Cari Daniels '22 MS/CSDP is focusing on the human elements of cybersecurity.
In her role as Information Security Analyst at UNC Health, she works to protect patient and institutional data. Much of this work includes risk analysis, information security expertise, and troubleshooting.
She credits much of her success in this role to her time in Albany Law School’s Online Graduate Program in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy.
She previously worked as a network engineer and wanted to pivot into the compliance and analytics space. But once she got there, she found herself working a lot with privacy and sometimes the legal issues that surround it, and wanted to broaden her knowledge.
“I started looking for a degree program that focused more on the legal compliance side of security and believe it or not, it was really tough to find. Almost everything was technical, and I knew I didn't want to be in the technical side anymore. I would burn out. I wasn't interested in it, and I really was enjoying this new role that I had,” she said. “Then I stumbled on to Albany Law, and when I read the curriculum, it was everything I was looking for, so I was very excited.”
She became interested in information technology while serving in the Navy, and after leaving active duty, she majored in computer information technology at East Carolina University.
But her small town left little opportunity to advance, until UNC Health merged with another healthcare provider and more opportunities became available.
Her Albany Law School degree has helped her feel more confident in her career, especially with writing about the complex topics that are involved in her particular role.
“Sometimes I find myself in shock that I know what I’m talking about. It's amazing. A few years ago, I would be on calls taking notes to look things up later. Now, I get on calls and I can hold my weight and I understand everything. It’s a good feeling to have that and I definitely attribute that to my time at Albany Law,” she said.
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She is a member of the Health Sector Coordinating Council, a professional organization that aligns privacy and cybersecurity together. Many places operate them completely separately.
“We are working to help develop guidance and assistance and bridging that gap to ensure better protection for patient data and patient privacy. It's been very interesting. There are people from all over the United States including attorneys, privacy officers, and cyber security analysts from healthcare systems nationwide,” she said. “I'm still learning and really enjoying it. But the biggest takeaway is that everything brought up, the questions, the concerns, the ideas of how to move forward, are things I wrote about or discussed in my courses here.”
The most exciting part of the cybersecurity field, Daniels said, is the constant evolution and change.
“There are so many areas that you could go to. It's a lot of fun. It's never boring and you can never get stagnant,” she said.
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- Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
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- Health Law and Healthcare Compliance
- Human Resources: Law, Leadership, and Policy
- Government Affairs and Advocacy
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