Graduation season is upon us and whether you are entering the workforce for the first time or making a career switch, the working world can be a scary place. BUT it doesn’t have to be. As he wraps up his tenure as the 2015-2016 UMSA president, Mat Wilcek has some great advice for information security professionals new and old.
What advice do you have for graduating students who want to enter the information security industry?
- Get involved with a local chapter and volunteer your time. It creates relationships in the industry as well as exposes you to different concepts. That exposure may shape your career on what aspect of security you want to pursue.
- Play around at home with different concepts. The entry-level jobs often require experience. By showing interest outside of school, you will stand out among the hundreds of other applicants.
- Consider all avenues of security. Don’t pass on opportunities without considering if it could help your long-term career. The flashy/exciting parts of security often require time in the trenches.
What part of your job would surprise people that think information security professionals sit at their computer all day?
Cutting edge technology. Often, security professionals must evaluate and test the latest technology. They often receive the latest gadget to use and test before it’s rolled out to the rest of the enterprise.
What skill, outside of basic computer skills, have you found to be a vital part of your job and why?
Negotiation is a key skill. Locking things down often times makes technology or processes unusable. Negotiating with other business units is essential to safeguard information while still allowing business to function.
Critical thinking as it relates to risk management is also vital. Budget doesn’t always allow for the quick fix; thinking about using existing controls while mitigating risk takes the ability to think holistically.
Why do you love working in the security industry? Share with us in the comments or on social media and be sure to also share this article with any graduates or students who might want to join the industry!