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Year in Review - Message from the Director

DATE: September 28, 2021

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Hello again everyone! Thanks for giving cyberTAP your attention; we very much appreciate our partners, clients, and friends. Without you we’d be really bored, not to mention, without you we couldn’t achieve all of the great things we’ve done over the past few years. As our fiscal year closed over this summer, we retrospectively looked at our accomplishments to see if we executed the strategy our leadership team set forth. Well, cyberTAP set out to do big things in FY21 and boy did we. Our strategy consisted of three main focus areas: Professional Development, Business Development, and Client Services. In each of these areas we set achievable but challenging goals. Here are some of the highlights:

Professional Development:

Goal: 480 hours of staff development time

Results: 1200+ hours

It helps when we have SME rock stars that eat, sleep, and breathe cyber. We have full time staff taking nearly full-time Ph.D. class loads. In addition, our team added certifications from (ISC)2, CompTIA and EC-Council. Our team of CISSPs take their CPEs seriously, so those hours add up quickly. When we set the goal it seemed, we may have underestimated ourselves, but that’s ok. I just want a team that is committed to being excellent in the cyber and info sec domain. Our partners and clients benefit from this effort and that’s why professional development will continue to be part of the cyberTAP strategy.

Business Development:

Goal: $5m in grant and sponsored programs proposals

Result: $4m in awards

Talk about overachieving! As a leadership team we wanted to start our brand-new proposal writing team off with a simple goal, write at least $5m in proposals. Well that turned into $4m in awards. During the past FY and into the start of this FY we’ve managed to convert two substantial proposals. We are excited to continue our cyber education partnership with Infosys . We’ve added a new program that will provide much-needed cybersecurity training and services to local governments and K-12 schools. The funder of that program will be announced very soon and details are forthcoming. Oh, and by the way, our Fee for Service work set an all-time record, more than doubling the previous high-water mark. This tells me our education and professional services are needed and valued, and that is exactly where we need to be.

Client Services:

Goal: 1,200 Trainees

Results: 1,700 Trained

Once again, the team surpassed the goal, this time by 42%, which any nerd knows is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. To be clear, the 1700 are unique participants. Those participants comprised 5,000+ “seats” over the year of training courses we offered. Our training ranged from cyber foundations all the way to advanced blue and red teaming on our cyber range. In addition, we continued to execute large scale awareness campaigns for large and small partners. I can’t mention client services success without mentioning that we managed to complete 163 professional services projects, nearly all include an onsite assessment. What’s amazing about this number is that we did this during a COVID year where travel was restricted and clients were hesitant to invite people onsite. This number is an incredible success.

It seems the future is clear in cyber, we will likely never have enough people or enough tools to combat all the cyber threats we face. So, until AI can solve all our problems, and before the machines become self-aware and subject us to their authority, we will continue to offer professional services, training, and cyber awareness for everyone. We do what we do because being knowledgeable, being aware, and knowing how to respond is everyone’s responsibility when it comes to cyber and information security.

Thanks again to all our partners, clients, and friends for helping us make FY21 a successful year. We look forward to our continued engagements this coming year and into the future.

About the author

Mathew Trampski

Executive Director, Technical Assistance Program

(765) 494-1049, mtrampsk@purdue.edu

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