MEDIA, Pa. — More than 170 attendees participated in Penn State Brandywine’s inaugural cybersecurity conference, held on Sept. 9 in collaboration with SAP, a global software firm. The conference, which had an academic focus on cybersecurity workforce skills development, was part of a partnership between Penn State Brandywine and SAP to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
Brandywine faculty members Nannette D’Imperio, lecturer in information sciences and technology, and Andy Landmesser, assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology, were the conference organizers. The daylong event was held at Brandywine and included both in-person and virtual attendance.
Brandywine students who attended the event appreciated both the educational sessions and the networking opportunities.
“The speakers and their topics were very relevant to today’s issues within cyber. ... I also appreciated the fact some speakers chose to highlight the need for women in cybersecurity.”
—Marge Reybolds , Penn State Brandywine student
“I personally had an amazing experience with the conference,” said Marge Reynolds, a cybersecurity analytics and operations major. “I was very proud to have my summer work presented. The speakers and their topics were very relevant to today’s issues within cyber and the fact we got so many people from SAP to either come speak or recognize the day was also very surreal. I’m really happy with how many students ended up coming and how everyone who was there was interested in the topic in one way or another. I also appreciated the fact some speakers chose to highlight the need for women in cybersecurity.”
“I thought the conference was a good opportunity for networking,” added Akaylah Swingle, who is also majoring in cybersecurity analytics and operations. “We got to hear from several cybersecurity professionals about a variety of topics, as well as talk and interact with them, which was fantastic. I was also able to present some undergraduate research for SAP that I did with a few other students. Attending the conference allowed me to make several connections that can potentially help me in my future endeavors.”
“Attending the conference allowed me to make several connections that can potentially help me in my future endeavors.”
—Akaylah Swingle , Penn State Brandywine student
The opening keynote speaker was Celeste Chamberlain, governance risk and compliance officer for SAP. She discussed the importance of diversity in cybersecurity, breaking into the field after college, policy and law issues, artificial intelligence, and the future of cybersecurity.
Breakout session topics included: enterprise risk management; trends in cybersecurity education; instructional learning tool for mobile device offensive security and ethical hacking; supply chain attacks impact organizations; QR code hacking; SAP Business Technology Platform security overview; worlds connected — re-examining the legal foundations of cybersecurity; measures to maintain data integrity for security machine learning solutions; and a floppy disk, the internet and a threat hunter.
Session speakers included cybersecurity professionals from ADP, Breakaway Technologies, CDI, Gigamon, Lockheed Martin, and Stephenson Technologies Corp., as well as faculty from Penn State’s Abington, Brandywine, Berks and Greater Allegheny campuses.
Several Brandywine alumni were among the speakers, including: Sukh Kaur, customer success partner at SAP, who graduated with a degree in information sciences and technology; Shawn Manderson, vice president of enterprise risk management at ADP, who graduated with a degree in information sciences and technology; and Himani Vommi, software and cybersecurity engineer at Lockheed Martin, who graduated with a degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations. Vommi is currently pursuing a master’s degree in information science at Penn State Great Valley.
Penn State Brandywine is a 1,200-student residential campus. Computer science, cybersecurity analytics and operations, and information technology are among the 15 bachelor’s degrees offered at Brandywine. The campus also offers the first two years of most of Penn State’s more than 275 majors.