- Community Instructor
- Affiliation: USAF
Neal started in the IT field in 1994 writing some of the first web pages for the North Carolina State University Food Science department. From there, he prospered in the IT industry writing graphical user interfaces for various HVAC systems before moving to lead a national and international technical support team for an internet startup company. After he decided to take his expertise to the military community, he worked with the Military in setting up deployable communications networks that supported thousands of deployed troops in many austere and complex environments. He was one of the first in the military to pioneer the use of VoIP solutions in the deployed environment and designed a deployable fly-away kit that would eventually lead to the implementation of VoIP solutions for all tactical deployable communications teams.
From there, he took his networking and security prowess one step further and became a Network Warfare Instructor for the Military's only cyber warfare training unit. He trains over 400 persons a year in various aspects of network security, hacker methodology, concepts, and techniques. He leads the small team of selected individuals who are in charge of training students on GSEC and GCIH to ensure they not only meet SANS requirements but also the government standards. He deploys the latest in hacker trends in lab environments, then trains personnel on how to protect against them and utilize them in an offensive mindset. He has been awarded Achievement and Commendation medals for his successes. His drive for excellence in the security community has led him to want to pass along his skills and knowledge to the up-and-coming security professions so that they can succeed as well. To this end, he is very excited about being a SANS mentor, and hopefully be a SANS instructor someday.