Cybersecurity Alumni Lands New JSOC Analyst Position Organized by Governor Kathy Hochul

Adam Dineros

Adam Dineros '20 CCPS

August 10, 2022

Story by Adam Dineros '20 CCPS

Growing up, I’ve always been fascinated with technology, and consider myself very fortunate to grow up in an age where smartphones and tablets started to become more mainstream. When it was time to finally start college, I kept hearing about the growing “Cyber Security landscape” and how IT security will only become more and more important as time goes on. At the time, I didn’t even know what the term “Cyber Security” really meant, other than that I knew it was something important and something every organization needed. Then, I soon researched what the field was like, heard esteemed professionals speak, and finally understood why there will always be a need for Cyber Security. After giving it some thought, I eventually chose to major in Cyber Security Systems and enroll into SJU’s Cyber Program. My first foray into the Cyber Program went pretty much as expected. For the most part, especially in your intro classes, you’ll learn a lot about the basic concepts that are essential for any IT professional to know, such as computer networking, common security tools and technologies, best security practices, etc. And to its credit, I feel the Cyber Program prepares you enough in regard to the fundamental knowledge required in the field. But I also feel the real learning begins when you start to practically apply the concepts you’ve learned in class through hands-on experience. And ultimately, it is up to you, the individual, to take the initiative and expand your knowledge through self-learning, as within this field especially, you never stop learning. This became more apparent in the later classes I took such as Cyber Threats and Detection, and Wireless Security; the latter of which ultimately became my favorite class ever at St. John’s - allowing  for the extensive use of Kali Linux, a security focused Linux operating system that many professionals in the field use for ethical hacking and penetration testing. Learning through hands-on experience would be at its most prominent when I landed a Security internship through SJU thanks to the program’s then-new academic internship program. That experience above all was what had the most impact on me, as not only did it give me something to put on my resume and talk about during an interview, it also gave me the practical experience and knowledge needed to succeed in my career going forward. And that is something that I am still grateful for to this day.

As far as my new role is concerned, I am working as a Tier 1 Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) Analyst at the NYS Office of Information Technology Services (NYS ITS). This is a new development for New York State organized by Governor Kathy Hochul and her team’s vision to strengthen the state’s cybersecurity posture. According to a recent announcement, Governor Hochul said, “Cybersecurity has been a priority for my administration since Day 1, and this command center will strengthen our ability to protect New York's institutions, infrastructure, our citizens and public safety.”

This JSOC will ultimately serve as a First-of-its-Kind Hub for Data Sharing and Cyber Coordination Across New York State, New York City, the Five Major Upstate Cities, Local and Regional Governments, Critical Infrastructure and Federal Partners.

My duties specifically as JSOC analyst will consist of identifying, triaging, and escalating various security threats accordingly, along with monitoring multiple sources for potential security threats. I am incredibly honored to be part of something this great, and I owe many thanks to the ITS team, my professors at SJU, my family, and friends for being incredibly supportive of me throughout the entire process.