Military Hire's Andrew Novak interviews Randy Pargman, Senior Director of Threat Hunting and Counterintelligence at Binary Defense, about the pros and cons of cybersecurity jobs...
Hi, I'm Andrew Novak with Military Hire, and this month we're celebrating cyber security careers. We got together on Zoom recently with our local friends from Binary Defense regarding some topics we thought that you might find interesting.
Binary Defense is a managed security services provider and software developer with solutions including SOC as a service, managed detection and response, security information and event management, and counterintelligence.
Andrew: So Randy, who are you and what do you do?
Randy: Hey, I'm Randy Pargman and I am the Senior Director of Threat Hunting and Counterintelligence at Binary Defense. What that means is I get to work with a couple of awesome teams at Binary Defense.
The counterintelligence team searches for threat indicators outside of companies' networks on the Internet, on the dark web, on criminal forums; looking at what are the threats out there that might affect our clients and then warning them about those threats. We're then prepared, and stop those threats from becoming real problems.
The threat hunting team looks inside of client's networks for advanced attackers that are evading detection. They're sneaking around inside the networks trying not to be detected. The threat hunters are out there to find them and put a stop to those intrusions.
Andrew: What are the positive things about working in cybersecurity?
Randy: Some of the positive aspects of working in cybersecurity include having a real sense of doing something good in the world. At Binary Defense, all the people that I know, all of my coworkers have that drive and that passion to do what they're doing because they know that they are defending companies and people, really—ultimately the people who work at those companies—from harm.
There are people out there around the world who are trying every single day to break in and do damage. They have selfish motives to steal information or to ransom the companies that they are victimizing in order to make money for themselves or to gain information that could give their companies or their governments a competitive advantage. But those people need to be stopped. Their activities are not OK, and being in the cybersecurity field gives you that really good feeling of being on the defense of stopping people from doing harm and protecting the people who otherwise would have been victimized by these attacks.
Andrew: What are the negative things about working in cybersecurity?
Randy: One the downsides to working in the cybersecurity field is that it's easy to get burned out, because what you're doing is important and you have that feeling that it is really necessary to do a good job, and it also has a real time sensitivity to it. You can't recognize an attack starting at four PM on a Friday and say, "well, I'm ready to start my weekend, so I guess I'm done now. We'll let that attack go and I'll pick it up again on Monday." No! Really, when an attacker is going after a company, no matter what time of day it is, or what day it is of the week, you need to respond! And so, quite often, you end up working some long hours or some unusual times that you didn't intend to that can interfere with family responsibilities and it's also easy to just personally get sucked into it because it is so important. And, it's so interesting too! I mean, you're learning new things all the time ...and so it's easy just to continue working and working and working until you just don't have time for anything else in your life.
That's why it's really important to have a good support system, to have people around you who understand what you're doing and can give you some flexibility to do that work when you need to—but also to work for a place that understands that after you've worked really hard fighting back an attack, you need some time off too, you need to have some balance in your life.
So, to combat that negative aspect of cybersecurity, it's important to find a good company to work for and to have that balance in your own life too.
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Learn more about Binary Defense.
Comments  by Melanie Bozzelli — Posted on May 21, 2020 in Veteran Job Search