Me and my job

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Me and my job

I had worked first in physical security and then in law enforcement since I was 18 years-old. But I got tired of getting shot at, literally. So I decided to do something more sedate. I worked on officers' computers. I went into a computer helpdesk role back in 2000. I had the joy of finding out that you could do computers and security and I have never looked back.

What do you like most about your job?

Stopping the bad guys. There are people out there who have nothing more do to with their time than steal and damage other people's systems. It's easy to break something, but to figure out how they're going to break it and to stop them before they do is wonderful.

What annoys you?

The information security community as a whole – how we share information. If you look at hackers and how they communicate, they're so willing to give information on how to do damage. But us in infosec, we have our NDAs and security through obscurity processes, where we're not willing to share that much information. If we could find a way to communicate with each other... I think we'd be a lot more formidable force.

Who's influenced you?

Tim Smith, vice-president of technical security at Compu-Bank. He got me my first job in security. A lot of people in security – especially of his caliber – like to keep their knowledge to themselves. He was different; he acted as a mentor. [He taught me] if you know something that can help someone else, you tell them.

How do you describe your job to normal people?

Usually I say: "I go after hackers, I try to keep the bad guys out. I deal with information security. I keep networks secure."

Any words of wisdom?

No matter how far you get into the community, how far advanced you are in your career, don't ever think you can't learn something new and don't stop helping someone else learn something new.

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