Information Security Summit 2016 Raises $5,000 for MassBay Cyber Security Scholarships

WELLESLEY HILLS, MA (August 2016) – Massachusetts Bay Community College is pleased to announce it has received a generous donation of $5,000 from this year’s annual Information Security Summit to support student scholarships in the field of cyber security.

The Information Security Summit, held each year on MassBay Community College’s Wellesley Hills campus, was established in 2013 to help professionals advance their programs and knowledge base on the latest network security and technology issues. The net proceeds from the Summit are awarded to students in the form of two scholarships in support of Cyber Security education.

To date, the Information Security Summit and its attendees and sponsors have raised a total of $28,000 to support student scholarships.

Towerwall CEO Michelle Drolet, whose Framingham-based network security and policy management company is one of the lead sponsors of the Information Security Summit, along with MassBay’s Chief Information Officer Michael Lyons were on hand to present this year’s scholarship check to President Dr. David Podell and to Mary Shia, the Executive Director of the MassBay Foundation and the College’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations. Drolet is also a member of the MassBay’s Foundation Board.

Sponsors of the Information Security Summit also include: AlienVault, CDW, CyberSN, FTG, Infraguard, Interwork, ISACA, ISSA, Veeam, PhishMe, RSA, SnoopWall, Sophos, TCG, and Varonis.

Scholarships are available to full-time and part-time MassBay students in the form of Information Security Summit (Cyber Security) scholarships and given out by the MassBay Foundation

The MassBay Foundation gives 100% of donations back to students in the form of student scholarships. The Information Security Summit Scholarship was created and is supported by the generous sponsors of the Information Security Summit established by Towerwall and MassBay Community College to support student’s studying in the Cyber Security field. Anyone interested in donating to student scholarships, learning more about our student scholarship program or getting involved with the MassBay Foundation can contact Mary Shia at

*Above is a photo of the check presentation (left to right) MassBay President Dr. David Podell, Towerwall CEO Michelle Drolet, MassBay Vice President for Institution Advancement and Alumni Relations and the Executive Director of the MassBay Foundation Mary Shia, and MassBay Chief Information Officer Michael Lyons.

MassBay Community College was recently ranked by the Brookings Institution as one of the top schools for value added and earned salaries in the workforce. Ranked #1 for 2-year colleges in Massachusetts, #2 in New England and ranked #16 nationally. The College’s facilities in Wellesley Hills, Framingham and Ashland house day, evening and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career minded life-long learners. Online options provide convenience and allow faculty to facilitate the learning process. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and strives to meet the needs of the diverse local communities it serves.

Hired guns: The rise of the virtual CISO

When is the right time to rent yourself a CISO?

The enterprise is facing a dangerous combination of mounting cybersecurity threats of increasing subtlety—and a widening gap in the skills required to identify and combat them. Having someone who knows how to lead the charge in identifying and analyzing threats, creating strategic security plans and ensuring compliance requires the right level of expertise.

The Information Systems Security Association spoke of a “missing generation” in information security, pointing to an estimated 300,000 to 1 million vacant cybersecurity jobs. To further complicate the labor shortfall, security professionals at enterprises understand they are in demand, and it is understood that employees will be receiving offers from other companies. According to a Ponemon study, senior security executives on average leave after 30 months on the job.

Almost three-fourths of respondents in a 2014 Ponemon report said their organizations do not have enough IT security staff. The fact is enterprises are looking to fill security positions. According to Burning Glass, a labor analytics firm, cybersecurity job postings grew 74 percent from 2007 to 2013. Filling those positions, however, is another story.


Finding the right person to drive enterprise security

According to Cisco’s 2015 Annual Security Report, 91 percent of companies have an executive who is directly responsible for security, but only 29 percent of them have a chief information security officer (CISO). Businesses with a CISO in place recorded the highest levels of confidence in their security stance, both in terms of optimization and clarity.

“Contracting a virtual CISO can be far more cost effective than hiring a full-timer. They can fill in where you need it the most, helping your CIO pull together your security policies, guidelines and standards.

