In the first half of our interview with Doug Bryant, Jr., a cybersecurity professional, he provided his views on the Apple/FBI on-going battle, the mistakes he sees businesses making with cybersecurity, and explained what some of the daily tasks of a cybersecurity IT pro are.
In the second half of the interview, Bryant discusses being an ‘only’—the only black working in cybersecurity at a company; how we can get more young people of color interested in cybersecurity; and ways you can keep your home and data safe from hackers.
In addition to a B.A.Sc (bachelor of applied science, computer systems networking and telecommunications), Bryant holds several top cybersecurity certifications, including CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), CHFI (Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator), SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner), and Security +.
BlackEnterprise.com: There is so much emphasis on teaching minority young people and girls how to code. Why do you think there isn’t as much interest in going into an IT field, such as cybersecurity?
Bryant: I think it’s not really being advertised in the black community. I got introduced to cybersecurity in the military. Initially, I wanted to be an architect, but then I started with computers and fell in love.
We need [a] group effort and mediums, such as Black Enterprise. There are lots of opportunities in cybersecurity, but I have been an ‘only.’ When I worked for Deutsche Bank, I was the only black person in IT.
Do you think cybersecurity training and awareness should be taught to children in the classroom? If so, what would you teach them about the subject?
Definitely! You have to start with social media and the phones—not only security but about cyberbullying and sexting—how [using] Snapchat doesn’t delete your picture, it goes on a server, somewhere. And then go on to securing your networks and home router—about cookies—I would love to cover all that.
Do you have any tech security tips for people at home?
Make sure you use a secure wireless network; change the default password; update firmware, especially with Smart TVs. Lots of people buy Smart TVs who aren’t technical but they are buying them—they are so convenient. It’s part of our ‘microwave culture.’ People are super excited about technology, but they really aren’t thinking about the back-end.
Follow Doug Bryant’s blog on technology and security.