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Episode #


USF's Jordan Howell on How to Train Well-Rounded Practitioners for the Future of Cybersecurity

Show Notes

In this week's episode of the Future of Cyber Risk podcast, David speaks to Jordan Howell, Assistant Professor and Cybersecurity Researcher at University of South Florida. They discuss how Jordan works with his students each day, how there needs to be a shift in academia to focus on more holistic training, and the variety of skills that students need to have to be successful security practitioners. They also talk about how AI can be a tool to either close or expand gaps in security, how scholarship around cybercriminal behavior needs be improved, and advice for those just starting out in their security careers.

Topics discussed:

  • A day-in-the-life of how Jordan works with students and industries to advance cybersecurity training and skills acquisition.

  • The biggest differences between academia and industry when it comes to cybersecurity, and where there needs to be a paradigm shift towards a more holistic approach.

  • How AI can be a tool to bridge divides between human behavior, intelligence gathering, and technical components — if you know how to use it.

  • Why the current scholarship around cybercriminal behavior is lacking, and how to improve it.

  • Why students need to learn a variety of cybersecurity skills in order to be prepared for the future of their industry.

  • Advice for those just starting out in their security career or those still in high school, including why it's important to be a continuous, lifelong learner.

Quotes from Episode


"What I find the industry is really eager to adopt is this more holistic framework that takes into account human behavior and really adopts an intelligence gathering framework, right? So understanding human behavior by gathering threat intelligence and then using that information to improve upon the technical solutions that we're currently implementing. Because if you date back to The Art of War, once you know your opponent, fear not a thousand cyber battles, is a paraphrase, if you will." (8:06-8:36)


"I want to build a lab structure that recognizes that all of these colleges, all of these departments have skills to offer, and we need to bring them together in order to ensure our students have what the industry so desperately seeks." (27:18; video 3)

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