2024 marks my 33rd year in the information technology industry. Which means, among other things, that I’m getting old. Sigh.
A large part of those 33 years was in the Novell networking sphere: NetWare, GroupWise, ZENworks, Vibe, Service Desk, etc. Then, for a few years, I worked for my buddy and mentor, Pierre Chamberland, focused more on information governance. It wasn’t as “techy” as I was used to, but it gave me a lot of knowledge I didn’t have.
Then, a short stint in Ireland as a Service Delivery Manager, cut short by a boss I just couldn’t see eye-to-eye with and…a pandemic. So, it was back to my native Quebec to figure out what was next. Unexpectedly, I found myself with a few opportunities to consult with SMB customers, and before I knew it, I was back in the consulting business.
This time around, however, after what I’d seen in the past few years, I decided to focus on the cybersecurity aspect of IT. Although I’d never specifically gotten any certifications in cybersecurity, 30 years of working in IT with all sorts of customers, SMB to Enterprise, I figured I was well-equipped to help.
At the HackFest conference back in October, I caught James Troutman’s presentation “VPNs are Internet Snake 🐍 Oil”. During his presentation, James said something that absolutely resonated: he said that “back in my day”, we didn’t have “cybersecurity experts”; the network/system admin took care of all the security settings. Apparently, James is as old as I am.
His comment made me nod my head and laugh, because it’s what I also observe: even though I don’t have any acronyms after my name (CISSP, etc.), I have enough experience to know that basic IT hygiene provides a really good foundation for a strong cybersecurity posture!
My “mission” nowadays is to help SMB customers mitigate the risk of a cyberattack. I LOVE working with SMB customers – I admire entrepreneurs, those builders of our economy, and I hate seeing any of them risk losing their business because of a cyberattack.
Throughout all of this, I have only one regret: that I didn’t start in cybersecurity much, much earlier.
It really is a fascinating field (well, at least to a geek like me), and covers a wide array of domains that I enjoy: the “techy” stuff, the human aspect of educating entrepreneurs, the participation in the local cybersecurity community (HackFest, La French Connection, media, etc.), and the amazing people I’ve met.
But we can’t wallow in regret, can we? And so, instead of focusing on that, I live in gratitude for the path that has led me here.
It never is too late, is it?