Paul Rivera says he believes cybersecurity must be updated to meet the ever-advancing threat of cyber-attacks. The Def-Logix founder has two decades of experience in cyber security; specializing in computer and network security. He began his career creating network and host-based Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS). Now his company focuses on building red and blue team technologies and has also partnered with Cyber Ops Training Academy with a mission to upskill the cyber security workforce.
Listen to the full interview of Paul Rivera with Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Innovation Podcast.
What influenced you to get into cybersecurity?
As a child, Rivera says, he loved aeronautics, and in his free time, he would go to the library and study sci-fi, physics, and math on his own. In college, he took computer science and philosophy classes, which when combined got him interested in the topic of cybersecurity. After graduation, he started working with a cybersecurity software development company and eventually started his own company focused on Cybersecurity Research & Development.
What should people do to secure their digital assets?
For companies, he says it's essential to know if everyone on the IT staff is genuinely well-trained in their field, he says, noting that a lack of expertise can adversely affect everyone in its wake.
Technology is rapidly advancing over time, he notes, and IT specialists must stay on top of all the latest cyberthreats and technologies they may have to overcome. Without proper firewalls and other cybersecurity functions, systems can crash and threaten the whole company.
Another thing employers can do is arm employees with a basic understanding of cybersecurity. As a baseline, he suggests, they should be trained on how to spot and avoid phishing emails, unsafe links and other common online scams.
Tell us about Def-Logix.
Founded in 2008, Def-Logix won its first contract in 2009; initially, Rivera was working alone, but over time he slowly began hiring staff and brought on a partner in 2011. Today, Def-Logix is over 70 employees strong. Initially specializing in network intrusion detection, the company shifted its focus to host integrity and later expanded into machine learning, insider threat detection, red/blue team, and more. Today, they offer a wide range of specializations.
In 2012, Def-Logix worked on host integrity research projects for the US Department of Homeland Security, securing the agency's host with advanced technologies. Since cybersecurity advancements have to change quickly to address the rapid pace at which cyberattacks can develop and evolve, Rivera says it's critical for the company to make a point of staying ahead of the curve for its clients, predicting and bridging gaps in advance whenever possible.
Tell us more about the boot camp you started.
Rivera says he started a cybersecurity boot camp in November 2021 with another cybersecurity trainer, Rob Dodson, with whom he has a long professional history. He says this resulted from a growing demand for cybersecurity professionals alongside a decreasing demand for software developers. So, the bootcamp seeks to educate qualified people with on-the-job training and offer growth opportunities into the industry from adjacent fields.
The boot camp offers an 6-hour-a-day, 5-day-a-week intensive offering, a six-month night school training program, and other courses ranging from foundational knowledge to advanced curricula involving emerging trends and predicting cyberattackers' mindsets and tactics.
What is next for Def-Logix?
Rivera says the company is expanding and is developing other products and services, increasing its menu of analysis, cloud management, cloud security offerings, and blockchain technology in the upcoming year.
To learn more about the company, visit www.def-logix.com.
To enroll in or learn more about the boot camp, visit www.cyberopsacademy.com.
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