Veterans Day: My Transition from Artillery Officer to Identity Management Professional

As an Artillery Officer in the United States Army, I am tasked with the challenge of understanding the enemy, their assets and capabilities, and from what vectors they can and will attack. Based on this knowledge and understanding, it is my responsibility to recommend to the commander on the ground:

  • Where he should place his indirect fire assets (howitzers and mortars).
  • Where he should place his observation platforms (forward observers, radars, and UAVs).
  • What additional enablers (Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing Aircraft) he should request from higher headquarters to ensure his units are properly defended and conditions are set for mission success.

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In 2013, I made a decision to leave the active duty military after 10 years of service to pursue a career in the technology space. I served two tours in Iraq: one as a Military Advisor to the Iraqi Border Police and one as a Battalion Fire Support Officer for an Infantry Battalion in Kirkuk Province. There are many parallels that can be drawn between my time on active duty, and what I do today within the cybersecurity space.

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Today, my role at Centrify is focused on collaborating with our sales, marketing, and product teams to understand how, through our partners, we can offer layered approaches to security within the enterprise. An example of this is how we work with Netskope or other CASBs.

Through our identity service, we provide security around that first line of defense — end users and compromised credentials, and within our service — multi-factor authentication (MFA) delivers that next layer of security. When you couple this service with another security partner such as Netskope, you can provide a deeper, joint offering through authentication, discovery and remediation of end user activity within critical business applications. Essentially, you are establishing a defense in depth, just as you would in a combat battle space.

I enjoy my career in cybersecurity and the opportunities it presents. Just like ISIS or other conventional enemies, hackers are always evolving their tactics. This requires us to evolve our own tactics — like the old adage says, “evolve or die.” I welcome the opportunity to see how we can integrate deeper with current partners, or looking out on the horizon to see which technologies we should be integrating with to deliver comprehensive solutions in a complex, threat–based environment.

I encourage all vets who may be considering the transition to a career in cybersecurity, to actively seek out veteran groups within the technology industry, such as VetsInTech or SAP Veterans to Work Program. If you’d like to reach out to me personally for additional tips or groups, feel free to contact me through LinkedIn.

Centrify thanks all veterans for their service.