By: Mike A. Bryan
Over the past couple of years, we have built a solid relationship with Mastercard here in St. Louis. In the summer of 2019, we were able to take two interns to tour Mastercard’s Fusion Center and Security Operations Center, or SOC for short. I don’t know who was more excited, myself and Tony, or the two interns! The two gentlemen that run the Fusion Center and SOC are both named Dan, which is a funny coincidence. Kind of like how Tony and I have the same last name but are not related as far as we can tell. Anyway, we had a great tour and it was really cool to see cyber pro’s working on actual attacks and hacks. After, we sat down with the two Dan’s and had an interesting conversation about how Mastercard manages its cybersecurity, which was enlightening for all four of us from CyberUp.
Ever since we formed this relationship, we have stayed in close touch with the two Dan’s. We have even had one of them host a webinar on “A Day in the Life of a SOC.” The webinar was well-attended and very informative. You can find it on our website here. We learned that life in the SOC can be stressful and they have shifts around the clock in order to manage all of the cyber threats they face each day. The SOC itself is super cool. It looks like one of those rooms in movies or on NCIS or CSI, with each worker using at least three different screens, and even more screens mounted on the walls. At first glance it can be intimidating — the amount of information flowing into and out of that room is substantial. Once you understand what is happening, however, things start to become a little clearer and not so intimidating.
Most recently, Dan contacted me to see if CyberUp had any use for a Digital Forensics Tower, which is a super-powered desktop PC. I am still a newb to cyber, so I was unsure exactly what the machine would do. I did some research, and talked with Dan, and this is how he describes the machine: “I think of it as a very high powered machine with purpose built features, ports and segmentation for forensic analysis.” In more specific terms, “It’s a Forensic Tower with bells and whistles to download images, large files, etc. at the speed of light and in parallel. Also has a series of ports for pulling mobile images and other gadgets.” I don’t know about you, but I had never seen this type of machine before, and had no idea how large it is. Tony had to carry it into our office by himself, and the machine must weigh 150 pounds. We are excited to be the new owners of such a cool piece of technology and can’t wait to incorporate it into our cybersecurity curriculum for our LevelUp program.
So, thank you, Mastercard, for your generosity! Never in a million years would we expect such an incredible donation, and we are very grateful to have this new tool for our apprenticeship candidates to learn and use. We can’t wait to take our relationship to the next level, by placing an apprentice at Mastercard, and look forward to continuing to work together.