Meet Ryan H., Network Security Engineer

Meet Ryan H., Network Security Engineer


What do you do?

I work as a Network Security Engineer with one of Criterion’s USDA contracts. In this role I am responsible for conducting monthly vulnerability scans, running ad-hoc scans for customers to assist with remediation efforts, and generating reports of findings to send to the customers of the data center. I am also a Staff Sergeant in the Air National Guard where I work as a Crew Chief on the B2 Stealth Bomber.

What are 5 things you do almost every day?

  • Organize my tickets and plan out my day
  • Check email for scan requests
  • Follow up on tickets with customers
  • Assist in transitioning our scanning solution
  • Homework and assignments for my master’s degree classes

Do you have a morning ritual? Something you do to start your day?

I have to start each day with my coffee and either Oatmeal or a Cliff Bar for breakfast. I make the coffee at home and usually I eat the bar while I start my daily work activities.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

In this role you must be detail oriented and have a system for staying on top of all the ticket requests. Professional email communication is key to working with customers, and internal staff as well. Finally, one must always be learning. In this environment the stakes change constantly and if you stop learning, you will fall behind the curve.

What do you like best about your job?

My last point about always learning is something I really like about the job. I get bored with monotonous tasks and thrive in environments where I can continue to grow and learn. Related to working for Criterion, I love the people I work with, and the company has been such a blessing to my family. Criterion offers great benefits to employees, especially with the tuition reimbursement program which has helped me to get two certifications in the time I have worked here.

What advice would you give to someone looking to become a Network Security Engineer?

Learn as much as you can and be willing to start anywhere in the security industry to get some experience. The fundamental concept of our job is network security, so having a solid understanding of networking protocols and hardware will provide a great platform on which to learn. I started in a role as an Auditing Specialist and was fortunate to be promoted into the position I am currently in.