About the Webinar

The challenge for security team leaders is three-fold: advancing the skills of the team, keeping employees engaged and motivated, and maximizing the value from your budget. All while the industry continues to face a shortage of qualified cyber resources.

Focal Point Academy has spent the past decade working to solve exactly these challenges for our clients in the Fortune 500, US military, and federal government. We have trained 20,000 of the most elite cybersecurity professionals in the country and know exactly what it takes to build a high-performing security organization.

In this webinar, we share how we’ve helped our clients realize massive year-over-year improvements in team capability and employee retention, while reducing budget waste through more targeted training. We outline a new model for cyber workforce development – one that you can begin implementing as soon as the webinar ends.

This session is designed for leaders of IT, cyber, and SecOps teams. 

This session covers:

  • Our two-year cyber skills outlook (the skills your team should be building now)
  • Tactics for maximizing your investment in training
  • Strategies for budgeting and planning team skills development
  • How to understand the cyber workforce maturity scale 
  • How to conduct a baseline assessment of your cyber team and build a plan for growth

Meet the Speakers

Buffy Ellis



Buffy Ellis | Executive Vice President, Academy

Buffy Ellis is the Executive Vice President of Focal Point’s Academy division, bringing over 25 years of experience in Network Design, Vulnerability Assessment, Penetration Testing, and Network Monitoring and Analysis to lead a team of phenomenal technical experts in delivering hands-on cyber training courses.

As a former instructor, Buffy has trained over 4,000 students in the networking, firewall policy, intrusion detection, and malware analysis fields. As the EVP of Academy, she oversees all elements of Focal Point’s evolving Cybersecurity Training portfolio, keeping our courses up to date and relevant to the cyber challenges our customers are facing every day.




Julian Smith | Director, Cyber Workforce Development

Julian is the Director of Workforce Development for Focal Point’s cybersecurity training practice, Focal Point Academy. Julian has over 12 years’ experience in cyber defense and cybersecurity training, originally specializing in network security and operating systems. He has worked with both the U.S. and British governments in cyber defense.

At Focal Point, Julian leads the team of expert instructors, researchers, and course developers in producing and delivering cutting edge, hands-on cyber skills training for both public and private sector clients.

Justin Avery



Justin Avery | Director of Business Development, Cyber Workforce Development

Justin Avery is a Director of Business Development at Focal Point, focusing on the company’s cyber workforce development offerings. He oversees a national team of national sales representatives and sales engineers.

Justin is a prominent thought leader in the field of workforce development, and has spent much of his career focused on strategies for developing high-performing technical workforces. At Focal Point, he is part of a core team responsible for designing and evangelizing our core workforce development offering, which assesses and builds advanced cybersecurity teams, both inside and outside of the Security Operations Center.