For 26 years, David Brown’s associate degree from the Electronics Institute in electronics and computer technology served him very well. He spent 25 years with Compaq and its predecessor, Digital Equipment Corporation, designing and implementing business processes and working in new product introduction.
But in the late 1990s, David’s family was hit with two tragedies: the death of his father in 1997 and his brother in 1998. “I came home to take care of my mother, and left my career and all of my contacts in Massachusetts,” says David. Back in Pittsburgh in 2000, David became a consultant, working at Westinghouse Electric Company and other organizations, but he felt the time was right for something else—a bachelor’s degree.
Time for School
“I didn’t need more technical knowledge, but I needed the piece of paper, and I wanted the business, legal, statistics and leadership skills,” says David. “When I found American Sentinel, I was excited that I could earn a degree at my own pace. I could go as fast as I wanted.” In 2003, David left his contracting position and enrolled full time at American Sentinel. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Management Information Systems in 2005 with a 3.72 GPA. “When you work in research and development, you have to figure things out and be a self-starter. It’s the same with distance learning. This model works for me.”
A Company Dedicated to Improving Other Businesses
With his degree under his belt, David got back into contracting for Westinghouse and tried to start a 3D photography fabrication company. But soon, he decided to combine his skills and education to launch an information security company. He earned a certificate in computer forensics from the Community College of Allegheny County and several credentials, including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, the Certified Ethical Hacker and the Certified Forensic Investigator, and set out on the road to entrepreneurship. “I have 30 years of experience in manufacturing, working in every position from technician to design engineer to project leader,” says David. “I brought together my business analysis background and my information security and forensic skills to start thinking about the security challenges companies face.” David developed a unique way to analyze companies—he calls it the i360 framework—and deliver true business performance improvement (TruBPI). His company, called Business CyberSecurity Inc., opened its doors in June 2011.
Coupling Business Performance Improvement with Security
Business CyberSecurity’s niche is combining multiple improvement efforts, resulting in efficient processes that drive company results. “We solve risks because we’re improving processes,” says David. “I am four consultants in one—business process improvement, regulatory compliance, cybersecurity and litigation preparation. That gives management a good return on investment.” David is looking to grow his company and plans to hire several consultants in the coming year.
Getting Where He Wants to Go
David says that earning his bachelor’s degree gives him great pride and has set him up for success in business. “I am a fast learner and when you have a big goal in life, you want to reach that goal as quickly as you can,” he says. “That’s the reason I went to American Sentinel. It’s perfect for someone like me who knows where they want to go.”