Me and my job

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How did you get into security? I came from the physics field to begin with. I jumped in here about 11 years ago. I started as a programmer — Visual Basic, web applications, that sort of thing, and decided after a year or so that I didn’t enjoy that. So I switched over to IT administration…and from there started doing system administration and part of that has to be security. I just sort of moved more and more and taught myself more and more about security as part of system administration. I just took an interest in it.

What do you like about your job?

I wear many hats here and that's actually one of the two things I like about it -- the variety. I'm the security specialist here when it comes to internal work, as well as at our client sites. I support all of our internal IT and I manage our engineering department from a technical point of view.

The other reason: the owners of the company itself.

What bothers you about your job?

Typically when I deal with clients -- paying clients, family or even friends -- who ask me about computer security and, after listening to me, they won't even take my advice. They either don't want to spend a few dollars or deal with the aggravation of changing a password.

How do you overcome this?

I tell them what could happen and I try to put in terms of their background. For example, if the client I'm talking to is the CFO, I say, "If you don't accept our security recommendations, you'll be exposed and this is what it will cost you in terms of dollars versus what it will cost you if you spend a few dollars now."

Of what are you most proud?

I came in and said we need to have a general awareness of security. They might not take all of the advice, but they're finally starting to get it, especially if we can show them results.

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