How do you describe your job to average people?
My job is to provide cyber security services to state and local governments, U.S. territories, as well as tribal nations. Some of the ways our organization does this is by providing network monitoring, conducting vulnerability assessments, sending cyber security related intelligence notices, and providing incident response services to entities that are in need of assistance.
What was one of your biggest challenges?
Trying to help an organization understand the need for information security, especially if it has not yet experienced a breach (that it is aware of) or a substantial incident that has impacted its business.
What keeps you up at night?
Looking at where future attacks will be targeted. We will have to continue to remain vigilant as the attack trends start to shift from cyber to physical assets by way of our industrial control systems, which are responsible for managing our nation’s critical infrastructure, including our power grid, water distribution, and communication systems.
Why did you get into IT security?
I have always enjoyed working with computers and found that there was always something new to learn as technology continually changes – new vulnerabilities are discovered and attackers find ways to exploit them.
For what would you use a magic IT security wand?
Regardless of the number of technical protections in place, attackers will continually take advantage of unsuspecting end-users to gain access to enterprise environments. I would like to have the ability to grant all users a base level of IT security knowledge in order to keep them abreast of the recent attack trends in cyber security and what to look out for on a daily basis.
Of what are you most proud?
One of the things I am proud of is recently finishing a Master’s degree in Information Assurance with a 4.0 GPA. Working on the degree part-time, while working full-time was challenging, but at the same time very rewarding in that much of the knowledge I obtained was directly applicable to my day-to-day responsibilities.