Aug 2007 – Jan 2012
Protect the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of DHS information and information systems by effectively managing the DHS Security Operations Center (SOC), CBP Computer Security Incident Response Center (CSIRC), DHS Cyber Focused Operations, Vulnerability Assessment, and Digital Media Analysis functions.
• Established and maintained overall strategy for security monitoring and incident response.
• Oversaw and provided leadership to the DHS SOC in the investigation and mitigation of IT security incidents affecting DHS information or information systems.
• Directed the Vulnerability Assessment Team in the issuance of and compliance tracking for DHS-wide patch and configuration management.
• Coordinate with and provide information to all levels of DHS Executive management and Component Security Operations personnel regarding cyber activity.
• Evaluate and recommend technology solutions to combat active threats.
• Maintained a high level of awareness on internal and external cyber security posture and ongoing cyber activity.
• Successfully devised and championed highly effective initiative to share information with other Federal Civilian Agency SOC about targeted cyber-attacks.
• Successfully defended DHS against the Conficker worm. Oversaw proactive issuance of emergency instructions for DHS wide vulnerability mitigation to minimize exposure. Directed DHS-wide compliance reporting and verification activities to ensure proper mitigation. Performed outreach to Component Security Operations Centers and leadership to educate and inform about the Conficker threat. Provided daily status updates to DHS CIO. Final Conficker infection rate at DHS was less than 1 system for every 100,000.
• Exercise Director and planner for DHS SOC participation in National Cyber Exercise Cyber Storm II, and Cyber Storm III.
• Developed DHS Enterprise Policy for cyber network defense including updating DHS-wide Acceptable Use Policy, DHS Logging Strategy, and requirements for Department and Component level security operations centers.
• Key participant in the development of the standards for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) as the DHS representative to the Interagency Working Group which establishes the TIC criteria for all Civilian Federal Agencies.
• Organized and presented DHS SOC Birds of a Feather (BoF) and DHS Security Conference for outreach and collaboration with other SOCs across DHS.
IT Security Analyst, National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC)
Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID Jun 2005-Aug 2007
Drafted initial draft of Committee on National Security Systems Instruction (CNSSI) 4018 – Risk Manager training standard, and CNSSI 4019 Information System Security Manager (ISSM) training standard.
Performed National Security Agency (NSA) sponsored work to review, analyze, standardize, and update CNSSI 4011, 4012, 4013, 4014, 4015, 4016, 4017 national training standards.
Developed Information Assurance training and education materials based on Committee on National Security Systems training standards 4011, 4012, 4013, 4014, 4015, 4016 and other government information security standards. Acted as Project Manager for 4013 module development. Team lead for CNSSI standards update.
Topics of research include:
• Evaluation and recommendation for multifactor authentication
• Federal Information Systems Management Act of 2002, FISMA
• NIST Information Security Life-Cycle and Risk Management Framework
• Comparison of DIACAP, NIACAP, and DITSCAP C&A Processes
• Legislation and policy for Certification and Accreditation of federal information systems
• OCTAVE Method risk assessment
• Computer forensic investigations law
• Hardening Microsoft Windows operating systems
• Botnet command and control, propagation, and attack methods
IT Analyst, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Washington, D.C. May 2006-Aug 2006
Continually achieved measurable results in support of Congress and the American people by meetings with agency officials throughout the Government, analyzing Government and agency policies, accurately documenting findings and conclusions, and collaborating effectively with others.
• Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Continuity of Operations (COOP) interagency exercise, Forward Challenge 06
• Federal Agency barriers to FISMA implementation
• Federal CIO Authority survey
• Department of Defense and component Central Design Activity (CDA) software development oversight and management
General Manager, CLN Enterprise, Inc., Logan, Utah Mar 2000-May 2005
Efficiently managed day-to-day operations of franchise store with 35 employees, and 4 assistant managers. Demonstrated effective management skills by supervising, hiring, training, and supporting employees. Managed all day-to-day operations of store including management of Point of Sale system and customer database.
Undergraduate Teaching Fellow, Utah State University, Logan, Utah Dec 2004-May 2005
Developed and implemented PHP based survey program to research and compared effectiveness of ethnic desktop assistants.
Web and Database Developer, USU Junior Engineering, Logan, Utah Dec 2004-May 2005
Restructure and repair current MySQL database to conform to rules of relational database design. Redesigned web page to feature a more professional look and a more intuitive user interface featuring active content.
Volunteer Missionary, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Czech Republic, Europe Mar 1998-Feb 2000
Served for two years in Czech Republic as a proselytizing missionary. Mastered the Czech language, and gained an appreciation for Czech culture and people. Taught English and religious lessons by clearly communicating information and ideas and identifying and solving concerns. Learned goal setting, teamwork, self-reliance, diligence, endurance, patience, and many more skills and attributes through rigorous daily activities.
• Certified Enterprise Architect, EA Center of Excellence (EACOE) Apr 2013
• (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional, CISSP Jul 2006
• (ISC)² Systems Security Certified Practitioner, SSCP Feb 2006
• CompTIA Security+ Sep 2005
• Information Technology Infrastructure Library Version 3 (ITIL v3) Foundation Jul 2009
• Contracting Officers Technical Representative (COTR) Jul 2008
• NISTISSI 4011 – Information Security (INFOSEC) Professional May 2007
• CNSSI 4012 – Senior System Manager (SSM) May 2007
• CNSSI 4013 – System Administrator (SA) May 2007
• CNSSI 4014 – Information System Security Officer (ISSO) May 2007
• NISTISSI 4015 – System Certifier May 2007
• CNSSI 4016 – Risk Analyst May 2007
• Beachboard, Aytes, Cole, Hernandez, Mellor, & Massad “Improving Information Security Risk Analysis Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Research Agenda.” The Journal of Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, Volume 5, 2008
• Cole, Mellor, Noyes “Botnets: Rise of the Machines” Conference Proceedings –6th Annual Security Conference, April 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada.
• Beachboard, Aytes, Cole, Hernandez, & Mellor “A Tentative Proposal: Improving Information Assurance Risk Analysis Models for Small- and Medium-Sized Organizations through Adoption of an Open Source Development Model.” Conference Proceedings of the 3rd annual conference on Information security curriculum development, Kennesaw
HONORS, AWARDS, MEMBERSHIPS
• 2009 Rising Star Award Recipient, 1105 Government Information Group
• (ISC)² SSCP Certification Committee, 2006 – 2007
• (ISC)² Scheme Committee, 2007 – 2009
• Cyber Corps Association Board of Directors and Treasurer, 2007 – 2009
• NSF Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service Recipient, 2005-2007
• Cum Laude Honors at Utah State University, 2005
• Honorable Mention, EDUCAUSE Security Awareness Video Contest
• Chief Range Officer, National Range Officers Institute (NROI)
• United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), Master Class Ranking (TY47309)
• NetWitness Network Forensics Training and Intrusion Analysis Aug 2011
• PAN-ICM - Palo Alto Networks Installation, Configuration, and Management Apr 2011
• Juniper Security Manager Fundamentals Sep 2007
• Implementing Intrusion Detection and Prevention Products Sep 2007
• Configuring Juniper Firewalls and VPNs into High-Performance Networks Sep 2007
• Advanced Juniper Networks IPSec VPN Implementations Sep 2007