Centre stage with Marc Laliberte, Sr. Security Analyst at WatchGuard…
Born – I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington.
Studied / Education background – I have a bachelor’s in information technology – security but most of my infosec knowledge comes from a lifetime of self-taught, traditional hacking and technology exploration.
Current role / bio – I am a Sr. Security Analyst and manager of the threat research team at WatchGuard Technologies. Specialising in networking security protocols and Internet of Things technologies, my day-to-day responsibilities include researching and reporting on the latest information security threats and trends. I am also a frequent contributor to publications like Dark Reading, HelpNetSecurity and I’ve spoken at numerous infosec conferences, including RSA and IP EXPO. Marc is also the host of WatchGuard’s podcast, ‘The 443 – Security Simplified.’
Who do you work for and what does your role entail?
I work for WatchGuard Technologies as a Sr. Security Analyst and the manager of our threat research team, the WatchGuard Threat Lab. Depending on the day, you could find me trying to discover vulnerabilities in various different devices and applications, searching through our threat intelligence feeds to identify the latest trends, or speaking at infosec conferences to educate others on best security practices.
What made you choose IT/Cyber security as a career?
I was always fascinated with computers. I credit my father, who worked in technology, for helping to feed that fascination. When I was younger, I spent most of my free time taking any technology gadget I could get my hands on. Much to my parent’s dismay, I wasn’t always able to put them back together. That curiosity didn’t leave me as I grew older. I’m lucky to have a career where I get paid to find out how things work, and how to break them. I can’t really say that I chose a career in IT more than I was destined for one.
What do you think is required to be successful in IT/Cyber security?
Information technology is a constantly evolving field. The only way to stay above water is to constantly learn. This requires passion and a willingness to embrace new ideas, which is not for everyone. Success in this field requires you to be self-driven because at the end of the day, no one can force you to stay up-to-date with the latest tech.
What’s been your biggest work achievement of the last 12 months?
Last year I was invited to speak at the RSA security conference in San Francisco on the topic of blockchain security. It’s a topic I’m passionate about, and it was very rewarding to have the opportunity to share my research and knowledge in front of such a large audience of my peers. I’m looking forward to the other opportunities that come my way this year, including speaking at IP EXPO.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
It sounds cliché, but the advice I try to follow every single day is “don’t be afraid to fail.” This applies to so many different areas in life, not just work. It is important to take risks and failing is an acceptable result of those risks. There have been times where I’ve spent a week trying to find a flaw in a piece of IoT equipment or a piece of software only to come up empty-handed, and that is okay. We can’t make progress without the occasional stumble along the way.
What are your predictions for the IT industry for 2019/20 or beyond?
We’re in an exciting period of IT innovation. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are taking off, finally leaving the world of buzzwords and entering the land of practical use. I don’t think we have to worry about machines taking over our jobs quite yet, but I predict we will see an explosion of tools in the next few years using machine learning and artificial intelligence to add efficiencies and quality of (work) life improvements for IT professionals.
Join Marc Laliberte at IP EXPO Manchester, 3-4 April 2019
“The cyber security threat landscape is constantly evolving. In order to defend against these new and improved threats, organisations must first understand them from the attacker’s perspective. My talk at IP EXPO will help them do that.”