Saturday, October 08, 2016

Wapack Labs, VAMC, Southern NH University and Digimind Re-Train Returning Veterans

Press Release - New Boston, New Hampshire, October 10, 2016 - Wapack Labs, Digimind, Southern New Hampshire University and the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Manchester, NH team up to turn returning veterans into qualified cyber professionals.

There are roughly 290,000 currently advertised information security jobs today and while the number of training programs is growing, Wapack Labs believes that not everyone needs a four-year degree to fill the void. So we offer paid internships through Manchester’s VAMC Occupational Therapy office for honorably discharged or medically retired returning veterans, and experiential learning internships for Southern NH University veteran students. We begin their program by teaching them to use Digimind social media tools to spot physical threats in cyberspace.  The vets are taught to be cyber analysts through a series of increasingly more complex cyber skills reinforced through work. The entire program takes approximately a year.

When the veteran interns meet Cyber Analyst requirements, Wapack Labs has several Fortune 500 companies and government organizations who have agreed to interview them for available positions.  Veteran interns used Digimind tools to support the Cleveland Police Department’s efforts before, and during the Republican National Convention, major sponsor’s onsite at the Rio Olympics and the team “Team Jeagar” has authored roughly 150 intelligence reports since inception in May.

Wapack Labs is using Digimind’s services to train cyber analysts with real time sourced data. 

Jeff Stutzman, CEO and a U.S. Navy and Coast Guard veteran stated, “At Wapack Labs, we are proud to help these guys learn cyber skills that will place them in an ever growing industry. The majority of our employees are US Military veterans and National Guard members.  We feel it is of the upmost importance to help our veterans.”

"Digimind is proud to be a part of this effort by Wapack Labs to train and employ veterans. Beyond the clear benefit to the veterans as individuals, the fact that this software is being to used to keep citizens of multiple countries more secure is an additional boon. Digimind hopes to continue to partner with Wapack Labs, contribute to this program, and be a part of similar programs in the future." said Paul Vivant, CEO of Digimind.

The common sense approach and wide array of metrics regarding social media collection offered by Digimind has proven very valuable to Wapack Lab’s collection mission. Digimind was instrumental in Wapack Lab’s support of law enforcement collection efforts during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland OH.  Following the RNC, Digimind services were used in a collection program in support of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Training new analysts using Digimind’s “Influencer” metrics has helped Wapack Lab’s interns identify social media individuals in active support of event security planning and with targeting potential bad actors and their attacks against Wapack Labs clients.

About Wapack Labs: Wapack Labs, located in New Boston, NH is a Cyber Threat Analysis and Intelligence organization supporting the Red Sky Alliance, the FS-ISAC, and individual organizations by offering expert level targeted intelligence analysis answering some of the hardest questions in Cyber. Wapack Labs' engineers, researchers, and analysts design and deliver transformational cyber-security analysis tools that fuse open source and proprietary information, using deep analysis techniques and visualization. Information derived from these tools and techniques serve as the foundation of Wapack Labs' information reporting to the cyber-security teams of its customers and industry partners located around the world.

About Digimind: Digimind is the global social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company that provides businesses with unrivaled insights into their true standing in the market. Digimind's proven intelligence technology has provided Fortune 500 brands around the world with critical information for their business for more than 17 years. Profitable since its founding, Digimind has a 92 percent customer retention rate and serves its clients out of its offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. For more information, please visit Digimind at www.digimind.com

For questions or comments regarding this news release, please contact Jim McKee, CFO at 314-422-8185 or jmckee@wapacklabs.com. 

BT

Wonder why we do this? VA Occupational Transition assistance is an amazing service. These guys really bend over backwards to help our vets. They are awesome!  However, they can only provide work in positions not related in any way to patient care --the vets are patents. What's that leave?  Food service, facilities, landscaping, etc.  Great jobs?  No, but for those who need it, it's something. And while some may enjoy food service, others have other interests.

I want to train the next generation of cyber professional.... So we figured, let's take them on ourselves... these guys know a threat when the see it, know how to write (for the most part), are eager to learn, have our work ethic. and honestly, I can be a bit of an HR nightmare.. these guys don't flinch at some of my salty language. 

We take as many as we can... we have three from the VA with one more coming, and four of them on internship from Southern NH University (the vets get three college credits toward their degree for working with us).  We take on as many as we can afford. 

Below is one job description for a returning vet who needs Occupational Transition assistance... I think we can do better.


1. SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES:   TSES will perform the following duties including, but not limited to: 

Tasks:

  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage.
  • Prepare a variety of foods, such as meats, vegetables, or deserts, according to customers’ orders or supervisors’ instructions, following approved procedures.
  • Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas, such as refrigerators and freezers.
  • Wash, peel, and cut various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prepare for cooking or serving.
  • Attend staff and training sessions as appropriate.

Work Context:

  • Spend Time Standing: 97%
  • Contact with Others: 66%
  • Physical Proximity: 67% 
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
  • Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety: 48%

Knowledge:

  • Food Production: Knowledge of techniques for proper cooking, handling, and storage techniques
  • English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. 
TSES will provide as necessary:  

  • TSES workers to assist facility personnel.  Workers are available, seven days per week.  A copy of the time and attendance sheets will be provided to Facility Service Administrative Officer for documentation.
Wapack Labs offers paid and unpaid internships to vets and former Police/First Responders. Today, our junior cyber analysts include two Marines --one heavy equipment mechanic; the other, counterintelligence; one newly discharged Army sniper, one Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic, one police officer from St. Petersburg, FL. We've had one Marine LAR complete the program, recently had an Army MP leave the program, being replaced on Monday by another.  We start our program roughly every 10 weeks and internal training begins with classes in OPSEC and 'Operating Safely in Cyberspace', and progress gradually through roughly 30 modules including lessons in writing for intelligence, GEOPOL, cyber threats, scripting, TCP/IP, malware analysis, and more.

Southern NH University and Digimind were kind enough to pitch in.  Interested in pitching in?  Sponsoring a vet?  Call me or shoot me a note.  The investment is small but the payoff is amazing.

Until next time,
Have a great weekend!
Jeff

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