DALTON, Mass. — Local cyber security professionals are looking to establish a Western Massachusetts Chapter of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium.
Chapter President Brett Dorr said there is a bit of a networking desert in Western Mass for those in the cyber security field but he hopes to change this.
"If we wanted to go to a chapter meeting, we would have to go to Boston or New York City so that is why we thought let's start our own Western Mass chapter," Dorr said. "None of us wanted to go to Boston on a regular basis but we wouldn't mind driving to Springfield."
Dorr, who is a certified information systems security professional through the consortium and who has worked for a number of area companies, said the first step in the chartering process was to find 15 consortium members to sign on to a petition. Dorr said he made some calls and easily hit this benchmark.
"I had to find at least 15 people willing to go through this process and I worked at General Dynamics and they have a lot of guys that have the certification," he said. "I got them together which was great and that was the first milestone."
Continuing the process, Dorr said they already held a startup meeting and are currently organizing activities. After three successful activities, they must complete legal documentation and, by the end of April, hopefully finalize the charter.
At that point, they can open up their doors to all who work in the field.
"Then we can open up to members that are not certified but work in the field who are interested, so we definitely want to do that when we become a chapter," he said.
Dorr said outreach is a big part of the process and maintaining a chapter. He said there are four pillars of the program: Connect, Educate, Inspire, and Secure.
He said they want to be able to give back to the community through clinics and outreach and foster good cyber-security practices among businesses and residents. Dorr specifically mentioned the safe and secure online curriculum that targets senior citizens.
Membership will have a sense of current security issues and will be able to cater outreach to specific attacks or security concerns business and residents alike may face in Berkshire County or Western Mass.
"It would be great for a small business to come out and listen to us about phishing attacks or something and we aren't out here trying to sell something," he said. "We can recommend solutions that other people may not realize."
Dorr said they would also like to get into the school systems and be a resource for students interested in the field.
"Some of the guys who grew up around here said it was hard for them to find jobs or to learn about cyber security coming up through so we want to get into the high schools to talk about the profession and how to get into it," he said. "They are always predicting a worker shortage for like 30 years from now. The demand is high and the supply is low. They are great careers to get into."
Dorr said he is excited about the charter and noted he has led projects over his career but this will be his first leadership role. He added that the charter is essentially a club with officer positions and he looks forward to networking with friends and fellow professionals.
"We just wanted to find a way to get together. A lot of these guys work from home on their own island but with this we can get together and talk about cyber security and different challenges we face or different ideas we want to get out into the community," he said. "Hopefully we can stay engaged and grow."
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DALTON, Mass. — Natalie Wheeler has joined the Berkshire Money Managament team as operations manager.
Prior to joining Berkshire Money Management, Wheeler was the director of office operations at Atlas Private Wealth Management for nine years. During her time at Atlas, she helped spearhead organizational goals and procedures to ensure that all general office and personnel operations ran smoothly across multiple offices. Her professional versatility provided all employees with the necessary tools, training and resources they needed to be successful.
Wheeler also managed employee benefits and all human resource questions and concerns.
"Natalie has significant executive-level experience. BMM is growing faster, we believe, than any other financial service firm in the area because of our depth and breadth of services," founder and CEO Allen Harris said. "She will play a big role in helping us sustain that growth by keeping our operational machine humming as we offer more sophisticated and customized guidance to our clients."
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