Myrtle Beach-based Division of Allen Corporation Prepares Interns for a Career in Cyber Security

A recent survey of over four hundred senior level technology and cyber security professionals was conducted by the massive open online course (MOOC) provider, Cybrary. The resulting report, which documents trends in the cyber security job market, forecasts a strong demand in 2016 for cyber security talent, while simultaneously predicting that the cyber security skills gap will continue to widen. 

The demand for skilled cyber security professionals is expected to grow at a rate four times that of the overall IT market, and it is estimated that there are currently over a million open jobs worldwide for these professionals. (1)

The Myrtle Beach-based Cyber Security Division of Allen Corporation of America is a leading provider of professional services focused on designing security architectures and implementing technical controls to enhance a company’s endpoint protection, network security, and security management.  Allen Corporation is an Intel Security (formerly McAfee) Service Delivery Specialization Partner, and one of the Intel Security Professional Services organization’s top contractors.  Allen is consistently rated Exceptional by Intel Security for the quality of its projects and the expertise of its consultants in implementing McAfee security solutions at Fortune 1000 firms and Government organizations throughout North America.  Allen Corporation has also recently established a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) offering based on Intel Security’s Security Information Event Management (SIEM) solution.  As an MSSP, Allen is responsible for remotely monitoring and managing the IT Security functions of its Customers, delivered through a shared services model from a security operation center (SOC).

Allen’s cyber security professional services group is experiencing high-demand for its services expertise, and is currently recruiting to fill multiple openings for experienced McAfee security specialists.

But like many of the organizations surveyed by Cybrary, Allen Corporation has found its greatest impediment to growth is recruiting qualified cyber security talent.  To address this challenge, Allen Corporation is supplementing its recruitment of experienced cyber security professional services personnel with an in-house development program. 

The latter consists of a structured training internship to develop the next generation of McAfee subject matter experts and to prepare the intern for a career in cyber security consulting or security operations.

Allen Corporation works with the intern to develop the skills and experience specifically associated with the implementation and operation of McAfee-based security solutions.  The structured internship consists of one-on-one training with experienced mentors using best practices services methodologies, access to Not-for-Resale (NFR) software and a fully equipped virtual lab environment, periodic evaluation of progress through solution readiness reviews, and the opportunity to achieve industry-recognized certification as a service delivery specialist in one or more McAfee security solutions.  The ultimate goal of the intern program is to help Allen Corporation identify candidates who are both qualified and have a strong desire to join Allen’s professional services practice supporting the implementation and operation of its Customers’ security infrastructures.

The typical intern devotes 16-20 hours (or more) per week for 3 to 4 months to achieve a strong competency in the core security management product, McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) and to prepare for the product readiness reviews and a certification exam.  The product readiness reviews are internal to Allen, and are conducted periodically throughout the internship to simulate real-life scenarios. These reviews act as checkpoints to allow the mentor to gauge the intern’s progress and provide real-time feedback. The certification exam is a third-party proctored exam that, when successfully completed, provides the intern with an industry-recognized certification as a McAfee Service Delivery Specialist for ePO.  After successfully completing the final ePO readiness review with the mentor and the certification exam, the intern may apply to continue his or her internship to develop expertise in additional security solutions.  Both the ePO-focused stage of the internship (also referred to as the Foundation stage), and the follow-on additional solution competencies stages of the internship are competitively awarded, and a candidate’s IT and/or cyber security background, oral and written communication skills, and career objectives are evaluated before she or he is accepted into the program.   Successful candidates have typically been second semester juniors, seniors, or recent graduates of a four year undergraduate program in Information Science or Technology or Computer Science, or IT professionals with two or more years of experience, who want to transition into cyber security.  The ePO/Foundation stage of the internship is educational-focused and unpaid.  Interns who successfully complete the Foundation stage of the program may apply for a follow-on internship to further develop their skillsets and experience with the McAfee cyber security solutions.   In addition to unpaid educational internships, a limited number of paid work/training internships are also available for the post-Foundation phase of the program.

Carlton Jeffcoat, Senior Vice President of Allen Corporation’s Cyber Security Division stated that

"Allen Corporation and our wholly-owned subsidiary, WetStone Technologies, have always been strong advocates of internships to train new cyber security and IT professionals. Through our internship programs we are helping to address the critical cyber security skills shortage in our industry by developing a rising workforce that is both experienced and ready to enter the workplace with relevant certifications.”

Individuals who are interested in learning more about internship opportunities at Allen Corporation are invited to visit the Job Opportunities section at www.allencorp.com.

About Allen Corporation of America

Headquartered in Fairfax, VA, Allen Corporation of America (www.allencorp.com) is a dynamic, rapidly growing company that provides expertise in several major technology areas, including: Cyber Security, Logistics, Training Systems, and Digital and VOIP Communications. Our Cyber Security Division is an industry leader in the research, development, deployment, training and services for cutting edge cyber security and digital investigator customers around the world.  Allen Corporation has major offices in Myrtle Beach, SC, South Chesterfield, VA, Cortland, NY, and Ft. Worth, TX.

References:

(1) C0R3Y, RY4N, “Cybrary’s 2016 Cyber Security Job Trends Report”, December 16, 2015, https://www.cybrary.it/2015/12/cybrarys-2016-cyber-security-job-trends-report/