Q: How did you get into security?
I came up through the network engineering route.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
It's a moving target. You are always trying to hit some things differently, the days are never the same. There are always new challenges that you're faced with every day. And also understanding and integrating the business that you're in into your security model.
Q: What most annoys you?
Probably one of the things I like least about my job would be making sure that people understand that security is there for their benefit – it's not a necessary evil that is an inconvenience. There are also the compliance issues you have to deal with from a regulatory standpoint – Sarbanes-Oxley issues. That's not a real fun part of my job.
Q: Who has influenced you the most?
Not any one specific person – probably a multitude, with Gene Fredriksen [Raymond James's CISO] being one of the most prominent. A lot of the management team here at Raymond James and even the users too, because you have to learn how to phrase your answers and understand their needs and have empathy for what they are trying to do. It has a big impact.
Q: How do you describe your job to strangers?
"I'm the person who deals with stopping hackers from stealing your data."
Generally that's a good way. Then they say: "Gotcha."