SOC Panel: Finding, Keeping, and Caring for the Best People
2023-08-11, 15:00–16:00 (US/Pacific), Main Stage

Come hear 4 SOC veterans discuss some of the most challenging topics in SOCs today. People are our most important asset, but recruiting, retention, and career growth continue to be a sore spot for many. Trying to break into the field? Been laid off? Worried about training or outsourcing? This panel is for you. We share with you what we’ve learned over the years; along the way we will spice it up with some war stories and hard won lessons.


Carson Zimmerman is a veteran cybersecurity specialist, author, and speaker. In his current role at Microsoft, Carson leads an investigations team responsible for defending the M365 platform and ecosystem. In his previous role, at The MITRE Corporation, Carson specialized in cybersecurity operations center (CSOC) architecture and CSOC consulting. His experiences over 20 years as a CSOC analyst and engineer led Carson to author Ten Strategies of a World-Class Cybersecurity Operations Center, and co-authored its second edition, Eleven Strategies… which may be downloaded for free at

Alissa Torres is a blue team practitioner/educator turned consultant, laser-focused on the people element of the SecOps equation. With 3 dog-years of experience spanning roles in IT and Security Operations, she discovered her passion for adversary hunting while serving in the trenches as an incident analyst with a third-party services company, and later, leading an incident response team for a global manufacturing company.

Russ McRee, Ph.D. is currently Director, GCP Enterprise Protection, for Google’s Trust & Safety Cloud group, and was Partner Director, MSRC Operations at Microsoft prior.
He writes toolsmith via, a column for cyber-security practitioners, and has written extensively for additional publications as well. Russ has spoken at numerous security conferences including Derby Con, BlueHat, Black Hat, SANSFIRE, and RSA, DEFCON. He serves as a joint-forces operator and mission commander on behalf of Washington Military Department’s cyber and emergency management missions.