How do you describe your job to average people?
I am responsible for a specialized team that monitors our network for security indicators which may suggest an attack, responds to incidents and provides metrics to management regarding the security posture of our organization. I am also responsible for assisting project teams to better understand their information security risks and recommending improvements to the security of their applications, systems and processes to mitigate those risks.
Why did you get into IT security?
Like many, I started working in the field of enterprise networking, dabbling in security whenever needed. Eight years ago, the opportunity to specialize in the emerging field of cybersecurity was presented to me. I found security engaging, challenging and rewarding and couldn't see myself doing anything else from that point on.
What is one of your biggest challenges?
One of my biggest challenges is the constant battle to be one step ahead of attackers. With an increase in persistent and complex attacks, we have to ensure that we are as agile as the attackers. Having the proper people, tools and processes to defend our network is a necessity.
What keeps you up at night?
Not knowing what new threats attackers may have up their sleeves, how these threats will affect our organizations' business, and what type of defenses are needed. Even more frightening, do we have the ability to detect these new attacks?
Of what are you most proud?
I am most proud of the skilled, dedicated team I work with. The success of any information security program is reliant on a group of well-trained, experienced and motivated professionals. I work hard to stay abreast of current trends and pass this knowledge onto others through speaking engagements and training.
For what would you use a magic IT security wand?
I would improve communication regarding threats between corporations, law enforcement and other government agencies. Information security practitioners would be better equipped to defend against attacks if organizations had a better channel to share relevant information and knowledge of attacks before they occur.