Security Risk Advisors sponsors scholarships for ‘red team’ cybersecurity students

$125,000 in total scholarships available for RIT students learning offensive security

Adam Platzer

Four RIT computing security BS/MS students recently received the first SRA RITSEC Red Team Scholarships from Security Risk Advisors (SRA). From left, Anthony Ioppolo, RIT Lecturer Ahmed Hamza, Michael Vaughan, Spencer Roth, SRA CEO Tim Wainwright, Mohammad Eshan, and Director at SRA Mike Pinch ’06 (MBA), ’12 MS (computing security).

Security Risk Advisors, a cybersecurity consulting firm, is sponsoring $125,000 in scholarships for RIT students interested in “red team” cybersecurity, also known as offensive security.

Security Risk Advisors (SRA) has committed to annually sponsoring $25,000 in scholarships for the next five years. Each year, four students will be awarded the $5,000 “SRA RITSEC Red Team Scholarship.” An additional $5,000 per year will be provided for selected students to pay for a premier red team certification.

The inaugural scholarship recipients include:

  • Michael Vaughan, a fifth-year computing security BS/MS major
  • Spencer Roth, a fifth-year computing security BS/MS major
  • Anthony Iopollo, a third-year computing security BS/MS major
  • Mohammad Eshan, a fourth-year computing security BS/MS major

RIT students seeking eligibility for upcoming scholarships must maintain a 3.0 GPA and will have their financial needs considered in evaluation.

In cybersecurity, offensive and defensive security are defined by color-coded teams. Red and blue team exercises fulfill an important role in how businesses and organizations defend against advanced cyberattacks.

Red teams are experts in attacking systems and breaking into defenses. Blue teams are responsible for maintaining internal network defenses against all cyberattacks and threats. In the exercises, red teams will actually plan and simulate attacks against blue teams, in order to test the effectiveness of a network’s security. Coordinating between red and blue teams, often referred to as a purple teaming, ensures strong defenses, while helping keep view of evolving threats.

RIT is nationally recognized for its computing security undergraduate and graduate degrees, having been designated as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and in Research by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. At the university, students have the opportunity to practice red team security as part of the cybersecurity club RITSEC and through competitions. RIT is the founder of the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC), which is the premier ethical hacking competition for college students.

Security Risk Advisors delivers technology security services and provides cybersecurity expertise to Fortune and Global 1,000 companies. SRA is industry-known for their development of cybersecurity tools such as VECTR and world-class purple teams. SRA is committed to training the next generation of cyber professionals, and that support goes beyond hiring and mentoring teammates. The company has offices in Philadelphia; Rochester, N.Y.; and Kilkenny, Ireland.

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