How to Start a Cybersecurity Career
With Brad on vacation, Evan was joined this week by Shawn Pollard, an analyst at FRSecure. The two of them discuss ways in which a person can stay healthy while working in a security job— part five of Evan’s five-part series on how to start a cybersecurity career.
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[00:00:22] Evan Francen: Good morning folks. This is episode 20 of the un security podcast. The date is March 25th 2019 and I’m Evan francine uh not joining me today is my friend brad and I bread wanted a vacation and can you believe it? He actually took one so whatever. Ah but I’m not alone today. I’ve got another good friend joining me. Mr Shawn Pollard, Good morning Sean,
[00:00:49] Shawn Pollard: Good morning.
[00:00:50] Evan Francen: How are you doing? Great. It’s actually you said morning but it’s not really, I mean I feel like I can’t even tell why there, it’s actually the evening we spent all day today. We recorded the show once this morning. Didn’t like the audio quality. That’s like the biggest challenge I think and podcasting is trying to get something that sounds relatively good. We’ll keep chasing that thing uh in the meantime. I do appreciate people’s patients. We figure that out. But its evening now, Sean, we did a full day work today. All day work today. Yeah, it was, it was a good day, wasn’t it? Did you have fun.
[00:01:29] Shawn Pollard: A ton of fun? I love it. Yeah, it was great folks.
[00:01:33] Evan Francen: So we’re uh for those who don’t know we’re out in Aberdeen South Dakota the metropolis. It’s huge. Big town I think. I don’t know how big is Aberdeen. Do you know? I had no clue. Me neither, but that’s where we’re at and we’re staying in the Hampton Inn and did our work today. Uh man, that was crazy. I forgot my belt, I forgot my wallet and forgot my power cord for my laptop all in the same trip. And this is the first trip you and I have done together. Right? So you got to be thinking, what the hell? Who’s leading this thing? Right. Did I say that along? Why don’t, I could think I could see it on your face. Uh but anyway, uh Sean is, I think I’m gonna call you senior analyst at fr security or security guy. Uh we talked, was it last night already? We talked about. You are the only cowboy security guy that I know like real life cowboy security start a blog totally because I think you’re going to help other people. There’s probably other closet cowboy security guys out there and if they see you, they’ll feel comfortable like
[00:02:43] Shawn Pollard: hey coming
[00:02:44] Evan Francen: out right coming out of the Yeah, right. But such an interesting background you have, we’re not gonna talk too much about the background. We have to have you on the show again so we can talk about your background, but I do appreciate you filling in for brad and I hope brad’s having a great time on this vacation. I know you’ll have some stories for us when he gets back.
[00:03:05] Shawn Pollard: Well deserved.
[00:03:06] Evan Francen: Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. That guy works his tail or something. Well we all do you do I do? It’s that’s one of the cool things about where we work. Um But do you take vacations? I do. Okay. I took on a couple of like three weeks ago. Um But I know some people kind of pride themselves and like I haven’t taken a vacation in x. Number of years, five years. Like that’s a badge of pride, badge of honor. Um But it’s not, you know you need to take vacations, you need to have that recharge which is sort of the whole the point of the show. You know what we’re gonna cover today is how to be healthy in what we do right. We have unusual jobs that few people can really relate to. Um We carry with us, you know a certain amount of stress and we have to take breaks once in a while. Uh So tell me about your last vacation and you told me about it earlier, but tell the audience about your last vacation.
[00:04:05] Shawn Pollard: Yes. I took my 18 year old son um out to colorado Denver flew in um Think on Thursday and we spent about four or 5 days at the national Western cattle show and went out to the pikes peak one day and did aquarium one day and just a bunch of random stuff. And I found out for an 18 year old. It’s not about what you do, it’s about what you eat. Oh yeah yeah so we ate a lot.
[00:04:36] Evan Francen: That’s cool. So you kettle, what is it called, cattle, cattle, cattle, cattle show. And what is that? Is it cattle show? And here’s a bunch of cattle. Okay,
[00:04:48] Shawn Pollard: so they compete for the top prize and all right. Um It’s the super bowl of cattle shows I’m told.
[00:04:56] Evan Francen: Well, you know, it’s interesting because there’s so many different walks of life. I wouldn’t know a good cat. A good head. He called head of cattle. Yeah, I wouldn’t know a good one From a not good one. Like like you would write, I mean you’ve you grew up on a farm, I’ve been farming all your life, Still have a farm, right? And still find time, you know to have this full time security job. You certainly know what a good at a cattle looks like. There’s some nice ones there. Yeah. It’s weird talking about it. I don’t even know what the hell I’m talking about. Can you sense that
[00:05:29] Shawn Pollard: some uh cattle there that were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
[00:05:33] Evan Francen: Holy Crap for 1 1 animal. And what’s it like a normal 1? Like when I see when I drive in Minnesota
[00:05:41] Shawn Pollard: one or 2000.
[00:05:42] Evan Francen: Okay, so 100 times that price. Oh my god. And what do they do is is the value in them breeding them? So they make more $100,000 cattle. Is that how it works?
[00:05:54] Shawn Pollard: Yeah the technology currently is really around embryo work. So each cow can have maybe 20 embryos a month. Um and so they might get $1,000 in embryo. So if they do that over a couple of years, they can make that money back. And good rancher potentially can make significantly more. Damn.
