Cybersecurity Veteran: ‘The Most Memorable Moment in My Career Was When I Finally Realized I Can Do What I Love’
Roger Grimes, a data-driven defense evangelist and security consultant for KnowBe4, Inc., recently shared his advice with the next generation of cybersecurity professionals as part of the University’s Connecticut Institute of Technology’s Cyber Legends Series.
Grimes has previously worked at some of the world’s largest computer security companies such as Foundstone, McAfee, and Microsoft. He also is the author of 12 books and more than 1,100 articles on cybersecurity. His 33 years as a computer security expert have left him with many lessons learned and many memorable moments.
“The most memorable moment in my career was when I finally realized I can do what I love,” explained Grimes. “There are a lot of ways to make money and to make a living in the world, but if you can truly know what excites you is the computer science or cybersecurity fields, you should follow it.”
Among the students present, Amber Marrero ’21 inquired about the importance of computer security education and security awareness.
“Our world is becoming more online, and everything we do is being put online,” said Grimes. “You try to fight with policies and technical controls, but so much of it is understanding the human element.”
‘Learning something new’
Grimes emphasized the importance of personal awareness when it comes to data privacy and security management in a world that is rapidly becoming fully digitized.
“You can teach people to do anything,” he said. “But if I find someone who is genuinely interested, I know that person is going to do a good job.”
Throughout his career, Grimes personally hired more than 1,000 individuals. He emphasized that being an aggressive go-getter is an important characteristic that employers look for in potential employees.
Grimes concluded by encouraging students to continue to learn outside of the classroom, and he encouraged them to pursue any training opportunities that they might have in professional settings. He urged them to find something they want to learn about it and take the initiative to learn on their own.
“Every super creative, productive person we have seen excel in our field has spent 30 minutes to an hour a day learning something new,” said Grimes concluded. “In any field, you will be an expert for about 5 to 10 years before the field changes and you must relearn everything. Finding a passion and continuing to grow organically can be a key in the future success of an individual.”
Sarah Kispert '22 is a forensic science major at the University of New Haven and a cybersecurity marketing intern. She is the daughter of Karl Kispert, host of the Cyber Legends Series.