Austin joined GDIT from a career in law enforcement. While his background in cybercrime and fraud investigations had him on the offensive side of cyber work, he’s quickly acquired the skills needed to help defend GDIT’s internal network. Austin is a Cyber Operations Security Analyst in GDIT’s Security Operations Center.
“I get challenged everyday by my peers. And I absolutely love it.”
Turning the tide on cyber threats. My team owns it.
My team is responsible GDIT’s network security. We handle events and incident response for anything that comes through the network. If a cyberattack comes through or there is a malicious file that someone downloaded on their computer, we instantly react and respond.
Right now we’re in the process of migrating to new security tools and I’m helping our higher tier analysts with the progression. I also spend a lot of time reviewing our live feed channels that come in for different security events. When things enter our radar that have the potential to be something harmful, I’ll make sure all the computers are in line with security applications and that the hosts are active and healthy.
This work is incredibly important and vital to GDIT. We’re ensuring that both GDIT’s data and our customer’s data is secure.
Learning on the job.
My third day was one of my most memorable days. I got out of orientation and met my team. I was shown to my desk and handed two computers that were both locked. I had to figure out how to backdoor my way into the computer and get the password. That was my first test. And I loved it.
GDIT offers you hands on training. They work with you one-on-one. If I have a question, I can walk to anyone in the room including my manager’s manager or even the Chief Information Security Officer and they’ll help me find a solution. This wasn’t my experience at other places.
Advice for newer cybersecurity professionals
I have a number of professional certifications that I’ve received from different agencies, the State police and from prior jobs. I’m also working on a network and computer cybersecurity degree at the University of Maryland.
What really stands out to me at GDIT is the amount I’m exposed to everyday. I could be sitting at my desk and someone around me will say, “Austin, what is this?” or “Challenge question, what’s this”? You learn things in college, but nothing has compared to the things I’ve discovered here. I’ve learned more at GDIT in just five months than I have in all my years of college.
I’d tell anyone in college who is considering cybersecurity to get an internship as fast as you can.
Time away from the screen.
I grew up in a family of contractors who worked on heavy equipment so I’ve been surrounded by people building things my whole life. In my free time, I’ve been building a Jeep and I also fly fish a lot.