The Charger Blog

University Launches New Web Series Featuring ‘Cybersecurity Legends’

The University of New Haven recently kicked off its new Cyber Legends Series with a conversation led by Roland Cloutier, global chief security officer for Tiktok and Bytedance. He discussed his own experience in the field and offered advice to future industry leaders.

November 4, 2020

By Sarah Kispert ’22

Image  from Cyber Legends Series.
The University of New Haven kicked off its Cyber Legends Series with Roland Cloutier, global chief security officer for Tiktok and Bytedance.

Earlier this month, the University of New Haven’s Connecticut Institute of Technology launched its Cyber Legends Series. Hosted by Karl Kispert, president and CEO of Infoaxis Inc. and a member of the University’s Cybersecurity Advisory Board, the monthly webcast series will feature lively discussions with some of the world’s leading chief information security officers (CISOs) and cybersecurity legends who have made a tremendous impact on the industry.

Kicking off the series in honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was Roland Cloutier, the global chief security officer for Tiktok and Bytedance. With more than 25 years of experience in the military, law enforcement, and commercial sectors, Cloutier is one of today’s leading experts in corporate and enterprise security, cyber-defense program development, and business operations protection.

As part of his talk, he examined the skills needed to be a productive member of a team, how to promote an effective working atmosphere, and the responsibility he believes he has as a leader in cybersecurity.

"Cyber isn’t what is was five years ago or, even, two years ago." Roland Cloutier

“One of my jobs as an executive is to create the next generation of leaders,” he said. “We have to ensure that people have the skillsets to become leaders in a new workforce, in a new career field. Cyber isn’t what is was five years ago or, even, two years ago.”

He also talked about the importance of a diversified skillset.

“If you are going to lead other people in the technical space, you better understand business because that is what you are protecting,” Cloutier said. “You have to get opportunities to learn leadership, learn business skills, learn technology skills – your own craft – and you’ll need to understand the people that are going to be working for you. The greatest thing I ever did in the area of mentorship was a reverse mentorship to understand what the next generation of leaders need and how they view technology. It was an eye-opening experience that changed my leadership skills.”

‘Study your craft, and study it well’

Technologies, tools, intent, and strategies are constantly evolving, and diversity of thought, personality, and knowledge, paired with highly developed skills are needed to create a pipeline for the next generation of leaders, explained Cloutier.

Image of Sarah Kispert.
Sarah Kispert ’22.

To do its part, the University of New Haven created the Connecticut Institute of Technology (CIT) earlier this year as a way to foster collaboration by bringing together different disciplines of engineering to build a more well-rounded individual and create more attractive candidates for the workforce.

During a lively discussion with Kispert, who was also later joined by Dr. Abe Baggili, director of CIT, Cloutier discussed four main aspects of a successful candidate in the field of cybersecurity. He emphasized understanding the technology one works with, analytical skills, data skills, and an understanding of operations that are critical in creating a functioning and productive ecosystem.

Cloutier left students with an important tip.

“Study your craft and study it well,” he said. “Focus on business and be diverse and well rounded.”

The Cyber Legends Series will continue on Monday, November 16, with a celebration of women in cybersecurity. The event will feature Marene Allison, global CISO of Johnson & Johnson; Marci McCarthy, CEO and president of T.E.N. and ISEⓇ Talent; and Patricia Titus, CISO and chief privacy officer for Markel Corporation. The webcast will begin at 4PM EST and is open to anyone who is interested. To watch:

Sarah Kispert ’22 is a forensic science major at the University of New Haven and a cybersecurity marketing intern. She is the daughter of Karl Kispert, host of the Cyber Legends Series.