Many organizations are asking other executives to step into the gap, and they often lack the expertise required to outline a solid information security policy and drive it forward. Would you want a podiatrist filling in for a neurosurgeon?”

For small- to mid-sized businesses, it may be difficult to justify the expense of a full-time CISO. Recruitment can also be a challenge. How do you find the right fit for your business within your budget when you lack the internal experience to properly evaluate a candidate?


Enter the virtual CISO

For smaller businesses, it simply doesn’t make sense to invest in a full-time CISO when you can hire a virtual one and get the specialty skills you need to draw up a strategic overview and deliver the big picture. With a virtual CISO, there’s no need to worry about benefits or monthly overhead.

Say you’re a larger enterprise. You’re suffering from attrition and need someone to step in on an interim basis. You want some supervision and advice for a relatively green InfoSec manager or you want to ensure that you only pay for what you actually need. Renting a CISO could be the answer.


Making the business case for a virtual CISO

There’s no set universal standard for hiring a virtual CISO. You can set up a retainer for a certain number of hours, you can hire someone on a project basis, and/or you can even buy a chunk of support hours and use them when you need them. It’s a way of getting the cream of security talent without buying the whole cow.

Contracting a virtual CISO can be far more cost effective than hiring a full-timer. They can fill in where you need it the most, helping your CIO pull together your security policies, guidelines and standards. That could entail anything from coming to grips with HIPAA or PCI compliance to staying on top of vendor risk assessments.

A qualified virtual CISO is going to be fully up to speed on the latest best practices, they have experience dealing with a wide variety of scenarios, and they are well-positioned to train your internal security staff.

The normal annual contract rate for virtual CISOs is 35 percent to 40 percent of what it costs to pay the normal industry salary for a full-time information security team to perform the same services, according to Bank Info Security.


Preventive security vs. post-incident cleanup

Many companies are being forced to spend an ever-increasing proportion of their budget on cleaning up after incidents. A virtual CISO can be invaluable as a firefighter, but don’t wait until a breach occurs; prevention is always better than cure.

Whether you’re looking to get a snapshot of your security posture, you need to fill a temporary gap, or you need a leader to roll out a companywide information security policy, the virtual CISO is a compelling value proposition. Until the new generation of security graduates matures, the virtual CISO may be your best shot at tempering security risks.


Get more information on Towerwall’s vCISO Program >


This article appeared in NetworkWorld
Image courtesy of: Roel Wijnants

7 Secrets of Offensive Security – SnoopWall & Towerwall Lunch & Learn Session on August 16, 2016

7 Secrets of Offensive Security

Please join us for a complimentary Lunch & Learn session.
Tuesday, August 16
11:00 am – 1:00 pm EST
Sheraton Framingham Hotel, Framingham, MA


In this session you will learn:

The 7 Secrets of Oensive Security. With all the breaches happening in the news, isn’t it time you get one step ahead of the next threat? Get proactive and learn these secrets before you become the next victim.



11:00-11:15 – Arrival and Check-In
11:15-11:30 – Networking
11:30 – Lunch
11:45-11:50 – Michelle Drolet, CEO Towerwall – Event Introduction
11:50-12:50 – Gary Miliefsky, CEO, SnoopWall – Presentation
12:50-1:00 – Q & A


About our speaker:

Gary Miliefsky
Gary Miliefsky
Co-founder & CEO of SnoopWall, Inc.
Gary Miliefsky is the co-founder and CEO of SnoopWall, Inc. He is a breach prevention expert who has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN, FOX New, CTV and network programming across North America. SnoopWall is the leader in network breach prevention. They are ranked as the top mobile device security company by Cybersecurity 500 and one of the top 50 Most Valuable Tech Companies in Insight Success.


To register, please call or email:

Andrea Hamilton
(774) 204-0700


Download the Free Whitepaper:
7 Secrets of Offensive Security

7 Secrets of Offensive Security
Click here to download >