At the CICS Virtual Graduation for the Class of 2020, student awards kicked off with awarding Lionel Somé with the Researcher of the Year award.
In September of 2019, Lionel wrote a LinkedIn Article “Getting started with an AWS IoT Enterprise Button” with a surprising amount of information and detail for any level of experience. This is perhaps a glimpse into not just being a researcher, but being able to share that what he knows.
Lionel also represented CICS in the Palo Alto Secure The Future Competition. Students participated in a 4-month long security competition designed to address the challenges faced with how to make decisions regarding the protection of operational assets. The top 10 students came to HQ from Universities across the country to present their final research projects. Students researched & developed a report, summary video & presentation that included methodologies for deploying end-to-end attack detection, alert triage, threat hunting, investigation, orchestration & automated response activities.
The top 10 candidates were invited to HQ to present to a panel of judges, formally pitching their ideas for “securing the future” of their selected industry. The top 3 candidates, of which Lionel was one, were selected based on their research findings & presentation earning cash prizes of $10,000 1st place, $5,000 2nd place, $2,500 3rd place – & PANW firewall(s) for their school’s physical lab environment. The 3rd place finish also allowed Lionel to interview with Palo Alto Networks for a job opening, one that he later accepted.
Lionel’s award was a unanimous decision by the faculty of CICS and he has been fondly described by his fellow students as “He has been a pillar of support as a GA for the time he was with us and perhaps more importantly, he is a lovely human“.