Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Rino Mendoza, and I am currently working as a Information Systems Security Officer and Cyber Security Analyst for CB&I-Project Services Group (CPSG). CSPG is primarily part of the MOX Project at SRS. Although my professional career is in Information Security, my first love was music. I started from a classical background playing with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, then toured the nation playing in multiple bands with my best friends under the names “Edison Project”, “Eskimojitos”, and “Calimino.” Careers and hobbies aside, I am first and foremost a proud father of 4 boys, and lucky husband of the most magnificent woman I’ve ever met.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I believe one of my strongest skills would be striving to know how an infrastructure should work from a holistic view, to the workstation, the software, the code, and ultimately the end users. Throughout my career I’ve learned that often times the answers are in the specifics, but looking through the magnifying glass will make you lose sight of the full picture. The ability to zoom in and out, to be able to take a step back and think of the problem as a whole, is a skill that has often produced a solution to many of the problems I have faced
Why the interest in the technology field?
The technology field primarily lured me in by appealing to my constructive nature. I loved creating things and making things work. I learned computers by building and troubleshooting them at a local Augusta computer store, to help desk at University Health Care System. From there I was exposed to enterprise level technology as a System Administrator at the software company TaxSlayer, which lead to my transition to Cyber as an Information Security Analyst for the same company. Currently my skill set has grown to the duties of a Cyber Analyst, and an Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO) for CB&I Project Services Group. All of these experiences have one thing in common, creation. Creation of something as tangible as a workstation or a server, and creation of something less tangible like policies, procedures, and software tools.
How do you stay informed on emerging trends?
Information Security is everywhere because technology is everywhere. As a result, I stay informed and inspired by simply observing normal day to day things from a cyber eyeglass. I also learn of the current InfoSec landscape from my colleagues and the cyber community in the Augusta area. I often start my work day warming up my cyber muscles by reviewing emerging trends from the many information security boards, websites, and feeds.
What’s next on your list to learn?
Next on the list to learn, is the red side of information security. I am very intrigued with penetration testing as of late, and I believe that knowledge would help me defend better. After all how do you know how to effectively block, evade or take a punch if you don’t know how to throw one.