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No Password Required: American University’s Vice Provost for Research and Innovation and a Tracker of (Cyber) Unicorns

The No Password Required Podcast is dedicated to introducing and celebrating the practitioners, leaders, researchers, and individuals who are shaping the cybersecurity industry. Join us for an in-depth conversation that explores our guests' personalities, expertise, and the path that led them into cybersecurity. The team also discusses current cyber threats and readiness tips for security professionals and business leaders alike.

Dr. Diana Burley has nearly 30 years of experience leading digital transformations and driving cross-sector education, research, and strategic innovation. As American University’s chief research and innovation officer, she is responsible for establishing the strategic vision and supporting faculty-led scholarship across all disciplines. Her own research has recently focused on the cybersecurity workforce.

In this episode, Dr. Burley joins Carlton Fields’ Jack Clabby and KnowBe4’s Kayley Melton to discuss her role in educating policymakers, her research into misconceptions about the cybersecurity workforce, and her strategy for building the ultimate escape room team.

Dr. Burley details one of her current research projects, the “Cyber Unicorn Challenge,” a collaboration between Dr. Burley and Cyber Florida. This study aims to gather data on the challenge of “cyber unicorns,” which are job postings for cybersecurity positions with often-inflated technical or experiential requirements that few applicants, if any, can meet. The research project delves into the reasons behind these inflated requirements, uncovers why the search for cyber unicorns persists, and suggests what can be done about it.

To start the show, Jack and Kayley discuss the alleged Nigerian cybercriminal arrested for stealing $7.5 million from charities. Jack also breaks down the job of an FBI legal attaché. 

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