Meet Your Classmates | Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age

2 minutes   |  CAREER ADVICE, SYSTEMS & TECHNOLOGY

The Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age online short course from Harvard University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL), in association with HarvardX is an entirely online 8-week course providing students with the opportunity to identify vulnerabilities in an organization’s networks and systems with precision, and the tools to design and implement a risk mitigation strategy.

Here’s what you can expect to cover on this cybersecurity course:

  • Cybersecurity risk is business risk – learn about the risks to organizations inherent in the current cyber landscape
  • Identifying the threats to an organization – identify notable threat actors and typical methods of attack
  • Identifying important business systems and assets – Assess the vulnerabilities of an organization’s critical business systems, networks, and data
  • The crucial role of leadership in managing cyber risk – explore the role of leadership in managing an organization’s cyber risk
  • Understanding your technology – identify appropriate technologies for protecting systems, networks, and data
  • Cyber risk and the law – learn to identify the legal and compliance requirements that govern an organization or sector
  • Incident response and accountability – review appropriate responses to a cyber attack
  • Designing and implementing a mitigation strategy – develop a risk mitigation strategy for your organization

Here’s what your classmates are looking forward to about the course.


OCTOBER PRESENTATION 2018


Michael Nelson LinkedIN logo image

Founder & CEO Lumen Technologies Inc.
Former US Army Paratrooper

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

The business strategy for many of our customers is rapidly changing and cybersecurity is a major part of the new scope and I feel the need to improve my understanding of this emerging threat to my customers.


Gary Weessies LinkedIN logo image

CEO, Keystone Health Group

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

I am a physicist that has been a CEO for an orthopedic group for 20 years.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

As a serial entrepreneur, I look forward to sharing my business experience with others as well as making new connections.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

I am transitioning to cybersecurity with CISSP expected in February 2019. While I am learning the technical aspects of cybersecurity, I will enter the field in the managerial and executive roles.


Sanjay Gupta LinkedIN logo image

Sr Manager Security and Compliance at Cisco Webex Cloud Engineering

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

Always looking forward to meeting and networking with people in the security, risk and compliance areas.

Why did you choose to take this course?

I certainly want to keep my knowledge up to date and what can be better than a Harvard course in risk management. I want to increase my understanding of the risk, mitigation methodology and managing the risk in the most efficient and effective way.


Youssef Abillama LinkedIN logo image

Managing Director Shelt

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

I am a serial entrepreneur, growing a business that relies on quality people. My latest business is a cybersecurity managed service business focused on Africa and Europe. We have an alliance and partnership with cybersecurity managed services and telecom operators with a strong presence in Africa.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

I am looking to learn more about cybersecurity applied to corporate business.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

At the top of my bucket list is networking with cybersecurity professionals. I look forward to growing Shelt as I did with other businesses.


Ger van Hees LinkedIN logo image

Director of GoodSecurityAwareness.com

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

One of my most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements was the successful implementation of an information security awareness program at a New Zealand government agency.

Why did you choose to take this course?

I chose this course because I’d like to learn more about the global aspect of information security risk.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

I am looking forward most to learning and collaborating with people around the globe.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

At the top of my professional bucket list is making my company more successful. My personal bucket list top is getting my airplane instrument rating.


Makonnen Melaku LinkedIN logo image

Lead Systems Engineer, Consultant

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

A highly motivated professional, creative problem solver and team player. Granted 4 patents in the wireless area. Served as a vice-chairperson in a Technology committee for Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) (2001). IEEE Senior member. Served as a co-chair for Circuit/Systems and Signal Processing Chapter of NJ Coast Section (1997-2000). Served as IEEE North Jersey Chapter Young Engineers Treasurer and Secretary (1987-1989). Paper reviewer of MilCom 2006-2008. Listed in the international Who’s Who of professionals.

Why did you choose to take this course?

