Insights: Article

Meet the Crew behind PROTECT+ | Alex McAllister

Is your organisation cyber safe?

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To deliver tangible protection of your operations against global threats, we employ specialist security expertise and insights to make sense of the noise and drive actionable change. Behind this knowledge are some of the best cyber security professionals in the industry, and we’re extremely proud to call them our PROTECT+ team. Our crew are committed to making a genuine difference, challenging the status quo, and continuously seeking new and improved ways to provide greater value.

We recently sat down with some of our PROTECT+ Security Operations Centre crew to talk about their career stories and what they enjoy most about working in the field of cyber security. In this edition, we meet Alex McAllister, Associate Security Analyst in the PROTECT+ Security Operations Centre.

Alex McAllister Protect+

Tell us about your career journey with Kinetic IT

I started on the service desk with one of our customers in April 2020. I’ve been interested in the cybersecurity space since participating in some hackathons during my master’s degree and was dead set on joining Kinetic IT’s Security Operations Centre. I was fortunate enough to move into a security analyst role at HQ in September 2020.

What is your current role at Kinetic IT?

I’m on the 24/7 roster as an Associate Security Analyst in the PROTECT+ Security Operations Centre. Our team consists of some fantastic analysts and security engineers with a wide range of experience and specialities. As a Tier 1 analyst, we work every day and around the clock to monitor our customers’ networks for intrusion. Most of our time is spent investigating signs of compromise or malicious activity, mixed in with research on threat actors and new criminal tactics and techniques.

How long have you been with Kinetic IT?

A little over a year.

What were you doing before joining Kinetic IT?

My first degree was an Arts degree in Communications and French. I moved overseas for several years but eventually came back to Australia and completed a Master of Information Technology full-time at UWA. Between my first and second years, I completed a student vacation program with Wesfarmers that centred around a web development project. After the summer break ended, it evolved into part-time work with them during my second year. During this time, I became more interested in cybersecurity and completed several hackathons and an elective unit in the subject. After graduation, I continued working with Wesfarmers for several months doing some work in security awareness and data privacy before coming to a service desk role at Kinetic.

Have you been to BSides Perth before?

No, but I can’t wait!

What’s something you’re looking forward to at this year’s BSides Event?

I’ve heard so many good things about it, but what I’m most looking forward to is being able to meet and network with all different kinds of people brought together by our interest in security.

RELATED CONTENT: Offensive RFID/NFC: Shain Lakin presents at BSides Perth

What area of cyber security interests you most?

Currently, I’m very interested in the engineering side of security, and how to harden and design secure networks and systems. My IT background is more in software engineering and web development though, so I also have an interest in application security and malware reverse-engineering.

What role or area would you like to pursue next?

At this stage, I’m very keen to learn the engineering side of what our team does. I’ve loved the analyst role and see myself coming back to something like it in the future, but I’m dying to know how our networks and platforms are built and secured, and I’m keen to get my hands dirty with some more technical work.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about joining the PROTECT+ team?

Do it! It’s such a great company and an amazing team, with so many opportunities for development and learning. In terms of general advice, I can’t recommend enough getting involved with the professional security networking groups here in Perth. Security is a broad industry and the types of things you can do in it are endless. This is both wonderful and incredibly overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Speaking and learning directly from a wide range of people in the cyber community will help you set your feet on the right path.

RELATED CONTENT: Spears, Enigmas and Quantum Computing: Anthony Jones presents

The BSides event

BSidesWA’s biggest cyber security conference will be held over the 18-19 of September at the UWA Business school campus. You’ll hear from presenters on a range of topics from Offensive RFID/NFC to cryptography in warfare. For more information visit the BSides website.

Can’t make the day? Check out the virtual-only tickets here and donate a value of your choice to 0xCC 2022 

Interested in joining our PROTECT+ team? Check out our current positions here.

Is your organisation cyber safe?

Contact our cyber security experts for a confidential discussion.

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