Twenty some odd years ago I was born in Southern California and managed to keep my head in a book or in-front of a screen since then. High school came and went with relative ease. There wasn’t a moment wasted, time was spent forming and attending various clubs (chess, tech, french, political, anime). These functions provided an avenue to develop my interests and skills in web development which ultimately lead to some small technical contracts. Subsequently, some of the contracts turned into consistent clients.
Work certainly isn’t everything, reading novels, watching movies, playing some video games rounded out these first few years. With interests in mysteries/puzzles and technology, complimented by a deep passion for technology lead to the modification of game data (player progress, unlimited money, etc) and disassembly of any and all hardware.
With those interests in mind I relocated to Tempe Arizona and began pursuing Bachelors of Science in Network Security. Incredibly intelligent professors with hands on knowledge of up-to-date and relevant security tools and techniques made it a solid opportunity that could not be ignored. These few years were spent working on projects in a shared hardware workspace ‘244’ with other technical students beyond the realm of information security and the assigned coursework.
After three years of traveling domestically to science, weapons, and nuclear facilities conducting assessments on both classified and unclassified systems as well as playing the role of a network administrator, it was time for a change. Changing a single letter of an acronym can mean a world of difference, from ‘E’ to ‘S’ - joining the Department of State’s Red Team was my next position.
While there may not have been any domestic travel, the scope of our engagements spanned beyond our borders into every country with a US presence and that challenged how I approached certain technical issues. During my time there, we were able to routinely provide quality data, normalize our assessment methodology, and identify systemic issues which we presented to the CIO and CISO level regularly.
Having worked in the information security field for a little over four years in both the commercial and government sector, living on completely different sides of the country, and performing work as both in-house and external assessors has lead me to New York where all of the knowledge and wisdom that has been absorbed can be put to good use. Having the opportunity to experience perspectives from both ends of the spectrum has vastly changed how I approach any situation.
From documentation and network design to being able to not only track but also perform assessments with an account of each technique used at a specific time my organizational skills have been invaluable. However, even today when I arrive at home, I crack open my laptop and dig into whatever project I am currently working on. The drive to discover, understand, and learn are all still here. While my skillset has matured considerably, there will always be more things to learn and leverage.
Being motivated, hardworking, detail oriented, responsible, and a quick learner are traits that have been crucial in leading up to this moment. Having already accomplished a considerable amount within a short period of time, the bar is consistently being raised along with tougher challenges ahead.
Ten to fifteen years down the road, after graduation from CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) with a Masters in Information Security Management as well as an MBA, the technical consulting firm that I manage and own will have a solid reputation for performing the best work in the industry.