Story Cont.

John Hanson, Moraine Valley Community College

I became interested in the field of technology when I was a young boy. My father had built our first computer and I was fascinated as to how it worked. From that point forward, I was hooked on all things computers and technology. I started as a young boy taking things apart and, of course, not knowing how to put them back together.

I started formal education in the world to technology and IT when I was in high school. I was fortunate enough to go to a high school that had elective classes such as web design and computer maintenance. From there, I urged the teachers to expound on those topics and the school ended up creating self-study classes based upon the web design class. After high school, I was undecided as to what school to choose for my post-secondary education. I decided to go to Moraine Valley so I could get a feel for the college environment and get my general education classes out of the way. Little did I know I would end up finding my career there.

I initially looked through the course guide and noticed that the school offered some general IT classes. I decided those classes would be great to fill out my schedule. From that first class I was hooked. I breezed through the rest of the program and ended up deciding to train in security. I earned my A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications from CompTIA. I also have recently earned my GSEC, which is a SANS offered Security Essentials certification.

"I ended up falling in love with these styles of competitions... I now help run the competitions and build out the environments that the students have to protect."

As the network security analyst at Dell SecureWorks, I analyze events coming from our proprietary IDS/IPS devices, as well as firewalls and other network appliances. I decide the severity of the events and issue a ticket for the client to see so that they have documentation as to what we have seen happen.

I was recruited by Dell SecureWorks at a local Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition event that pits students against a group of hackers. The students are then given tasks they must complete while still defending their network from the hackers. The year that I competed, Moraine Valley finished third and I ended up falling in love with these styles of competitions. I now help run the competitions and build out the environments that the students have to protect. I also help to judge the local competitions and often give lectures to the local cybersecurity team at Moraine Valley.