Seneca Program: Honours Bachelor of Technology - Informatics and Security
Master’s Program and Institution:
Master of IT Security, Information Technology - University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Why did you choose Seneca?
I chose Seneca because IT Security was an emerging field at the time, and very few universities offered a competitive program. Seneca blended the perfect amount of theory-based learning with practical work, it was a fantastic program.
How would you describe your experience at Seneca?
I had an exceptional time at Seneca in the IFS program because I discovered my passion to learn more about the intricacies of cyber security – specifically malware research. My professors allowed me to expand outside the direct curriculum to explore cutting-edge ideas that ultimately lead me into a master’s degree.
What influenced your decision to continue your education after completing your Seneca Program?
I was extremely motivated to continue developing my malware reverse engineering skills and I figured a master’s degree would best facilitate that professional development.
How did your Seneca program prepare you for your Masters program?
Seneca prepared me well for the rigors of the graduate degree ahead, and I discovered my passion in penetration testing and exploit development during my masters of IT Security degree. I finished the program early – I successfully defended my thesis 11 months after starting the degree. I developed a malware classification tool that could hash malware with faster runtimes than the competition (ssdeep & sdhash).
What are you up to now?
I currently work as a Security Architect for CDW Canada, leading the security practice with a heavy focus on designing cyber defensive infrastructures for our customers. I work with leading technology partners to deliver industry-leading solutions that ultimately help organizations prepare themselves for cyber-attacks [and succeed].
From experience, what do you think the value of having both a Bachelor and a Masters degree is?
Having both degrees helped me develop a discipline for learning that ultimately pushed me forward onto an aggressive and ambitious career path. A Master’s Degree allows for continued valuable education and growth; this is a desired trait among corporate North America.
What knowledge do you know now that you wish you knew before applying to a graduate program?
I would’ve worked with my supervising professor on more contracts/projects, as the exposure to the industry was extremely valuable.
Any words of advice to students who are currently in the program you graduated out of at Seneca?
Passion is everything! Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile, you’ll find there’s often no traffic.