- Job title of nominated professional: Chief Scientist / Professor of Cyber Security
- Company (where nominated professional or team is working): Cyber Defense Labs / North Central Texas College
- Website: http://www.cyberdefenselabs.org
- Company size (employees): 23 / 400
- Country: United States
In 3 bullets, summarize why this professional or team deserves recognition:
Professor Henson is passionate about helping his students achieve more than they believed they were capable of. He is a natural mentor with insight across several disciplines.
His summer camp starts young people on the road to becoming effective cyber warriors with an excellent grounding in ethics, hardware, networking, operating systems, automation and security tools when they are young an eager to learn. The pier learning environment encourages the best students to return as team leaders, then instructors, and finally to intern at CDL.
The college college classes he teaches are like nothing else in education. Lectures are assigned as homework so students will be familiar with the details of the next lab they will do in class. Class time is for questions, discussion and demonstrating in virtual environments how to solve real world security problems. Students build networks them penetrate them with advanced hacking tools all within the safety of a virtual environment. Students will "break" windows and networks many times in class were it is safe to explore and get experience by making mistakes.
In less than 300 words, summarize the achievements of the professional or team in the nominated category
Prof. Henson wears many hats. Most of them involve pushing cyber education forwards. At Cyber Defense Labs he helps coordinate the in-haouse training of new interns and employees for CDL. He guest lectures at UT Dallas, in most formal Computer Science Classes, and the less formal seminars put on by the student run “Cyber Security Group” or CSG. He usually works with them on social engineering, cryptography, and SCADA or control systems security.
During the summer he partners with UT Dallas to put on a series of 4 week cyber security camps were students from all over the country come to learn hands on how to solve todays toughest cyber challenges. This program is going into its 4th year and is already showing results former campers are now academy cadets, full-time scholarship students at prestigious universities and professional security consultants. This camp has sparked imitations thought the country and has launched cyber security classes at several local schools.
He is also a full time instructor at North Central Texas College, were he is revamping the cyber security curricula to be more hands-on and project focused.He teaches, Virtualization, Operating System Security, Advanced Network detection and related subjects. College students completing the rigorous course Prof Henson teaches are ready to solve problems in the real world. Nearly all the work his class comes directly form a recent professional engagement. While his students will never know what company originally made the errors leading to the vulnerabilities they are required to handle the students are challenged every class period to BE the IT professional who has to handle the problem. Many students find real life as a security professional easier than solving his labs, and they would not have it any other way.