December 11, 2019


Kathleen R. McMorrow

The Communications Optic, LLC.

Phone: 973.665.8167



Media Release: OSMOSIS Institute Recognizes CybHER for Empowering & Encouraging Young Women to Enter Cybersecurity Field

(Wanaque, NJ) The OSMOSIS Institute is proud to announce making a 2019 donation to CybHER, which is headquartered at Dakota State University in Madison, SD. Since its founding in 2015, the Institute has made a year-end donation to a non-profit organization working to reduce fraud, corruption, and/or human trafficking through enhanced cybersecurity measures, education, and public awareness.

Dr. Ashley Podhradsky and Dr. Pam Rowland founded CybHER in 2013 because of their passion to encourage girls to explore education and careers in cybersecurity. With a mission to empower, motivate, educate, and change the perception of girls and women in cybersecurity, CybHER has reached over 14,000 girls to date. GenCyber Girls in CybHER Security Camp, supported by the NSA, is a signature project. It is the largest girls-only residential camp in the country and hosts middle school students who learn about cybersecurity, forensics, social engineering, programming, networking, and cryptography.

“We are proud to recognize CybHER’s efforts in engaging young girls and young women in issues of cybersecurity and cyber intelligence,” stated Cynthia Hetherington, founder and president of the OSMOSIS Institute and the Hetherington Group, a leading firm in investigative due diligence, corporate intelligence, and cyber investigations. “Through their camps, scholarships, and the collegiate CybHER Club at Dakota State University, the organization is breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings for the next generation of female cyber intelligence investigators.”

“CybHER is honored to be the recipient of this donation from the Hetherington Group,” said Dr. Pam Rowland, Assistant Professor at Dakota State University in Cyber Security, Director of the CybHER MadLabs. “With the gift, CybHER will be working on an intelligence database that will help law enforcement in digital investigations for the protection of our youth. DSU CybHER students working on the project will gain experience in digital forensics and source intelligence.”

The CybHER Club at DSU provides an opportunity for young women to network with each other and professionals in the field, receive support and encouragement, and to serve and mentor others. Current President Sophie Pokorney stated, “I joined the CybHER Club because it gave me a sense of community in the cybersecurity field that otherwise might not be there. I am passionate about women feeling as if they have people to turn to in a field where they may not see someone like themselves. Through CybHER, I have made friendships that I believe will last, as well as mentors and career opportunities. This community is positive and uplifting, with everyone involved wanting the best for each other.” Pokorney is a junior Cyber Operations Major from Sioux Falls, S.D..

The Institute’s 2019 OSMOSIS Conference, held in October, honored CybHER’s work with a keynote address by Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, Associate Dean of The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences and Associate Professor of Digital Forensics at Dakota State University. Dr. Podhradsky shared the CybHER story with the OSMOSIS attendees and noted, “It was an opportunity to directly interact with the open source intelligence community. There are many parallels and intersections within our communities, and it was wonderful to be welcomed by so many leaders in the OSINT space.  Future partnerships on dark web investigations were kicked-off at the event. It was a privilege to be the 2019 keynote for OSMOSIS.”


About the OSMOSIS Institute

Founded by Cynthia Hetherington of Hetherington Group in 2015, the OSMOSIS Institute hosts the annual OSMOSIS Conference to educate, inform and protect investigators and analysts within the cybersecurity industry.

Developed by OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) investigators for the legal, law enforcement, investigative journalism, business and accounting community, the OSMOSIS conference brings together some of the world’s most recognized social media and open source investigative trainers into one valuable educational experience. This gathering of experts offers non-stop training on the Dark Web, the latest cellular and desktop social media investigations, open source searching, asset research, and borderless possibilities on the international front, plus the legal implications of this.

To learn more about the OSMOSIS Institute, visit

About CybHER

Core Mission

CybHER®’s mission is to empower, motivate, educate, and change the perception of girls and women in cybersecurity. By providing resources for girls from middle school through collegiate programs and into professional careers, CybHER will allow women to foster positive and encouraging relationships within this industry through original and curated content that educates and motivates women. Ultimately, our goal is to increase diversity by introducing more girls to cybersecurity, who will then transition to women in collegiate programs, and finally highly trained professionals. While CybHER’s mission is to promote STEM and technology for females, CybHER is open to everyone.

To learn more about CybHER, visit

About Dakota State University

Dakota State University (DSU) is located in Madison, S.D. Founded in 1881, DSU offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs through its colleges of arts and sciences, business and information systems, computer and cyber sciences, and education. DSU has a special focus on the development, application, implications, and impacts of computing, information technologies and cyber security in all areas of human endeavor. DSU has received multiple Center of Excellence designations in education, research and regional resource development from the U.S. National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. DSU is home to the Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs), a cyber R&D hub with labs and institutes that explore and advance technology application, workforce development, business expansion, economic growth, and policy improvement across multiple disciplines and fields.

For more information, contact, 605-270-3816, or visit the DSU website at