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Kicking Ones and Zeroes

posted May 18, 2016, 2:15 PM by Michael Lenart   [ updated May 20, 2016, 6:48 PM by Joe Billingsley ]
Michael Klipstein and Pablo Breuer

The Military Cyber Professionals Association chapter in Monterey, California has a lot going on these days. After a year of dormancy following the Chapter President's move to Georgia, a new life has energized the chapter. Major Mike Klipstein and Commander Pablo Breuer have begun to breathe life back into the organization. Major Klipstein brings experiences from US Cyber Command, National Security Agency's (NSA's) Tailored Access Office, the Army's National Mission Team, and Cyber Protection Teams. Commander Breuer brings experience from NSA's Red Team, US Cyber Command, the Navy's Information Dominance Warfare Field, and his tenure as military faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), where he has served as an instructor and the head of the Information Dominance Center.

The Monterey Chapter has some unique aspects to it, besides the amazing weather and location it enjoys. All members are graduate students at NPS.  This brings the advantage of a multidisciplinary approach, as viewpoints are offered from operational, computer science, mathematics, and policy perspectives.  On the other hand, the downside of having a student population like this is that most members are gone within 18 months once they complete their studies.  

The biggest advantage of the Monterey chapter is its proximity to Silicon Valley.  This location allows the chapter to bring in experts on a wide range of topics.  For instance, Nathaniel Fick, the CEO of Endgames, has spoken to chapter members.  Another advantage this chapter enjoys is the NPS Foundation.  The Monterey chapter of the MPCA is dual-hatted as the NPS Foundation Cyber Club.  As part of this foundation, members are given access to many influential industry and government leaders.

Mr. Antonio Scurlock from the Department of Homeland Security addresses the member of the Monterey Chapter of the MPCA.


An example of the great access this chapter has came in April, when Mr. Antonio Scurlock, the Chief, Cybersecurity Coordination for the Office of Cybersecurity & Communication at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) visited Monterey.
  He discussed cyber operations from a DHS perspective in both unclassified and classified sessions, along with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act and how this Act brings the civilian sector and government together to share information.  The next week brought Mr. Roman Danyliw, the Chief Engineer for Carnegie Mellon’s CERT to discuss CERT’s mission and how they fit into the cyber landscape.

May brings a Chief Information Security Officer from a prominent company within the financial sector.  This unique opportunity exposes the chapter members to the cyber insights and risks of the financial sector.  June brings the Cyber Endeavor conference to NPS, for which the Monterey chapter is hosting a reception.  This year, the focus of the conference is the Internet of Everything and National Security Implications.  This three-day conference features both unclassified and classified discussions with speakers and panels from across tech industries, the financial sector, and various portions of the federal government, including the Department of Defense (DoD) leadership. 

July’s discussion will be led by NPS faculty.  This discussion will consider Emergency Operation Center flyaway kits, their cyber benefits, and the risks involved.  Other discussions in progress include potential sessions with Microsoft and the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx).  DIUx acts as the nexus between DoD and small cutting-edge companies to identify technologies that DoD should rapidly adopt. Still more potential discussions include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Splunk, hackers, and other industry leaders.  Additionally, the chapter is in discussions to bring future speakers from Microsoft, Cisco, and other government agencies.

Monterey is an extremely exciting place to study and practice in the growing field of Cyber. If you are coming to NPS as student or faculty and wish to remain up to date or even expand your horizons on what is happening within our field, contact the Monterey Chapter of the Military Cyber Professionals Association.  


Michael Klipstein is an adjunct faculty member at National University and a doctoral candidate at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, where his research is focused on quantifying risk for offensive cyber operations. His previous experience includes: Cyber Protection Team Detachment Officer in Charge; National Mission Team Lead; NSA Deputy Branch Chief; USCYBERCOM J338; Assistant Operations Officer/Future Operations Planner, Afghanistan; Squadron Signal Officer; Scout Platoon Leader; and Tank Platoon Leader.

Pablo Breuer is the Deputy Director of the Navy Center for Information Warfare and Innovation and a Military Faculty member for Cyber at the Naval Postgraduate School. His previous military tours include: US Naval Forces, Central Command/Commander FIFTH Fleet Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Intelligence (N6); Branch Chief of the Advanced Threats branch and Branch Chief of the Defend the Nation branch at US Cyber Command; N2/N6 Destroyer Squadron FOUR ZERO; Team lead/Tech lead National Security Agency Red Team; and Information Assurance Officer of Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan.  He is a DoD Cyber Cup and Defcon Black Badge winner, adjunct faculty at National University and California State University Monterey Bay, and a former Visiting Scientist at Carnegie Mellon CERT/SEI.  He has taught classes for various government agencies and the Congressional Budget Office on topics ranging from malware reverse engineering to policy and authorities.