Webinar Series

Exploring the Relationship Between Academia and Practice in Cybersecurity


Exploring the Relationship Between Academia and Practice in Cybersecurity


Pursuing an academic degree lays the foundation for what a career may hold. However, regardless of your industry, one consistent theme emerges:

Are our graduates prepared for day one on the job? ⁠

We spoke with Professors and Cyber Professionals alike diving deeper into the potential tensions that may arise between academia and practice. We also discussed where changes could be made to better prepare students for a life in the cybersecurity industry.

Next Webinar in September, stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Our Speakers

Dorian James

Dr. Cihan Varol

William Yeack

Manager of Security Operations at Security On Demand

Dorian is the Manager of Security Operations at Security On Demand. A serial DEFCON contest winner, Dorian is still learning many things cyber and is focused on leadership and team building.

Before beginning his new career, Dorian had 20 years of extensive military experience in the areas of training, project management, threat analysis and logistical planning solutions with international implications. A military policeman by trade, Dorian also spent nearly nine years protecting US embassies and interests worldwide. Using skills, knowledge and experience gained during this time, Dorian was able to successfully transition from a senior leadership role within the Marine Corps to become a driving force at Security On Demand.

Professor at the Department of Computer Science at Sam Houston State University

Dr. Cihan Varol is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science at Sam Houston State University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Firat University, Elazig, Turkey in 2002, Master of Science degree from Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA in 2005, and Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Computing from University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2009. His research interests are in the general area of information (data) quality and its applications in Digital Forensics and Information Security areas, with specific emphasis on personal identity recognition, record linkage, entity resolution, pattern matching techniques, natural language processing, VoIP forensics, Data cleansing of VoIP artifacts, and web forensics. These studies have led to more than 80 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications and two book chapters. He has supervised more than 30 Ph.D. and M.S. students for their thesis and graduation projects. As the Graduate Director for the department between 2015 and 2020, he was heavily involved with student recruitment and external review of the programs. He serves as a co-chair for the International Symposium on Digital Forensics and Security (ISDFS) events. Also, he is currently the subgroup chair in IEEE’s P2834 – Secure and Trusted Learning Systems project, in which the group is creating security and digital forensic readiness standard for Learning Management Systems. The PI also has extensive teaching experience in Digital Forensics since 2009 and also provided several keynote speeches in Digital Forensics.

Founder and CEO at Member.buzz 

As a long-time executive and active philanthropist, William knows first-hand the difficulties surrounding coordinating groups of people – whether it is building a business or funding a charity.

⁠Under Yeack’s tutelage, Member.buzz is poised to reshape how individuals collaborate with each other towards a common goal. Group leaders will no longer be forced to cobble together a multitude of tools, platforms, and plugins to run their groups; instead they can do it all with Member.buzz.

In his spare time, William enjoys living and traveling around the world with his wife Kristie, his son William Augustus, and his dog Odin.

William attended the University of St Andrews, the London School of Economics, and Stanford.

Next Webinar in August, stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Watch Other Webinar Recordings! 

Webinar One 

⁠Responding to COVID-19 Changing the Cybersecurity Landscape 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen a massive increase in cyber-attacks. In this webinar we discuss some of the measures people have taken to help those attacked while disabling some of the attacks. This is being done by companies and also by individual volunteers who have come together to create a taskforce to protect the people and institutions fighting these invisible attackers. 


Webinar Two

⁠Cyber Attacks Taking Advantage of COVID-19: Detailed Views 

In this webinar, we dive deeper into the discussion of new and evolving cybersecurity challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  


Webinar Three

What We Can Learn to Better Prepare for the Next One

⁠In this week's webinar, we discuss innovative methods we can use to gather a complete data set on these attacks, analysis techniques that might be useful in examining this data set and potential recommendations that will arise as a result of the analysis process, and what data is available now and why it's not enough.  We also touch on how you can get involved to help now and what we can do to prepare for the future.