Name: David Schneider
Title: Senior Cyber Security Threat Engineer
Employer: Garmin International
Location: Olathe, KS, U.S.A.
Degree: BA, BS, MS
Years in IT: 20
Years in cybersecurity: 12
Cybersecurity certifications: CCSP, CISSP, CISM, CISA, GWAPT, CIS LI
How did you decide upon a career in cybersecurity?
I became interested in cybersecurity while doing software development. When working as a developer, I started becoming interested in secure coding methods and what I could do to make what I was working on more secure from both a technical and end-user perspectives. I started enjoying other aspects around information security and felt that going back to graduate school and earning a computer security-specific degree would help me make the transition into a fulltime security role.
Why did you get your CCSP®?
I felt that the CCSP was a perfect match for my then current role and the environment of my employer as well as any future endeavor. Much of what involves cybersecurity in the industry today centers around cloud hosting and provisioning. I believe there is really no company that does not participate in the cloud arena in some manner, whether directly or through a supplier.
What is a typical day like for you?
Of course, there is no typical day, but I am involved in various aspects of cybersecurity ranging from incident response, risk and vulnerability assessment, project consulting, application assessment, and especially penetration testing. I am part of an Offensive Security group that conducts Red Team activities that mimic those of any potential adversary trying to circumvent security controls in place. A good portion of my day is spent trying to find potential vulnerabilities and how best to mitigate them.
Can you tell us about a personal career highlight?
I’ve been fortunate to be at some places in the past where the Security group was either non-existent or at an early stage in development when I started. This means I have been able to implement and help oversee many best practices and security frameworks without the sometimes-normal roadblocks. Implementing and ingraining security into such things as IT Security Service Catalogs, SDLC processes, internal penetration testing, mobile device management, and assisting with employee training, just to name a few.
How has the CCSP certification helped you in your career?
I believe that the CCSP has complemented my CISSP by asserting my knowledge in certain key areas that are specific to cloud environments. While the CISSP was great in giving me a baseline of common knowledge, it has been a while since I took it. The CCSP took the knowledge I had and updated it to the next level in my career. Cloud-based technologies and theory have become ubiquitous in today’s IT and cybersecurity realms.
What is the most useful advice you have for other cloud security professionals?
Non-technical knowledge and contractual due diligence is extremely important in this area. One must be cognizant of the myriad of laws and regulations that you may fall under depending on the flow and storage of data. Scrutinizing support agreements is also extremely important since the normal hands-on you may have with traditional on premise resources is not present in many cloud set-ups depending on whether it is IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. The cloud has, in some ways, shifted the emphasis in critical skills and knowledge from just the pure technical to that of more Risk, Compliance, and Legal issues.
If you’re considering the CCSP certification, just go for it…whether you are currently working in a cloud security role or even are thinking of making the transition. The knowledge you will gain simply by going through the material will help you. In my experience, any knowledge you gain is good, whether you use it now or it comes in handy later in your career.
Interested in CCSP certification? Download the Ultimate Guide to the CCSP.