Greetings! Introducing Joel Shuler, a recent student of the Cover6 Solutions course offerings and someone who is aspiring to contribute more to developing future cybersecurity professionals. Joel has over 17 years of experience in the commercial and federal sectors. He has held junior and senior leadership roles for major defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Leidos, Big 4 consulting firm Ernst & Young, and most recently multinational corporation Capgemini. Joel earned his undergraduate degree in Information Studies from Florida State University, a graduate degree in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University, and a second Master’s degree in Christian Studies from Grand Canyon University. He is also an Army Veteran continuing to serve with over 16 years of service.

Joel’s early life began in Tallahassee, Florida where he lived with both parents, two sisters, and one brother. Neither of his parents attended college. He is the first of his family to serve in the military and only to attain a graduate level degree. This was not without many challenges which including working up to three jobs to pay for his education and enduring two deployments. However, through passion and perseverance, Joel accomplished every goal he has set. Angela Duckworth articulated it well in her book, being the fastest, strongest, smartest, or most talented does not guarantee success. It ultimately comes down to Grit.

Throughout his career, Joel has pursued roles of increasing responsibilities. He started as a help desk analyst and after developing his IT skills, moved into systems integration, systems engineering, and technical project lead. In parallel to advancing in the profession, he enhanced his qualifications by attaining Microsoft Certified Professional, Security+, ITIL, CISSP, and CEH certifications. In addition to working in the private sector, Joel has significant experience supporting federal and Department of Defense environments from performing responsibilities associated with Certification and Accreditation, transitioning to Risk Management Framework, leading a Security Operations team, conducting IT audits, to leading organizations to a stronger security posture through Cyber Defense Maturity Evaluation, assisting organizations understand the phases of an attack as defined by the Lockheed Martin Cyber Kill Chain, and how to become more predictive rather than reactive.

Joel is driven to be a thought leader of the cybersecurity profession. He is motivated by continuous learning, collaborating with others, and sharing knowledge. In an era of Advanced Persistent Threats and it’s not a matter of whether an organization will experience a breach but when, it’s so important that an army of cyber warriors is developed to meet the challenge. These cyber warriors will not learn everything they need to know in a classroom or by attaining certifications. They will need mentors and a strong network they can look to in order to gain a competitive advantage against our adversaries.

Joel currently resides in Rockville, MD with his wife and son. He enjoys traveling, running marathons, and mentoring youth in the community.