Alumna finds her future in cybersecurity

June 22, 2022

Katlyn Gallo poses with her diploma

With a bachelor’s degree in management information systems, and working full-time in IT, Katlyn Gallo, MS ’22, still had a hunger for knowledge.

As a security engineer at Syneos Health, a clinical research organization, she knew how important protecting confidential information was and wanted to broaden her knowledge in cybersecurity.

Her search for a program that would accommodate her busy work schedule landed her at Quinnipiac as a part of the online MS in Cybersecurity program. The combination of the curriculum and the flexibility with being able to take multiple classes throughout the semester, but not necessarily all at once, allowed her to continue to work full-time and get schoolwork done without being completely overwhelmed.

“Quinnipiac caught my eye because of the flexibility with the program and the one credit courses that you take. The curriculum was interesting to me since Quinnipiac takes a heavy risk management approach,” she said.

Quinnipiac’s online MS in Cybersecurity equips students with the most advanced prevention, detection and recovery methods necessary to defend against cyber-attacks, making graduates indispensable in virtually every industry.

Gallo initially majored in finance for her undergraduate at another university, but during her first job, she was introduced to Information Technology and ultimately did an internship in that field. From there, she gained an interest in cybersecurity and decided to pursue a career.

As a security engineer, she works with the security team to implement and configure security tools such as network firewalls, antivirus products and make sure that laptops and servers are up to date with security configurations.

“I work with our security operations center to respond to incidents when necessary and make sure that we have all the processes in place to protect the organization as a whole,” she explained. “There’s a lot that goes into the systems that process patient data and definitely more rigor around the security controls there, just because of the nature of the sensitive information.”

The Master's degree broadened her overall knowledge, introducing her to other areas of cybersecurity that she doesn’t necessarily do in her day-to-day job, giving her a good foundation across the industry as a whole.

“The program does a really good job at aligning the curriculum with the current state of security. It can be hard for degree programs to stay up to date with the latest and greatest technology because things change daily with regard to the different types of security threats that are out there,” Gallo said. “The program itself does a good job with teaching relevant curriculum and teaching the fundamentals while giving exposure to the different types of threats, security frameworks and policies in and hands-on experience.”

To those considering pursuing a Master’s in cybersecurity, Gallo recommends it. She feels the exposure to all of the different functions of security is invaluable.

“On top of that, it allows you to discover all the areas of security that you can work in because it's such a broad field that it can be hard to figure out what exactly you want to do,” she said.

In her spare time, Gallo writes a blog about cybersecurity called Dark Roast.
A bit out of boredom, she also saw it as a way to further her professional development. She decided to write about her journey and share with others the specific things she was learning. She has recently used her blog as a learning tool to help expand her knowledge even further.

“I've definitely grown with my rank too. I'm writing more managerial-level blogs about security frameworks and developing an effective security program. I think my writing has definitely allowed me to grow more in that aspect,” she said.

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