Infosec Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Howard Cornelius Price: dedicated to service
You may think that the daily grind of a commute, a 9-to-5 job and the stress of deadlines are a lot to manage, but to Dr. Price, things could not be calmer when compared to his military service. That’s because prior to holding a position in cybersecurity, Dr. Price served in the U.S. Army as a chemical and biological weapons expert where he secured some of the most dangerous weapons on the planet.
In the pursuit of service and excellence
While this sort of accomplished career may be more than enough for the average person, the end of Dr. Price’s military career was just the beginning of an entirely new career in cybersecurity. From dabbling in a Microsoft Security course he was ordered to attend by his chain of command to acting as a cybersecurity auditor and supporting the U.S. Army Futures Cyber Security Command, it is inspiring stories like Dr. Prices’ that make Infosec proud to name him a 2020 Infosec Hall of Fame inductee.
Blazing his own cybersecurity career path
Dr. Price’s journey has always been about helping others and growing his skillset, often signing himself up for the toughest roles as a way to challenge himself and do the jobs that not many could complete. First as a police officer and then as a chemical and biological weapons expert for the U.S. Army, Dr. Price knows what it means to serve others. While raising a family, Dr. Price completed deployments tracking down biological weapons, advising on biological warfare and standing ready to handle weapons of mass destruction. Although he has retired from the military, that theme of service still drives him today.
However, it wasn’t until his military unit was offered the opportunity to train for a Microsoft certification that Dr. Price found his next challenge. “My sergeant ordered me to take a Microsoft course, so I completed it and haven’t looked back since.” Dr. Price attributes his sergeant and that course for charting a new path for him.
“I fell in love with information technology and security after taking that course. It’s a career where I’m able to help make the hard choices, make the right decisions and evaluate risks so we can all be safer.”
Fast forward to today and Dr. Price has since earned numerous professional certifications and degrees while also completing more than 16 Infosec boot camps in topics ranging from mobile forensics to the Certified Information Security Manager and Security+ certifications.
“I decided to apply my VA educational benefits to Infosec boot camps instead of traditional college because the information I gain from these courses and certifications helps establish me as an expert in the field.”
Even with all of these accomplishments, Dr. Price still sees a mountain of new information and skills he wants to learn in the years ahead.
Giving back to the community
“Stay alert, stay alive” was a motto that fueled Dr. Price’s attitude in the U.S. Army, but it is also a mindset that he tries to instill in those around him, the next generation of practitioners and his peers in the cybersecurity field. While the environment is different, the risks can still be daunting in their own way.
“Perspective is everything,” notes Dr. Price on career shift. “It’s a much safer job, but still something with a lot of action, a lot of learning and a career where I can continue to protect our country.”
Today, Dr. Price assists the federal government with evaluating and auditing security risks for the Department of Defense’s information systems, but he has also made time to teach computer courses within the Goodwill Industries education program. To date, Dr. Price has helped to put more than 750 young adults on a path toward a career in the cyber security field.
On top of these responsibilities, Dr. Price also authors and edits the weekly Army Futures Cyber Command newsletter, which is distributed to civilian and military professionals across the Army Cyber Command.
In the years ahead, Dr. Price still has a lot of goals he would like to accomplish. In addition to sitting for the (ISC)² CISSP exam and finding opportunities to share his knowledge and experiences as a conference speaker, Dr. Price wants to remain available to support the Army Cyber Command. To cap it all off, Dr. Price would also like to fulfill another goal.
“I want to start my own information security non-profit organization to really get out there and promote information security, offer free classes for people of all income levels and connect with potential employers that can hire students from the program.”
It is stories of service, excellence and continued professional development like this that makes Infosec proud to have Dr. Price as a member of the 2020 Hall of Fame.