Rising Stars

Matthew Berninger

Rising Star 2013

Some sports, such as skydiving and mountain climbing, have moments when participants must totally commit themselves to dangerous situations to gain control of them.

A career in the emerging world of cybersecurity can require similar leaps. Matthew Berninger, who until recently was a senior cyber incident response lead at the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, has clearly committed himself to getting control of cyber threats and becoming the kind of cybersecurity expert the federal IT community needs.

At US-CERT, Berninger collaborated with public- and private-sector partners to analyze threats and vulnerabilities and deliver timely and actionable information that could help protect the nation's cyber infrastructure.

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

The Future of Federal IT- FCW (Volume 28 Number 18)

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He had a background in math and quantitative analysis but little computer science experience when began working in the executive secretary's office at DHS. However, he took an early interest in cybersecurity and seized every opportunity for online and on-the-job training.

He has also made it a point to give back to the cybersecurity community by taking the lead in Cyber Career Day events, which seek to educate high school students about cybersecurity careers at DHS.

Berninger's own career path, meanwhile, has led to him to the commercial side: He recently took a job at cybersecurity firm Mandiant.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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