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PI Fellows

Fellow Cole

Alma Cole | PI Fellow, Cyber Security

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Alma Cole is a fellow with The Performance Institute, supporting nonpartisan, think tank efforts to improve government performance through the principles of transparency, accountability, performance and engagement. Alma joined the PI team in 2014 based in Washington DC and is widely recognized within Department of Homeland Security and Federal Agencies as a cyber-security subject matter expert for computer network defense and incident response.

About Alma

Alma has over eight years of professional experience in the cyber security field. Highly influential in the establishment of DHS-wide information security policy, and DHS common security architecture including Continuous Monitoring, Policy Enforcement Points, and computer network defense, he conducts research on government cyber risk issues and policy and delivers enterprise wide solutions. As the Chief Systems Security Officer at CBP Alma was responsible for applying information assurance risk management strategies ensuring consistent and secure delivery of IT systems and information supporting CBP’s strategic goals and objectives for carrying out its critical missions.

He served as Director, DHS Security Operations Center where he led the protection, confidentiality, availability, and integrity of DHS information and information systems at the DHS Security Operations Center (SOC), CBP Computer Security Incident Response Center (CSIRC), DHS Cyber Focused Operations, Vulnerability Assessment, and Digital Media Analysis functions.

Alma was the principal drafter the Committee on National Security Systems Instruction (CNSSI) 4018 Risk Manager training standard, and CNSSI 4019 Information System Security Manager (ISSM) training standard while at the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center. At the GAO he supported Congressional initiatives and analyzed both Government and agency policies to achieve strategic outcomes.

He has authored several white papers on a variety of cyber security policy issues, with a special emphasis on risk to the enterprise.

Selected Published Works

Beachboard, Aytes, Cole, Hernandez, Mellor, & Massad “Improving Information Security Risk Analysis Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Research Agenda.” The Journal of Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, Volume 5, 2008

Cole, Mellor, Noyes “Botnets: Rise of the Machines” Conference Proceedings –6th Annual Security Conference, April 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada

Beachboard, Aytes, Cole, Hernandez, & Mellor “A Tentative Proposal: Improving Information Assurance Risk Analysis Models for Small- and Medium-Sized Organizations through Adoption of an Open Source Development Model.” Conference Proceedings of the 3rd annual conference on Information security curriculum development, Kennesaw


Vice President, Cyber Security, Robbins Gioia

Chief Systems Security Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Director, DHS Security Operations Center, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Information Technology Security Analyst, National Information Assurance Training and Education Center

Information Technology Analyst, Government Accountability Office


Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

EACOE 4 – Enterprise Architect Fellow


Idaho State University, Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems/Information Assurance, Cum Laude

Utah State University, Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems, E-Commerce emphasis