Risk and Reward: A Career in Cybersecurity

April 17, 2023

LSU Center for Internal Auditing & Cybersecurity Risk Management alumnus Wes Ladd has experience helping some of the largest and most heavily regulated organizations with cybersecurity - including Fortune 100 banking, energy, and healthcare clients. He has served in various capacities, from internal auditor to penetration tester to cloud security architect. Ladd gained diverse skills and a passion for teaching, leading him to found Train GRC, a cloud security training company for auditors and other governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) professionals.

As the lead instructor for Train GRC, Ladd is responsible for designing and producing course materials and laboratory environments in association with Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft 365, and various technologies supported by those providers.

He also uses his talents to benefit his alma mater, providing cybersecurity training for internal auditing students. Approximately 50 students attended the spring 2023 session, held the last weekend in March. Ladd has also presented at the LSU Center for Internal Auditing & Cybersecurity Risk Management’s annual conference, held in partnership with the IIA Baton Rouge Chapter.

"Wes Ladd’s two-day training session covered diminishing risks through cybersecurity. He introduced the history of hackers and explained how the first computers threatened the security of our government and society. He also covered how cybersecurity applies to governance, risks, and controls. Through this training, my classmates and I gained a new perspective on how cybersecurity and internal auditing work together. I will leverage this information throughout my career."

Brisa N Gawlikowski ’25
BS Entrepreneurship 

Ladd chose to pursue a cybersecurity career because the dynamic field offered lifelong learning opportunities. 

“Through both the internal auditing and Flores MBA program, I learned about concepts related to risk management. While these concepts broadly apply to organizations, they are acutely valuable in cybersecurity.”

He credits his financial courses with helping him stand out in the workforce and encourages all LSU students to consider a minor or specialization in internal auditing.

“Businesses exist to make money. So when you as a cybersecurity professional show an understanding of the financial impact of business decisions related to cybersecurity, it can differentiate you from other personnel.”