In a coincidence that could well have inspired an episode of Seinfeld, when Moshe Kaplan (with a K) arrived at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, he bumped into Moshe Caplan (with a C), a fellow student who happened to be working in the Information Systems and Internet Security (ISIS) lab. Kaplan, previously undecided about his area of specialization, was hooked. If life was, in fact, a television show, there’d now be a montage: Kaplan winning a scholarship from the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, doing an internship at the Center for Cyber Defenders at the Sandia National Laboratories, developing a framework for testing Android applications, earning a Master’s degree in 2013, moving to the Washington, D.C. area , accepting a position with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and, not incidentally, meeting and marrying the love of his life.
“Attending the School of Engineering and studying cybersecurity in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering set a course for my life,” Kaplan says, pointing out that had he not been here, he might not have discovered the SFS program, an NSF-funded initiative aimed at educating experts who will protect the government's critical information infrastructure. (Only students from colleges certified by the National Security Agency as Centers of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance Education are eligible to participate.) Without the scholarship, which requires recipients to work for the federal, state, or local government for two years after graduating, he might never have considered a job in Washington. And, of course, had he not moved to that area to work for FERC-- a government agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity to ensure that consumers can obtain reliable, efficient and sustainable energy at a reasonable cost--he might never have met his wife.
Kaplan now works in FERC’s Office of Energy Infrastructure Security (OEIS), which guides the Commission in finding solutions for protecting FERC-jurisdiction facilities from cyber attacks and physical threats. While the SFS program requires that he remain in a government post for two years, he feels fully equipped for any cybersecurity job his future may hold. “I learned from wonderful professors,” he says. “From studying Java with John Sterling to researching my master’s thesis with Justin Cappos to working with Nasir Memon at the ISIS lab, I received a very solid education.”