Security! Hacker alert! 🙂 Oh wait, this guy IS Security, so we are okay. Ben Mason is coming to Security Field Day 3 next week! And we are super excited about it!
Ben is an Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), and a CrowdStrike Certified Falcon Administrator (CCFA). In addition, he volunteers at the HART Homeless Animal Rescue Team of Maine. Connect with Ben at @suidroot on Twitter, the web, or the Tech Field Day web site.
How did you get into technology and IT?
I’ve been into technology since I was young. I was always fascinated by the mainframe terminals and enjoyed taking everything apart from electronics to sewing machines. That brought me into exploring the phone system, BBSs, and the Internet in the 90s. I started my career in the IT field in tech support for home users of HP computers.
Could you please tell us a little about your current role?
I am a Technical Architect for Security services in CDW’s Services R&D team. In my role, I am responsible for building and maintaining professional and managed security services. Also, we support the delivery and sales teams to make sure that they have all resources and materials they need to sell and deliver the services.
What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
At work, as always, building new capabilities for our teams to help secure our customer’s networks. Outside of work, reverse engineering some .Net Malware samples I recently received in my Spam folder, peeling back the layers of obfuscation of the payload.
What are your biggest challenges?
My biggest professional challenge is balancing the needs of all of the stakeholders, along with keeping up with all of the trends in security. With both business and technology changing so quickly, keeping both myself and the capabilities of the company up current can be very challenging.
Where do you see IT going in the next 3-5 years?
I see a few trends that will continue over the next 3-5 years and beyond.
– The growth of computer systems that require more collaboration and integration of teams to install and maintain. Stressing the traditional narrow expertise of IT teams and individuals.
– The security landscape is continuing to become more and more complex. The industry continues to use point solutions and add more bandaids to cover up underlying vulnerabilities and bad operational practices.
– A need for more automation to manage the complexity of both the integrated solutions and the complexity of security solutions.
What was your first computer? What was great about it? What is your go-to computer now?
My first computer was a Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo). It had some fun games and was an introduction to BASIC or an introduction to entering BASIC programs from the manual that came with it. My main computer (that I am typing this on right now) is a Macbook Pro along with a fleet of VMs and Raspberry Pis.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
My friends and having a partner outside of the IT field helps keep me grounded when they don’t want to talk about technology.
If you weren’t working in IT, what would you be doing instead?
It’s hard to say what else I would do outside of the computer land, maybe a music photographer?
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
Outside of work I have a lot of activities, reverse engineering malware and embedded systems, occasionally hack capture the flag system, build electronics projects, playing games on my Nintendo Switch, play pinball (badly), attend and present at local security meetups, and volunteer at a cat shelter.
Who inspires you?
Many people inspire me in different ways. Some of the names that come to mind: Limor Fried (Ladyada), Adam Savage, Ken Shirriff, Andrew (bunny) Huang, Denise Fishburne, Samy Kamkar, and Anthony Bourdain (RIP). Some common thread between all of these people are their curiosity and drive to share what they learn with others.
As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?
Astronaut! I even went to Space Camp and still have my tiny uniform to prove it.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I love learning new things, taking them apart, and exploring how they work. Having the opportunity to do this in both work and non-work time is what keeps me going.
If you won the lottery and could retire, what would you do with your time?
Continue to hack away at technology… only maybe from a beach or at a random destination.
What are you most excited about seeing at Security Field Day next week?
I am excited to learn what the vendor’s solutions have to bring to enhance the security and how they do it.
We are too! Thanks, Ben! This has been great! See you soon!
Don’t miss a minute of Security Field Day 3 happening May 13-15! #XFD3
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- Meet Field Day Delegate – Kyle Jenner - July 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Lariana Luy - July 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Calvin Hendryx-Parker - July 13, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Andy Thurai - July 13, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – John Deegan - July 9, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Neil Anderson - July 7, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Jim Jones - July 2, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Tony Bradley - May 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Pieter-Jan Nefkens - May 6, 2020