My dad grew up on a farm raising sheep and cattle, growing hay, wheat and barley, and tomatoes. For me growing up meant having a garden where tomatoes and peppers were front and center, along with eggplants, squash, garlic, onions, okra, and more. My job as the youngest was to haul the rocks out of the garden after the winter thaw (I am still figuring out how southern Ohio grew rocks over the winter months) so the ground could be ready for the spring planting.
Come harvest season I felt like Bubba talking to Forest about shrimp or Samwise telling Gollum about potatoes in relation to tomatoes – so many ways to eat and store them. We turned them into juice, sauce, spaghetti sauce, BBQ sauce, sliced onto sandwiches, diced into salads, sliced with a scoop of cottage cheese, and my wife likes them sliced, seasoned, and dried crispy like a red tomato chip for snacking.
There's always more to learn
With all this history, I thought I was good at growing tomatoes. But I’m not a professional tomato grower or a certified gardener, so when my wife was talking to Sam, a local Amish fellow who grows tomatoes commercially, he told us a better way of planting them.
You allow the tomatoes to grow tall in their seed container, then dig a trench and lay the plant down so just the top group of leaves are above the soil. This allows the stem to put out more roots to help the plant grow bigger and produce better fruit.
Tomatoes vs IT
What does this have to do with cybersecurity? I thought I knew about growing tomatoes, but there is always more to learn and stay on top of. The science of gardening is ever evolving, and it can be tough to keep up on it all, especially when my job is to make sure my Tanium training and certifications are current and not becoming a master gardener.
One job I worked at was for an engine manufacturer. They knew all about engines. Boat engines, ship engines, plane engines, generator engines (remember Bubba talking about shrimp?), drone engines, helicopter engines, etc.
When it came time for an OS/device refresh they called the company I was working for that specialized in OS and device refreshes. We were able to go in and take care of what they needed so they could focus on their engines. Meanwhile, our trained staff created images, updated applications, transferred data, and configured new laptop models for this manufacturer.
No one person can be the Bubba Gump of Cybersecurity
In today’s world as cyber-attacks are on the rise it is hard for many companies to do their own work; making widgets, keeping the books, researching new medicines, or whatever they need to do, along with keeping a staff trained to protect them from the latest (and ever changing) attack methods and intrusions.
Luckily, here at Foresite, our staff is trained in the latest methodologies. I am certified on Tanium (operator and administration), David is a certified InsightVM admin and CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst, and explosive materials handler – hopefully those skills aren’t needed for a firewall breach— Collin is a Security Analytics Professional, Darius has his CCNA R&S, Kevin holds an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and a PADI certification (useful for working on servers underwater), and John has his PCNSE to design, deploy, operate, manage, and troubleshoot Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation firewalls.
Cybersecurity & compliance knowledge requires a team that can grow with the changes
We also are always growing and expanding our skills through industry certifications. Molly recently achieved a major milestone by passing the ISO 27001 Lead Auditor exam and will soon provide ISO 27001 audits and gap assessments for companies, Scott has his ITIL, and Thomas has many certifications including his newest, the GCSA certification.
Foresite employees are trained to protect and help your company focus on what they need to instead of being distracted by the latest breach and data theft attack vectors.
You can see a current list of certifications by visiting our certifications page. Now if only I could certify on how to keep the neighborhood cats out of my garden….
Throughout his career, Thomas has bridged the gap between IT and the business through analyzing data to bring about positive ROI. His work has included supporting applications and software to enable a more successful business while becoming an experienced liaison for stakeholders, IT, business units, and business partners. Thomas is a certified Tanium Operator and Administrator and is currently the Lead Tanium Engineer for Foresite Cybersecurity.