I believe this is one of the next hot areas to be in. It will provide me with tools in the box. It fits into my schedule to take this course and it is great to take it from a well-known institution.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

After taking the course I would like to equip myself with the cybersecurity building blocks. And, it will be nice to have access to a community of professionals in this area.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

I always make a commitment throughout my professional life if I want to stay in a technical field I need to adapt new skills either on my own or taking crash courses.


Julia Andrea Ramirez Suarez LinkedIN logo image

Small Business Advisor-Independent

Why did you choose to take this course?

With a background in advising business and startups in their setting process and growth, I believe preparing them for the influence of Cybersecurity in their business is key. Additionally, I have specialized in HR and Immigration to fulfill the needs of organizations in the areas of recruitment, onboarding, and workforce training.


JUNE PRESENTATION 2018


Meet your classmates harvard cybersecurity abe smith

Abe Smith

Director of Information Security, Equinix, USA

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy achievements, professionally?

Built four large successful InfoSec departments from scratch.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

It is critical to understand the process of cyber risk management.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

Sponsored by Harvard University.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

Fly solo around the world in a single-engine plane.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

Make me a good Cyber Risk Manager.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

“If you think that education is expensive, try ignorance” – IBM


meet your classmates harvard cybersecurity jeffrey padwa

Jeffery Padwa [GS-general]_square_linkedin_How Private Education Is Meeting The Demand For Lifelong Learning_

Founder, Padwa Law LLC

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy achievements, professionally?

Former Providence City Solicitor; Past Chief of Staff to Rhode Island General Treasurer; Co-Chair (RI) of Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama; Past President of Rhode Island Association for Justice; Wiedemann Wysocki Award for significant contributions to Civil Justice System.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

To become more knowledgeable as clients are requesting my help in dealing with cybersecurity issues.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

Learning how to perform assessments and creating plans for addressing cybersecurity risks.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

Cycling across the USA and running back.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

It will provide me with subject matter expertise and a template for addressing cybersecurity issues, which comprise some of the most significant risks to personal and business safety.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

Go for gold.


Shivakumar Sambashivam harvard cybersecurity meet your classmates

Shivakumar Sambashivam [GS-general]_square_linkedin_How Private Education Is Meeting The Demand For Lifelong Learning_

Head of Engineering, Digicel Pacific, Singapore

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy achievements, professionally?

Basic Telecommunication Service Availability in Papua New Guinea circa 80% of population with 3G and 4G deployment to over 50% of population. Built Technical and IT organization, Systems and Processes that could support and sustain the organic growth with business continuity in place.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

IT/IS Systems are ever-changing and with business plans to implement Cloud and Hybrid Cloud, the current security systems adapted requires further strengthening. To lead and manage, as a leader and a manager, the first step is to gain insight on the industry trends that help to rebuild people, process and technology with consciousness around security and adaptability within the existing and new systems.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

Identifying the risk and threats, and preparing a framework to mitigate and avoid.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

Knowledge enhancement and to move to a digital world, information and tools are key strengths.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

Overall improve my ability to educate internal stakeholders in adapting the culture of security and vulnerability in a digital world, at the same time provides me a tool to negotiate with vendors by being better informed.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

Open to a collaborative approach and willingness to share knowledge in the field I come from, at the same time learn from their past experience on best practices and failures.


Atahan Bozdag harvard cybersecurity meet your classmates

Atahan Bozdag [GS-general]_square_linkedin_How Private Education Is Meeting The Demand For Lifelong Learning_

IT Manager-Security & Risk, R1 RCM, USA

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy achievements, professionally?

Being able to diversify my knowledge and experience in our company departments and becoming a noteworthy asset.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

To advance my career and knowledge. Earn a certificate from a very reputable university.

What are you looking forward to most about the course?

Being able to use the knowledge and implement it in our IT Department.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

At one point, I would like to lead my department where I excel, IT Security and Risk.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

It will show that I am a worthy and qualified person for the job.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

Nothing is ever late, dream big and make it happen.


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