News & Views

Instructor Profile: Greg Kipper, Cybersecurity

Greg Kipper started his career in cybersecurity more than 25 years ago working in military intelligence in the U.S. Army. It was there that he discovered his love for technology and how critical it is to our safety and security.

“I’ve always enjoyed computers and had a natural curiosity for how they worked and why,” explains Greg. He has used that curiosity to build an expansive career that includes writing five books, working for Fortune 50 companies, and advising the U.S. military. Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and a CISSP Certification. As an author, Greg has written books on steganography, wireless forensics, emerging technology, and security for virtual environments.

After his time in the military, Greg worked in digital forensics, which is the analysis of digital devices to find evidence to prove or disprove a crime. He also works as an emerging technology advisor helping companies prepare for the security risks posed by new technologies. In his last role, at a digital forensics software company, he had the opportunity to teach private and corporate classes and develop content for universities. “Now seems like a good time to use that knowledge and experience to help the next generation make careers and do good things in the field of cybersecurity,” Greg remarks.

As an instructor, Greg’s teaching style attempts to strike a balance between too little and too much information. Careful to not overwhelm students with every nuance, he emphasizes retention and the real-world applications of the concepts that he’s teaching. “There are so many aspects that form the foundation of cybersecurity. You have to understand operating systems, and networks, and administration, and that’s before you ever get to how to secure it,” Greg remarks.

Another way Greg makes his lessons more relatable for his students is to answer the question “why does this matter?” He believes when students have that information they can link the concepts to their experiences and understand how one piece fits into the larger puzzle. Making the concepts applicable to their own experiences helps with engagement and retention. This approach allows students to get creative in how they apply the material. “None of this is magic,” he says. “It’s complicated and has its nuances, but students will be able to figure all of this out.”

With more than 20 years of experience in the field, Greg has seen a lot of changes to the industry and technology and leverages that experience in his teaching. While some of the underpinnings of technology remain the same, a lot has changed regarding how we secure networks and computer systems. He brings that context and highlights the contrast in his teaching.

According to Greg, one of the most challenging parts about working in cybersecurity is the volume of information practitioners have to know to stay current. “It’s always an arms race, with new malware and new species of viruses every few years,” he observes. It’s a changing landscape and when new tech becomes available, practitioners may not always know the answers. They have to be willing to learn and adapt. The most challenging part is also what he loves about it: there’s always something new to learn. For curious students the learning possibilities are endless. Seeing what’s under the hood and having specialized knowledge of how the concepts work and why is a satisfying part of this career path.

Because constant learning is a requirement in this industry, curiosity and a genuine interest in the field are two qualities Greg says students should have when starting the program. A strong degree of dedication is another predictor of success in his courses. And although there’s a lot to learn, he doesn’t want students to approach his course with a sense of anxiety. “It’s not a sprint. It’s very much a lifestyle,” suggests Greg. “Students will get good at this. If they put in the time and effort, understanding will come.”

In DigitalCrafts’s Cybersecurity bootcamp, students will be exposed to essential IT infrastructure, cryptography, application security, offensive and defensive operations, program management, and finally the CompTIA Security+ certification prep. They will perform hands-on work with many technologies and tools to help them prepare to pursue a wide range of potential jobs in IT and cybersecurity.

This cybersecurity program combines both lectures and hands-on lab content focusing on the foundational skills of securing the web. Throughout the 16-week program, students will be exposed to relevant concepts in an eight module curriculum, including CompTIA Security+ training. The full-time program is designed to provide students with an understanding of the skills and concepts required for entry-level positions in cybersecurity.

Some of the topics include:

  • Operating Systems
  • Networking
  • Offensive Security Operations
  • Application Security
  • Cyber Operations
  • CompTIA Security+ Exam Preparation
  • Defensive Security Operations
  • Cloud Technology

Interested in upcoming cybersecurity bootcamps? Get the course catalog here.