What It's Like to Work as a Cybersecurity Analyst
This month we're interviewing Usman Khan, a Cybersecurity Analyst at MindPoint Group. In this blog, you'll learn about Usman's background and what it is like to work with customers on their third-party risk management programs.
Walk us through your background. How did you get started working in technology/security?
I actually got started in security because of my older cousin. He is about five years ahead of me, and I saw what he was doing with his career and wanted to emulate that. While I was getting my bachelor's degree, I started as a SOC Analyst. I worked there for about two years, then went on to work in various other security roles, including working on various contracts for Booz Allen. After BAH, I started at MindPoint Group as a Cybersecurity Analyst and have loved it ever since.
Describe your current role as a Cybersecurity Analyst. What's it like during a typical day?
My day typically depends on what projects I'm working on. Currently, I'm performing third-party vendor assessments for one of MPG's customers. In this role, I go over the security controls with the vendors for the customer. We assess and audit their security program to see if the vendor is compliant with NIST 800-53 Controls, their cybersecurity program's overall strength, and any risks that they might pose to our client.
What are the biggest challenges you face in a day?
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed some challenges for us. Now that all of our assessments have been remote, we're not able to easily walk through a site and do a standard audit like we usually would. However, thanks to technology and the flexibility of our customers and vendors, we've found workarounds and other ways to monitor the metrics that we need.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is working with my team. Everyone on my team is very helpful, and it's great that we can always bounce ideas off of each other. I also really like working with all of the different technologies we see with each vendor. All vendors have different technology stacks with new processes. It's really cool because I get to see and learn about a lot of new technology and many different ways to achieve a specific goal.
Why do you love cybersecurity?
I love cybersecurity because it is so vast, and there are so many different fields within cybersecurity to learn about. Needless to say, I'm always getting to learn something new, and I love that aspect of the job.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have a nine-month-old, so that keeps me pretty busy. I also come from a huge family that all live close. Having a huge family is a lot of fun and benefits us when it comes to playing sports such as volleyball, which we play every weekend of the summer. In addition to playing sports, I love to build things with my hands. I even have a mini wood workshop in my garage.
Last book you read and/or podcast you listened to?
One of my favorite podcasts is the Joe Rogan Experience. It's definitely one of my go-to's for entertainment.
What is your favorite part of MindPoint Group?
Coming from large companies, I was a small fish in a big ocean. Now that I'm at MPG, I love actually feeling part of the team and being able to give my input. That input is always taken into account when making larger decisions — which is really cool. Even though our specific team is small, we can really make a significant impact on a company of MPG's size. I also love the people I work with, and they feel more like my family than co-workers.
Check back next month, where we will highlight another MPG employee. In the meantime, check out our job openings to find the right fit for you.