Me and my job: Mike Lang, University of Connecticut

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Me and my job: Mike Lang, University of Connecticut
Me and my job: Mike Lang, University of Connecticut

How do you describe your job to average people?

My position can't be defined by a job title. Higher education, instinctually by nature, makes for an insecure network environment, which then makes for a challenging security environment. Because of those unique challenges, my position requires that I wear multiple hats, using various skill sets. A perfect example of this would be after I complete network security architecture for a system, I then assume the role of administrator as well. In addition, I am responsible for the configuration and monitoring of the university firewalls, its virtual private network (VPN) and its network access control (NAC) portal. All in all, it makes for a very busy day.

How did you get into IT security?

I wanted to join a challenging and constantly evolving field within IT. I enjoy working on projects and playing an instrumental role in gathering the right people together to achieve our goal to benefit the university.

What are your biggest challenges?

Garnering support from the entire university for the implementation of our NAC portal. Initially, people didn't see the need for additional security controls. 

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing work related. I try to keep work-life in balance. 

Of what are you most proud?

The way I can understand a sizeable expanse of information technology, which allows me to help support various teams and keep critical systems running smoothly, thus ensuring a better experience for users. 

For what would you use a magic IT security wand? 

To give users basic common sense – things like when to click and when not to click, or just because someone claims to be someone, doesn't mean they are. Also, just because someone asks for a password doesn't mean the user should provide it.

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