Security Operations Center Lead

Phillip M

Cyber
Washington, DC
Years at GDIT: 2

“When I was ready for a new opportunity, GDIT was a great next step. They provided me with interesting challenges to work on and helped with my transition from a government employee to a government contractor.”

Seeing clearly when the threat is invisible. My team owns it.

My team supports incident response for a large government agency. If an adversary is trying to attack their network or get in through vulnerabilities, we’re there to identify the issue and take care of it immediately. Our customer relies on us to provide them with technical expertise and guidance so they can make decisions using good technical data.

Cybersecurity operations is a very intense field because things can happen at any time. One of the most exciting things about this work is you get the thrill of knowing that something could be happening right now. My staff and I are protecting the customer’s network 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cybersecurity in the mainstream.

For a long time, my family thought that I just worked with computers. But in today’s environment, everyone knows what cybersecurity is.

My 10-year old son came home from school one day and asked me, “Daddy, what do you do when there’s a breach?” I was shocked that he was asking that question as a fourth grader. In school they were talking about data breaches and it was pretty cool to be able to share what I do with my son and give him some additional insight into a topic that’s really important.

Fostering a development culture.

One thing I’ve appreciated most about GDIT is their support for training and learning. They’ve provided opportunities for me to receive certifications and most importantly, foster a culture of hands on training within my team.

When I came into my role, I had 12 years of cybersecurity experience, but didn’t have exposure to a tool called Splunk that we use in cybersecurity response. One of my staff members took the time to provide me with hands-on technical training so I could gain the knowledge I needed to effectively use the tool. We’re constantly doing this with our teams to make sure that everyone stays current on new tools and technologies to provide the best possible service to our customer.

Helping shape the future of cybersecurity.

I attended New York University for my Masters in Computer Science degree and one of the hardest courses I took was Network Security. A few years later, NYU asked if I would teach the course. I thought wow - this is one of the hardest courses I’ve ever taken and now they’re asking me to teach it?

I’ve been an adjunct professor with NYU for five years and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share how to secure and monitor networks. It feels good to give back to my alma mater and also help shape the future of cybersecurity.