Name: Marco Fernandes
Title: Lead Security Solutions Architect
Employer: Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Information Systems
Years in IT: 4
Years in information security: 8
Cybersecurity certifications: SSCP
How did you decide upon a career in cybersecurity?
I grew up with a love of technology and cybersecurity, along with a curiosity for business. So when I got to college, I wasn’t sure what I should major in. My brilliant brother, Roger Fernandes, encouraged me to pursue a degree in Business Computer Information Systems (BCIS). After seeing news of so many hacks and data breaches, I knew our country needed more security professionals, thus I decided to become one. I started out as an IT analyst in the defense industry, and now I design enterprise level security solutions for clients.
Why did you get your SSCP®?
Leadership had challenged my department to obtain this credential. It was one of our annual performance goals. I was the first and only person on the team to achieve the SSCP, and I did this six months ahead of our deadline, which not only proved my knowledge, but also that I was willing to go above and beyond in meeting any goals given to me.
What is a typical day like for you?
As Lead Security Architect, I design security solutions for corporations and governments. Every day is different, but a typical day involves analyzing and responding to requests from clients and internal teams, meetings with clients and business partners, designing the right solutions based on requirements and compliances, and ultimately presenting and getting approval from C-Level executives and decision makers.
Can you tell us about a personal career highlight?
A personal career highlight for me was when I traveled to New York and California for business trips. It was early in my career, and management had chosen me to go out to these sites to improve relations and close some business deals. It was a fantastic experience working and bonding with the team, and getting to use my knowledge and skills to truly make a difference with major corporations.
How has the SSCP certification helped you in your career?
The SSCP has helped me better understand how certain aspects of information security, processes, and different roles come together in an organization. It’s given me knowledge that is applicable in so many different ways career wise, and I’m able to leverage that, especially when dealing with clients.
What is the most useful advice you have for other information security professionals?
My advice is to be patient, as security is an extremely broad topic and it is constantly evolving with new technologies and threats. You won’t become an expert overnight. Such things will only come through many years of professional experience. Working in information security can be quite stressful at times, so I think it’s very important to relax and take some leisure time as it helps reduce stress and relax the mind, thus enabling you to focus and innovate better after recharging your batteries. In my free time, I enjoy watching WWE wrestling, watching Gotham, and playing card games.
As passionate as I am about information security, I also care deeply about what’s happening in our world and especially my community. I’ve done a lot of community service, mentored youth, etc., I plan on running for public office someday.
For more information on the Systems Security Certified Practitioner certification, download our Ultimate Guide to the SSCP.