Me and my job

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What annoys you?

Lack of out-of-cycle patches. If a vendor knows about a serious vulnerability, exploit code is available, and the patch has been fully tested, what is the sense in keeping your customers in the dark and vulnerable – get us the patch!

Apathetic adoption of good security concepts, as well. We've had locks on our automobiles and homes for years to keep out nefarious individuals, so why does it take so much to get the same basic protections on our networks and PCs?

Of what are you most proud?

Making a difference. I take great pride in taking great steps to keep personal information safe. I'd also like to think that I'm making a difference with a podcast that I co-host at We talk about the latest in security news and give something back to the community by providing sound advice on how to deal with emerging threats.

How do you describe your job to average people?

I tell people that I get paid to think like a hacker, but to use my knowledge for the forces of good, not the dark side. I then explain that the best way to understand how to protect yourself is to think like your enemy.

How do you see your job changing in the future?

I don't see the basics changing all that much. Sure, the threats will change, the technologies will change and I'll need to keep up with those changes. However managing risk, educating myself about new threats and technologies and responding to incidents will, at the core, still be the same.


Insider threats

Given that internal threats posed by "trusted insiders" are capable of inflicting severe damage, insider threat management has become a priority.

Hybrid skill sets

There has been an increase in the number of security vendors providing solutions to address these problems. Corporations building insider threat management teams are looking for a hybrid of skill sets.

Increased demand

These skills include: a deep understanding of technology platforms, security controls and threat analysis as well as investigative strategy, digital forensics and litigation support. Security professionals with these capabilities will see an increased demand for their services.

Jeff Combs, Alta Associates, Inc.

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