Julie Johnson

Email: julie.v.johnson@wisc.edu

Division of Information Technology (DoIT)
Testing and Cyber Defense

Julie V. Johnson Headshot

2020 Session

Title: Development and Cybersecurity – Parts of the Same Team


I earned BA in communication in 1989, MA in Journalism in 1991.  In 2015 I returned to school and earned an Associates in Network Security.  My first IT job was a Security Administrator at WEDC, followed by a Help Desk roll at American Family Insurance.  My current position is in Testing and Cyber Defense.

When making a living in Journalism proved difficult, and I begun to explore options in Information Technology, my interests were broad.   At one point I created a spreadsheet to compare the value of each IT program offered by MATC. Network Security came out at 99.8%, and Web Developer came out at 99.7%!  Obviously, that was a difficult decision, and I never lost interest in code, although I had to focus on security first.

One of the highlights of my time at MATC was an Honors Project titled Security For Developers, and I knew it was only the beginning of my focus on the subject.  When I addressed a group of development students and showed them how secure development can prevent cybercrime, development instructor Paula Waite encouraged me to study the concept farther.

With a good job and the means to do so, I take development classes at every opportunity.  I’m currently building an application to demonstrate the best in secure coding, titled The Fortress, although at present it exists only as sketches and class diagrams.  My long-term goal is the CSSLP (Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional) which is in the same certification family as CISSP but focused on secure development.

My communication background also proves useful when working with people from different technical specialties.