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Organizational Cybersecurity and Digital Risk

March 7, 2024
12:45 PM – 1:45 PM

This event is part of the Industry Leaders Lecture Series, sponsored by the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences.

The extent to which CIOs engage in digital risk management can be a crucial factor in avoiding dangers from threat agents that seek to cause your organization harm. Information security leaders and executives need to be proficient at ensuring that stakeholders are engaged, risk accountability is effectively managed, and that decisions are consistently based on current information and consideration. Hear from our panel of seasoned information security experts on how they balance digital risk and organizational performance as they keep their organizations safe from global threats

About the Industry Leaders Lecture Series

Dean Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., New York Tech College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, hosts the Industry Leader Lecture Series, offering students and practitioners a chance to hear from and interact with distinguished professionals in the tech industry.

Working professionals and undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to attend and learn from these leaders’ insights. The series offers participants a unique opportunity to ask questions about career choices and hear advice and stories directly from experts in the field. All talks will be web-based.

Certifications will be awarded, by request, to New York Tech students who attend two of the three sessions during the spring semester.

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Alex Dow

Alex Dow, Chief Innovation Officer, Mirai Security Inc.

Over the past two decades, Alex has worked within three mission-critical security operation centres (SOC), including the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics SOC, has established Vancouver’s cyber security community and in 2017 co-founded one of Western Canada’s largest cyber security consultancy.

Alex is a community builder. In 2013 he established Vancouver’s cyber security community through the founding of the BSides Vancouver cyber security conference. In 2017, frustrated with how broken cyber security consulting had become, forged Mirai Security from within the community. Mirai Security has quickly become the centre for cyber security excellence in Western Canada by attracting cyber security professionals who want to do cyber security better.

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Alex is an innovator. Over the years, he has focused on balancing risk by pragmatically improving situational awareness and incident response capabilities through business-enabling security architectures. Today, Alex is the Chief Innovation Officer at Mirai Security. Mirai, Japanese for the future, focuses on the “future of cyber risk” by helping enterprises securely digitally transform through innovative governance, secure Cloud adoption and maturing software development practices to align with privacy and security requirements.

Alex is a thought leader. He has a passion for knowledge and giving back to the community through public speaking, contributing to cyber security books, has taught for the SANS Institute, and continues to advise the higher education sector on the future of cyber security.

Brian Monk

Brian Monks, VP & Chief Security Officer at UL, LLC.

Brian Monks started his career with UL in 1983. Brian was the driving force behind the creation of UL’s internationally distinguished Anti-Counterfeiting Operations. In 2015 Brian was appointed as UL's Chief Security Officer and took over all aspects of the company's Enterprise Security Program. In 2020 Brian assumed a new role reporting directly to the President and CEO working on strategic planning and special projects.

Brian works closely with agencies such as US Customs and Border Protection, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, FBI, INTERPOL, Europol, and other law enforcement agencies. Brian is a frequent keynote speaker at anti-counterfeiting conferences around the world. In addition to these activities, he has written numerous articles that have appeared in prestigious publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post, and other various publications. Brian also belongs to many different professional memberships and affiliations.

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Brian serves on the Executive Board of the International Anti-counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) in Washington DC, serves on the Board of Business Executives for National Security (BENS) in Washington DC, Board Chairman of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) in Washington DC and on the Board of Governors of the Chicago Scots in Chicago.

Brian has a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Electro-Mechanical Computer Technology, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and has received an Executive Leadership Certificate from Yale University.

Barbara Porter

Barbara Porter (BS CS '00), Chief Operating Officer / Chief Technology Officer, Inc.

Barbara joined in January 2010 as the Chief Technology Officer and in April 2021 was also made the company’s Chief Operating Officer. She oversees all operations and technology within the organization, including warehouse management, order management, shipping and logistics, retail operations, application development, hardware, handheld, network, telephony, and virtual and cloud environments. She also oversees business intelligence, data engineering (machine learning), and PMO functions.

Prior to joining she worked for for 10 years, initially as the Manager of Web Development, then as the Director of Customer Application Development (managing 13 e-commerce websites, a retail point of sale application, and a multi-brand call center application) before transitioning to the operations side of the organization as the Director of Enterprise Initiatives—chartered with identifying and sponsoring projects for operational improvements throughout the organization that would reduce costs and/or increase customer satisfaction.

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Prior to 1800flowers, she worked in the petroleum industry for 11 years in various roles including accounting, purchasing, marketing, and administration.

Barbara has a Bachelor of Science in computer science with a minor in electrical engineering from New York Tech, and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She is currently enrolled in the Cyber Fellows program at New York University, pursuing a Master of Science. in Cybersecurity. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and is Six Sigma Black Belt trained. She is an active volunteer for PMI (as a board advisor) and with IEEE's Long Island New York section as the Chair of the Computer Society, Vice-Chair of the Technology and Engineering Management Society, and Vice-Chair of the Women in Engineering affinity group.


Babak Beheshti

Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., Professor and Dean, New York Tech College of Engineering and Computing Sciences

Babak's experience in higher education spans over 35 years, where he has served as a full-time faculty member, president of the Academic Senate, associate dean, and dean. As dean, Babak led the engineering college to the introduction of its first two Ph.D. programs, in computer science and engineering, two new bachelor's degree programs, and one new master's degree program, in addition to leading the college through its fastest climb in national rankings: #33 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (National – no doctorate)—a climb of 13 places since 2020, and #191 Best Computer Science Undergraduate Programs (National – no doctorate), a new ranking in 2021—a climb of 40 places since 2020.

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Michael Nizich

Michael Nizich is the director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) and an adjunct associate professor of computer science at New York Institute of Technology. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in information technology in a variety of industries, including aviation, education, law enforcement, biotechnology, and cybersecurity. Nizich has held IT leadership positions in both private and publicly held companies.

With more than 10 years of college-level teaching experience, Nizich holds a Ph.D. in Information Studies from Long Island University, a master’s degree in Technology Systems Management from Stony Brook University, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Dowling College.

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