Name: Dr. Mari Spina
Title: Principal Cyber Security Engineer
Employer: The MITRE Corporation
Division: MITRE Cyber Security Technical Center
Degree: BSME, MSEE, Doctor of Science Engineering Management
Years in IT: 26
Years in cybersecurity: 9
Cybersecurity certifications: CISSP, ISSEP, CCSP
How did you decide upon a career in cybersecurity?
As a U.S. Government contractor since the late 80s, I’ve worked to combat an ever increasing, continuously morphing cyber warfare threat. Frankly, I want to be sure that the U.S. remains strong in its defenses on both military and industrial fronts. I feel this is simply the best way for me to have the greatest impact toward achieving that objective.
Why did you get your CCSP?
At MITRE, I have the honor of leading the Cloud Security Capability Area, a practice within its Cloud Engineering Line of Business (LoB). I wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing the proper understanding of important cybersecurity concepts and felt confident that (ISC)² would provide a quality education.
What is a typical day like for you?
I am usually working to assist MITRE sponsors in understanding cloud security threats, performing risk analyses, and plotting strategy, actions, and plans for migration of systems to cloud-based solutions. I also work diligently within MITRE to cultivate an environment of information sharing and collaboration regarding cloud security. It is amazing how strong the MITRE knowledge base is. Every day is simply an exciting opportunity to learn, grow, and engage fantastic minds!
Can you tell us about a personal career highlight?
As a contractor for DoD IT programs in the 90s and 00s, I saw the inside of high tech cybersecurity systems and immediately became hooked on an insatiable thirst for related knowledge. I did a short stint as a Cyber Security Specialist for one of the DoD’s first on premise Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings before joining MITRE. That experience gave me a solid understanding of the power of virtualization in IT systems, services, and operations. I knew then that the cybersecurity battle front would eventually expand into the cloud.
How has the CCSP certification helped you in your career?
Today I feel more confident about my understanding of cloud technology and its impacts on cyber security. This confidence makes it easier to keep up with my MITRE counterparts.
What is the most useful advice you have for other cloud security professionals?
Take the (ISC)² CCSP course, buy the book, study it well, and you should do well on the CCSP exam.
Download the Ultimate Guide to the CCSP to learn more about how you can advance your cloud security career.