Michael Graham recalls the side project that launched his career in security. An analyst at a major transportation company, he installed a series of open source network intrusion detection devices — a brand new technology set at the time — and started to rebuild the underlying OS to get them functional. His goal was to capture enough traffic to more clearly diagnose recent network issues. Two weeks later, the infamous computer worm Code Red struck. While the technology that tracked packages and planes was intact, almost the entire corporate network went down. While the company began working on isolating and containing the problem, he started digging into his project’s nascent early logging system. He found the contractor laptop — sitting two floors beneath him — from which the initial infection originated.
What if that side project had been his full-time job? He could have saved the company a lot of headache and money. That’s when Graham knew that security isn’t peripheral; it’s a business critical function. To recognize and act quickly on threats is to determine whether a company can operate efficiently. To identify and minimize those dangers dictates whether a company can plan correctly. Over the last 15 years, Graham has held senior posts in security architecture at Harrah's Entertainment, Zynga, Evernote and Box, where he’s currently a Senior Manager of Security Architecture and Engineering. In his career, he’s led security efforts across stage and sector: from startups to Fortune 500 companies and from public education to manufacturing.