Q: How did you get into security?
I kind of fell into it. I've done a lot of programming in the past and then systems work and networking. And I had an interest in it. It seemed like the natural next step.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
The challenge, figuring out how things work, and thinking outside the box. [Protection] involves figuring out how things work or sometimes disabling things. It helps if you get in that mindset and think like a hacker.
Q: What most annoys you?
It seems that you just finish all the patching and testing and then next month there's a new set of patches and you have to start all over again. [But] it's more of a frustration.
Q: Who has influenced you the most?
I had a boss, an electrical engineer, who became a really good friend. He's the person who 15 years ago was a mentor to me and got me interested in computers. He was very knowledgeable and taught me a lot.
Q: How do you describe your job to strangers?
Plumbing is an analogy I use. To me, the network and all the infrastructure is sort of like plumbing – the pipes that connect everything. Another thing is that people never call you when everything's working great. Nobody calls me and says: "Hey the network is really fast today." They call when there's a problem. Same thing for a plumber. No one calls to say: "Everything's working great today."