Name: Adam Boulton
Title: Senior Vice President, Security Technology
Location: United Kingdom
Degree: Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Software Engineering
Years in IT: 12
Years in cybersecurity: 12
Cybersecurity certifications: CCSP, CISSP, CSSLP, CSTM, QSTM, OCJA
How did you decide upon a career in cybersecurity?
I’ve been really interested in technology for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate enough to know that since my early teens I wanted my career to be in software engineering. I am sure my story is very similar to many others, technology really captured my imagination from early on. I remember learning Assembly and QBasic, that is where it started for me. Then I started to learn about reverse engineering around the age of 16 and that really began to pique my interest. Looking back, it really felt like the industry was really in its infancy, it is incredible how much it has changed over the last decade. It wasn’t until I went to University to study Software Engineering that the career path really started to come together.
Why did you get your CCSP®?
I really like to stay current, there is always something new to learn, always a new perspective to capture. BlackBerry has always been focused on distributed computing and security, so CCSP is very relevant for our technology portfolio.
Whilst the concept of cloud computing technology isn’t new, it is important to learn the terminology that is common in industry. CCSP covers a wide range of domains, beyond just technology. In order to successfully manage Cloud based solutions it is important to have this breadth of understanding in areas like compliance and legislation. It is particularly important because of the nature of Cloud Computing.
What is a typical day like for you?
Very rewarding and exciting! I get to work on a wide range of technologies, more so on critical systems nowadays, which I really enjoy because I find the engineering challenges fascinating. I’m fortunate enough to still have a hands on approach, still getting the opportunity to do security assessments and coding which is something I really love as i’m just a techie at heart. The best of it all though is getting to work with a brilliant and passionate team which just makes the entire experience so enjoyable and makes me look forward to each day. There is nothing better than working with a dedicated and passionate team.
Can you tell us about a personal career highlight?
There has been quite a few, from getting my first job in the security industry as a reverse engineer to speaking at conferences, demonstrating products I’ve built and filing patents. The whole thing feels like a highlight, I just thoroughly enjoy it all.
How has the CCSP certification helped you in your career?
The CCSP provided a well structured range of domains. It helped get me up to speed on the things the matter, it gave me the opportunity to discuss and debate with other security professionals about cloud computing challenges. I found it particularly useful to learn the correct terminology, standards and legislation. Never underestimate the power of terminology, it really helps everyone communicate effectively. I certainly became much more confident in designing and assessing cloud solutions and was able to cover a wider breadth of concerns.
What is the most useful advice you have for other cloud security professionals?
What are you waiting for!? I would highly recommend the CCSP, you’re going to learn something new, which is never a bad thing.
What I particularly enjoy is the classroom environment. A couple of notable instructors being Kevin Henry and Kevin Jackson. When you meet passionate, well informed instructors with strong experience you know you’re in excellent hands. Having the opportunity to discuss and debate is incredibly useful to developing a deeper understanding. And then when instructors pass down their wisdom, it is just such an incredible eye opener.
To be successful in cybersecurity, never stop learning, never stop developing. The industry moves at an incredible pace and it deserves the best and brightest. The next generation of systems are becoming more complex than ever, Cloud Computing gives us the power of a connected world in all kinds of forms. As security engineers our job is becoming more complex when it comes to building dependable systems, whilst an exciting prospect we owe it to world to try and get this right.