“Hackers, malware, ransomware and you:” Protecting you and your company will be the focus of WRAL TechWire’s Executive Exchange event coming up on Sept. 26.

The program will feature a leading cybersecurity executive from IBM who will participate in a one-on-one discussion with The Skinny.


He is Jim Boyles, a Security Architect with IBM Security. Boyles has worked more than 20 years in the IT industry and has spent the last two years in his IBM role.

His focus has been on network and security design, architecture and deployment for the enterprise and content delivery and storage environments. His recent focus has been in Intrusion prevention, vulnerability assessment, security management, IT compliance automation and IT Data Management.

Here’s his bio:

Jim is a Cybersecurity Architect in Healthcare and Public Sector in the Security Business Unit and has served in multiple roles in his thirty years in technology. In his four years at IBM he has been a QRadar CTP and mentor to other CTPs and Security Architects. He has a wide background in Healthcare, Government and Education and worked for the University of Michigan Hospitals and Campus for seven years.

He has also lead technical teams for the State of Michigan and Ohio while at IBM. He has worked closely with large healthcare insurance payers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare systems. He understands good security drives good compliance reporting and the frameworks for healthcare, education and government.

Prior to coming to IBM Jim worked for a competitor and focused on Federal and State Governments for five years. He has also served as the technical lead on multi-year security projects at global auto manufacturers and other Industrial Sector accounts. Jim has used his experience to mentor others at IBM in CTP and Architect roles guiding them to achieve their goals.

He has a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University and has held multiple industry certifications. He is a member of the North American Security Architect team created in January 2015 and continues to participate at the World Wide level.

The event also will include two panel discussions:

  • What’s Missing from Your Data Security Programs?
  • Opportunities in workforce and economic development

Registration details are now available.

Our venue will be in Research Triangle Park at the campus of MCNC.

Each panel will include several experts on cybersecurity from across the private and public sector. More panelists will be announced shortly.

As of Friday afternoon, here are bios of the panelists:

Panel No. 1: What’s Missing from Your Data Security Programs?

  • William S. Cherry, III, Attorney, Manning, Fulton, and Skinner, PA

Bio: A member of Manning Fulton’s Litigation Section, Will leads the Firm’s Data Security practice, which includes assisting clients in preparing data breach response plans, implementing those plans in the unfortunate case of an actual data breach and in navigating the complex legal requirements of responding to a data breach, such as notification and preparing for potential litigation. In addition to his Data Security practice, Will represents large and small businesses across the state of North Carolina in state court, federal court, the North Carolina Business Court, arbitrations and before state and federal administrative agencies in employment, intellectual property, breach of contract, real estate and construction litigation matters. Will is recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and North Carolina Super Lawyers.

Prior to his legal career, he lived and worked in Nicaragua as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, and is fluent in Spanish.

  • Chris Beal, Chief Information Security Officer, MCNC

Chris Beal has worked as an information security professional for nearly 20 years. During that time he’s worn many different hats including system and network administrator, developer, customer support, engineer, consultant, architect, and manager, but he’s always been focused on securing information assets.

Chris currently serves as the Chief Information Security Officer at MCNC, a technology non-profit that builds, owns, and operates a leading-edge broadband infrastructure for North Carolina’s research, education, non-profit healthcare, and other community anchor institutions. In his role at MCNC, Chris is responsible for directing efforts to secure MCNC’s assets, and for developing security services that will benefit MCNC’s constituents in North Carolina.

  • Sophia Bahhur, Treasury Management Sales Consultant, Wells Fargo

Bio: Sophia Bahhur is an eastern North Carolina native and has lived in the Triangle since 2005. Sophia is a Treasury Management Sales Consultant with Wells Fargo. She works with business banking clients to recommend solutions to better manage receivables, payables and working capital while streamlining processes to improve efficiency, visibility and mitigate risk. Sophia has been a banking professional for 14 years with experience in business development, customer relationship management and leadership. Sophia holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Sophia shares a passion for giving back to the community and has participated in a wide range of corporate social responsibility initiatives ranging from volunteering outreach programs to green and wellness initiatives company-wide resulting in tremendous goodwill and loyalty from the local communities and customer base throughout North Carolina.

In her free time, Sophia loves to spend time with her family. Sophia’s husband is a local business owner in the Triangle and they share two young daughters. They enjoy water sports and spending as much time on the lake as possible.

