Name: Leon Kolthof
Title: Information Security Officer
Employer: Centric Netherlands B.V.
Location: Breda Area, Netherlands
Degree: Bachelor in Business IT & Management
Years in IT: 9
Years in cybersecurity: 6
Cybersecurity certifications: CCSP, CISSP-ISSAP, CISSP-ISSMP, CISM, CCSK, CEH
How did you decide upon a career in cybersecurity?
My IT career started in the field of system/network engineering. From this field of practice, I developed my professionalism toward information security. Through formal education, hands-on experience, and my own interest in the field, I have extended my knowledge in this dynamic discipline. Continuously building your knowledge and being keen on self-improvement is key to keep up with the ever-changing world of information security.
Why did you get your CCSP®?
In my role of Information Security Officer, I am responsible for the operational and tactical information security management at my organization. I work within a managed service provider who delivers private, community and hybrid cloud solutions and delivering these services in a secure way requires an extensive and broad knowledge of cloud security. The basic principles of information or IT security still remain the same in cloud environments, but it requires viewing the threat landscape, governance, risk, compliance and opportunities from a different angle. Studying and obtaining the CCSP certification gave me the opportunity to gain the knowledge, which enables me to help our business and customers with improving cloud security.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day entails me advising on using cloud solutions in a secure way. The types of advice can vary enormously – for example, advising a business on risk, compliance and types of data classification suitable for cloud solutions as well as advising about secure connections in regards to identity and access management. This is what I like about cloud security and the CCSP certification – there is focus on both the business and technical aspects of the field.
Can you tell us about a personal career highlight?
I advised one of the first major Microsoft Office 365 and Azure projects in the Netherlands for a company with about 5000 users. The transformation from an on-premise IT-environment to a cloud service was quite new for me and really made me curious about the possibilities and challenges within hybrid cloud environments. This project was the starting point for me in gaining more knowledge about cloud security and getting certified.
How has the CCSP certification helped you in your career?
With obtaining several security certifications (like the CISSP, ISSAP, ISSMP, CISM and CEH), I have gained a deep understanding about different topics in the world of information security. But, these certifications are missing one of the most important and relevant topics in the field, which is cloud security. While preparing for and obtaining the CCSP certification I have broadened my skill set. This helps me when talking to others about cloud security because you can prove, with the certification, that you have a solid knowledge about cloud security.
What is the most useful advice you have for other cloud security professionals?
My most useful advice for other cloud security professionals is study for the CCSP exam, enhance your knowledge about cloud security and get certified. Spread the word about the importance of cloud security, because it is absolutely necessary to keep your knowledge current and help the society by protecting clouds. We are all on the way to more cloud-based technology, so get on that train and help in protecting it.
Interesting in earning your Certified Cloud Security Professional certification? Download our CCSP exam outline.