Thursday, August 8, 2019
Justin Flynn is a senior solutions architect for Trace3 and a new member to the Fuel Board of Directors. He is an experienced network and security architect and has worked on design and configuration for more than 10 years. He is passionate about the latest in security and assists organizations with bettering their security programs.
We spoke with Justin to learn more about his background as a network and security architect, his experience starting the Chicago Fuel chapter and his passion for networking.
Tell us about your career path — how long have you been in the industry, how did you get started, and what do you do now?
I have worked in the technology industry my entire career. It started with an amazing internship working in field services for a utility company in Michigan. There I was able to become an inch deep and a mile wide in many different technologies, and learned about my passion for networking. I used this knowledge to land a job in Chicago as a networking consultant focused on route, switch and wireless. When the next-generation firewall hit the scene, I jumped all over it, and it propelled me into a career in cybersecurity. Now, I have broadened my security skillset outside of just infrastructure. I focus on helping organizations with their information security program planning and implementation.
How long have you been a Fuel member? Can you tell us how you first joined?
I’ve been a Fuel member since the beginning! I initially joined in 2014 and started the Chicago chapter. I realized that many organizations were adopting the next-generation firewall, but there wasn’t enough education and training at the time. I thought starting the chapter and bringing the community together would help foster innovation and knowledge sharing amongst users.
What interests you about cybersecurity?
My favorite thing about cybersecurity is that it is never-ending and always changing. I enjoy learning new about new strategies, techniques and products. Cybersecurity allows me to build upon the knowledge that I have gained thus far in my career, while still requiring the need for learning more.
What’s your advice for those just starting out in the field?
I had a manager once tell me to be a sponge. Soak up everything you hear and get involved. My advice would be the same. In security, it is important that we don’t think of it as a silo. We need to have some basic understanding of the networks, systems and applications that enable the business. If you act like a sponge and understand the function and operations of the systems themselves, you will be better equipped to understand how to secure them.
Outside of work, what hobbies or activities interest you?
If I am not at work, I am on the golf course. I love playing and watching the game. It is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the time with some friendly competition amongst friends and family.
"If you act like a sponge and understand the function and operations of the systems themselves, you will be better equipped to understand how to secure them."
Any industry-related podcasts, Twitter profiles, books, etc., to recommend to the community?
My favorite security podcast is definitely “Darknet Diaries.” They share real incidents and events in a very detailed manner that allows you to ponder the social implications.
I am also a huge fan of the book “Countdown to Zero-Day” by Kim Zetter. I think it showcases the political and technical implications associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This is an area of security that I only see expanding over the coming years, and it fascinates me that the events in the book occurred over 10 years ago!
More to Explore
Check out these Fuel blog posts for further reading