  • Jim Guido Chief Technology Officer Stalwart Systems

Jim Guido is a veteran consultant with over 25 years of relevant industry experience. Due to his extensive background in cybersecurity, networking, datacenter, Unified Communications and disaster recovery, Mr. Guido supplies critical insights into the design, operation and response processes. He has successfully leveraged his depth of experience to benefit clients in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Security Monitoring and Assessments: Developed a comprehensive cybersecurity assessment program along with an event and log file management/reporting solution for a North Carolina-based manufacturing organization. The cybersecurity assessment program is conducted on an ongoing basis using aggressive penetration techniques to insure a strong security posture while the reporting solution helps meet key audit requirements.
  • Secure Unified Communication & Network Design & Implementation: Provided leadership for a team of consultants and engineers in designing, deploying and documenting a new datacenter and Unified Communications infrastructure solution for a large North Carolina-based organization. The solution included phones for over 1000 users with voice mail, call center and legacy systems integration for a PBX and VRU.
  • Cybersecurity and Advanced Persistent Threat Assessment: Provided design and execution plans for conducting a multi year cybersecurity assessment of a nation wide fortune 500 company. In addition to testing many standard security controls and systems, malware was created and injected into the production environment using dynamic spear phishing and social engineering techniques.

Mr. Guido held a senior level technical position at Cisco Systems prior to joining Stalwart in 2002. He also has a BS in Business Management Systems from the University of Bridgeport.

Panel #2: Opportunities in workforce and economic development

  • Jane Nickels, CIO, Information Technology Department, City of Greensboro

Bio: As CIO for the City of Greensboro, Jane Nickles serves in the executive capacity as the director of Information Technology and Enterprise Solutions functions. Jane assumes management responsibility for all IT departmental programs, services, personnel, and activities, as well as providing leadership in the development and implementation of information technology initiatives and strategies. Jane is responsible for planning, developing, organizing and directing a comprehensive information technology program, including areas of personal computers, mobile devices, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, enterprise storage and servers, and an extensive fiber optic network connecting city facilities and traffic signals throughout Greensboro.

Jane has led the effort to gain national recognition for Greensboro as a top 10 Digital City. Under Jane’s leadership, the City of Greensboro’s Information Technology Department achieved ISO/IEC 27001 certification, a globally recognized certification of cyber security management. Jane is currently leading the TriGig Regional High Speed Broadband initiative to bring competitive gigabit internet services to Greensboro and surrounding areas. Other areas of focus include Open Data strategies, Triad Connected Cities, and Smart Cities initiatives.

  • Dr. Matthew Zullo, Department Head for Networking & Computer Technologies, Wake Tech

Bio: Dr. Matthew Zullo has led Wake Tech’s Network and Computer Technologies Department since 2010, where he supervises staff and manages classroom instruction across four campuses. He joined the college as an instructor in 2000, developing and teaching a variety of computer courses. He has earned Microsoft certifications as an Educator and as a Technology Associate in Network and Security. Dr. Zullo has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University and is also an attorney, graduating from the Western New England College School of Law in 1995. He is originally from Connecticut and served as a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy.

  • Ron Culler, CTO & Co-Founder, Secure Designs

Bio: Ron Culler is co-founder of Secure Designs Inc., a premier Managed Internet Security Provider to small and mid-sized businesses across the US. He currently serves as the CTO, technology architect, MSS visionary and security evangelist for the company.

With more than 30 years of experience in the technology, channel and security fields, starting in the US Navy as part of the Naval Security Group which he served for 10 years. After transitioning out of the Navy he started work at and later owned a successful solutions provider until they formed their Managed Security Services Provider in 2000.

Ron is a “beyond-the-perimeter” thinker actively engaged in expanding the understanding of security and technology for businesses of all sizes. Ron’s expertise as a security consultant, technology innovator and industry thought leader is in high demand with companies, business councils and technology associations. A regular speaker and writer on channel issues, technology legislation, cloud and internet security, he is particularly known for his thought leadership role in encouraging small and mid-sized businesses to protect their data and personal assets from the growing body of IT threats and breaches.

He is an active member of multiple industry advisory councils and boards and currently sits as the Chair of CompTIA’s IT Security Community, Member of CompTIA’s CAPC, Community Executive Board, and IoT working group. This February 17, The organization named him 2017 CompTIA Tech Champion, along with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and Texas Representative Will Hurd. The CompTIA Tech Champion award is given out each year recognizing individuals who exemplify leadership in the technology sector, and who have championed policies that advance the country’s IT industry.
Ron is also an active member of the North Carolina Technology Association where he serves on the Advisory Council. In addition to the many industry councils and boards he also provides mentorship to several entrepreneurial organizations.