How did you get into cybersecurity? I have over 23 years of technology industry experience and over...
X-Files inspiration: Ken Muir's journey into cybersecurity and the world of computer and viruses
How did you get into cybersecurity?
Starting in 1993 I was watching the X-Files and thought it was pretty cool what these guys were doing when hacking into systems. I couldn't afford to go to school for this so I got a job in Toronto buying/building and selling computer gear and dealing with malware outbreaks at companies in the area. It led to me to study the engineering of computers and viruses, as well as their origins. That practice of studying the industry continues until today.
Tell us about your journey, challenges, people, programs or companies who helped you.
The biggest challenge is in keeping up with a rapidly developing landscape. I have mentored well over a 100 people in this business - including many women. Not just students. But also business owners, public and private sector Fortune 2000 down to SMBs. I have built a network of partners across Canada trained in industry best practices to help their customers develop proper security programs. The bad guys are disciplined. So we need to be also. Educating everyone I come in contact with is my primary motivation. This is the biggest most ambitious program I have built to date:
Tell us what you believe others need to do to succeed in cybersecurity.
I believe that cybersecurity professionals should view their careers as a calling. Not just a job or a nice-to-have career. This will help encourage others in the community to see this as a prime motivator.
Tell us something interesting about yourself and how that makes you who you are.
I am very disciplined. I have studied this business from the proverbial "mail room" on up. I grew up in one of the most dangerous parts of Britain that has taught me that if you are going to do something in life, be one the best. Life is short. Options are difficult to come by for many people. I have four children that I have instilled this into and much more. I view life in a very philosophical way. I apply this to cybersecurity. It enables me to see above the noise. I was selected to be included in the Top 100 cybersecurity thought leaders in the world out of 4.6M. This is good for Canada. I was also selected to be in the Top 50 of Who's Who in the World the following year. Both have publications associated with this recognition.
I was sent a personalized request by the board's Chairman for the Global Counter Terrorism Council to be a keynote and panellist for a global event a couple of years ago due to my previous recognition. All of the above are on my Linkedin profile.
My posts are generally about thought leadership. Never about tech. This is how I believe you get the attention and recognition that helps in furtherance of evangelizing the need for good practices