Northrop Grummans Chandria Poole on cybersecurity talent

Northrop Grumman's Chandria Poole on cybersecurity talent

 January 07, 2020

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Chandria Poole, Deputy Program Manager at Northrop Grumman, talked with CyberScoop about preparing for cybersecurity breaches through recruiting top talent.

Chandria says it has become critical for organizations to think and act proactively to address future cyber challenges, especially talent acquisition and cyber policy issues.

Importance of staying in front of the curve

“Organizations should have a big focus on ‘when,’ not ‘if,’ when preparing their cyber workforce for the challenges ahead," she says. "The secret starts at the core of the business: its workforce. To stay in front of the curve, organizations need to recruit and retain diverse talent in STEM fields."

The best way to achieve this, says Chandria, is to start young. Partnering with academia to inspire young students about rewarding STEM opportunities is a forward-thinking talent acquisition approach for organizations worldwide.

CyberPatriot program creates a proactive workforce

One example of inspiring young talent is the CyberPatriot program, which was presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and created by the Air Force Association. CyberPatriot features the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition for high school and middle school-aged youth as well as cyber camps and an elementary school education initiative.

"A lot of what we've been doing is focusing on STEM and developing the next generation of our workforce to prepare us to be more proactive than reactive," explains Chandria, who mentors CyberPatriot competitors. 

TEAACH program inspires the next generation

In addition to CyberPatriot, Northrop Grumman's Teachers and Engineers for Academic Achievement (TEAACH) program is an example of how the company empowers educators. The program provides middle school STEM educators and counselors with not only classroom concepts, but also exciting activities and exposure to STEM demonstrations, experiments and classroom applications.

“We’re obligated to go into schools to make sure we’re implementing innovative initiatives and training programs for the next generation of our workforce,” Chandria says.

A career that empowers and has an impact

Chandria believes her career path has allowed her to instantly empower and impact: “Every day, you see the positive results of the work that you do. It’s not something you have to wait years to see – not even days to see. Every day, when you complete projects and collaborative efforts, you can see the positive affect you have on cybersecurity.”

See Chandria's full interview with CyberScoop.

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