Lauren Womack

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Part two of a two-part series

In honor of this week’s theme for Cybersecurity Month, Explore. Experience. Share. – Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, we’ve interviewed some of our Guardians about their careers in cybersecurity.

Richard Hummel

Richard Hummel, ASERT Threat Research Lead

Tell us about your job. Many jobs can be the same thing day after day, but in the cybersecurity world every day is unique. Any day can bring a threat we’ve never seen before and in the distributed denial of service (DDoS) world, a vector that’s novel and takes advantage of unsuspecting victims to launch devastating attacks against our customers. The thrill of figuring out how to combat these threats and even stay ahead of them makes me passionate about this career path.

How is your job related to cybersecurity? My job is cybersecurity. On the Threat Intelligence team, we live and breathe the threat landscape, specifically as it pertains to DDoS. Additionally, I am passionate about staying informed about ransomware and various other cybercrime threats that seek to extort and steal money from victims. From the time I “punch in” at the start of the day and “clock out” at the end, I’m trying to anticipate the moves of adversaries and the needs of our customers so that I can direct my team toward what’s most important.

How did you get interested in cybersecurity? Accidentally? Fate? Destiny? All of the above? When I joined the Army, I signed up for Signals Intelligence and eventually became certified to perform Computer Network Operations/Digital Network Intelligence. This set me on the path into cybersecurity, and after my tour in the Army, I taught myself to reverse engineer malware and worked tracking cyber criminals.

What do you like about working at NETSCOUT? I love the values NETSCOUT ascribes to. I never have to wonder if I should take care of my family or work first. Family ALWAYS comes first, and it fosters a healthy work/life balance that is critical to achieving synergy across the teams and organization. I also love the flexibility of leading/directing the Threat Intelligence mission. Never once have I thought my creativity and drive were stifled because of “politics or bureaucracy”. Since beginning my position as NETSCOUT I’ve worked 100% remote and I love the ability to set my hours, work with colleagues all over the world, and it’s only a 10 second commute to my office!

What does being a Guardian of the Connected World mean to you? Exactly what it sounds like and, that’s exactly what our mission and mandate is. We strive to ensure that our customers are protected, and their businesses always remain connected to vital assets that allows them to function and drive revenue. In a day where connectivity is increasingly critical to our way of life, it becomes even more imperative that this connection never wavers. NETSCOUT products protect those vital connections from abusers and adversaries all over the world.

Any advice for people considering cybersecurity as a career? Never stop learning. Stagnation in a cybersecurity career will quickly invalidate your ideas and authority as you struggle to adapt to the constantly changing landscape. A smart, dedicated person who is a self-starter is often much more valuable in this career field than someone with decades of education who refuses to adapt to the changing threats and technology.

Danielle Fritz

Danielle Fritz, Software Engineer

Tell us about your job. My job is never dull! I am a software engineer and primarily work on the user interface for our product. This entails having conversations with others on my team about the work and features we are developing (other software engineers, or quality assurance engineers, or extended members of the team.) We use an agile process to be nimbler in our approach, and reactions to changes in requirements and scope, and sometimes even user testing. I also regularly research the security industry, going to tech talks to learn more about it, and attending user research sessions to understand how our customers use our product, to make it better and easier for them to use.

How is your job related to cybersecurity? I work on the Sightline product, which is a network visibility and security product, allowing our customers to see what is happening inside their networks. With Sightline + TMS we can also block and mitigate cyber threats. This is a big responsibility, as we are building the software that some of the biggest internet service providers and companies use to secure their networks and the backbone of the internet. We are integral in keeping the Internet up and running! This mission gives a lot of meaning to my job, and gives me focus in my work.

How did you get interested in cybersecurity? Cybersecurity is such an important part of keeping our connected society running, without it, we would lose all the connected resources we rely on every day. Ecommerce, banking, gaming, medical institutions, communications, without the internet and networks functioning, all this would fall apart! I take my job as a Guardian of the Connected world quite seriously, and feel I am providing an important service in keeping our modern society functional.

What do you like about working at NETSCOUT? Honestly, my favorite parts of my job are often the “people” parts. The parts where I get to talk to people, have discussions, solve problems, make decisions, move initiatives forward together, as a team. I have found that our best solutions are a collaboration of many minds and domains, a blend of different backgrounds and thinking, that allow us to come to solutions that are more well-rounded and fully featured. When we all bring our best selves to the table, and are honest and open and respectful, we can come up with some amazing ideas and bring them to fruition! NETSCOUT is very much a learning-focused company and is a great place to start or expand your career. 

Any advice for people considering cybersecurity as a career?

If I had to give someone advice about pursuing a cybersecurity career, I would say jump in with both feet, and immerse yourself in the industry! There is a lot to learn (we call it “drinking from the firehose”) but you will NOT be bored! So if you love learning, you should come join us! Enthusiasm goes a long way! 

Read part one here.

Learn more about NETSCOUT cybersecurity careers here.

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