[00:06:15] Evan Francen: That’s pretty cool. Yeah, there’s some potential, Well there’s a heck of a lot of science that goes into it. Probably some intellectual property and probably some security requirements
[00:06:22] Shawn Pollard: potentially. I can see it.
[00:06:24] Evan Francen: Yeah, I would think so. All right. Uh So back to kind of I guess getting back on topic, the I wrote an article maybe a few weeks ago, it was kind of closing out this series of giving I guess my advice on getting into the information security industry. Then once you get in, you know, how do you progress? And then the end of it was sort of how do you stay healthy in this industry? And this is a part um where I think I’m a hypocrite, meaning a I don’t like I don’t take this advice myself very well, but I think I got so stuck in my habits over the years that I sort of wish I would have known some of these things and I wish I would have done it this way. Maybe. Um Then there’s other people who you and I see they just seem like they’re healthy all the time. I don’t know what they do. I don’t know if it just comes naturally for some people it doesn’t come naturally for me. No after I have to work hard at it. But I think it’s really important if you want longevity. Uh Because I think there’s two things I’ve been in this industry, you’ve been in IT and security for 30 years. I’m 30 years. Uh learned a lot along the way of what kind of how to deal with stress, how to deal with loss, how to deal with just so many different things. Um Some of things I didn’t do well you know as exercise. I don’t sleep well. We were just talking earlier 3.5 hours of sleep last night. That’s not healthy. Not good. No it’s not good at all. And you got six and you actually slept well. You said
[00:08:02] Shawn Pollard: on the first night in a hotel that’s about as good as it gets.
[00:08:05] Evan Francen: That’s cool. So in that in the article and it’s on my blog Evan francine dot com. Uh you know in the title as you want to get into security part five. Uh I opened it up with a caveat that hey I understand I’m a hypocrite and a lot of these things but um you know I’m working on it just like I think most of us are and then going into the problem so the problem there are multiple problems with you know an unhealthy lifestyle but specifically to information security I cite some some pretty troubling uh studies and one is just about Csos and how they’re burning out. Um And they’re dealing with so much stress and uh you know living the life of A. C. So I can relate to it. You know I spent most of my career on the other side of the table meaning now I’m a consultant. Uh but I know what it’s like to have everybody kind of look at you. I remember there are specific things that kind of like stick in your mind. You know one of those was I was telling you this morning about at a CFO who would ask me all the time every time he saw me in uh in the hallway he would ask me, hey I mean are we secured? Like it was a joke like kind of joking how we secure like Mhm. Give me give me like an hour to talk to you about this rather than this passing five second thing. So that that was that was it’s those little things just because you knew it was disrespectful the way he was asking it and the way he was treating it and then uh that same company would go into a board meeting to give to give a brief on where we’re at with information security. And one time I walked in and you know one of the guys can I sit on his breath. Oh great here’s the I. T Security police and then they all laughed uh it’s like what the hell is going on here? You know talk about feeling like an outcast right? And then but then when stuff hits the fan whose head rolls yours. Yeah it’s the sea. So and sometimes we’re put in a just kind of an impossible situation. You know we’re asked to assess risk uh make risk decisions which isn’t our job ever. Uh And then you know manage all these things fight all these things and you know it’s a lot of times you feel like you’re just doing it alone and you might be a really good person. Might be a really good people person and you’re trying to get people on board with you and the rally with you and they won’t. Sometimes
[00:10:48] Shawn Pollard: we see the culture all the time in the field dealing with CSOs during assessments or to the VC. So engagement just the level of stress that um like you said it’s not theirs they can’t make policy I should say they can’t approve policy and they can’t sign off on budget. So risk is not their ownership. But when you ask them if they own risk many will say yes right? And you know we’re very gently but adamantly uh we’ll make it clear to them that they don’t and we’ll go through that and talk about you know do you convey risk to leadership that they understand what those things are and how they need to deal with them. Um, and, and very often they don’t, and so again, because they’re not doing those foundational things correctly, that risk does come back to them because they’re not pushing it where it needs to be.
[00:11:44] Evan Francen: Right. And how often do you have, you know, because we do a lot of VC. So work. I have one client today. Uh, it’s a large global client. I know you were just telling me you had, you know, you’re doing about two assessments a week. A lot of those turn into being VC. So clients ov meaning virtual see so we don’t work for them full time. Um, but how often do you get to have a conversation with the person who is ultimately responsible for information security?
[00:12:16] Shawn Pollard: We have to work really hard to get that opportunity and it almost never happens.
[00:12:20] Evan Francen: Right? You have to, it’s so it should be so much easier than that. And it reminds me of the one, you know, I was telling you about. And you heard me ask the same question this morning in the question with the client today, uh, I always want to know ultimately, who’s responsible for information security here. And you saw the looks on their faces, right? When we ask that, when I asked that today, they’re like, well, it’s a good question. It shouldn’t be that hard. I mean, I can tell you who I think it should be. I can tell you who it should be. Um You know, it’s the ceo, right? Or it’s the board of directors or it’s both, but it’s not the sea. So right. The sea. So is, you know, really has two jobs. One is I provide you with the best possible risk data for you to make good risk decisions. I consult you on that and then once you make those risk decisions, I do everything in my power to make sure those things get enacted, right? So this is an unacceptable risk. Alright, well, let’s go get it, you know, and build our budget around that, which then makes my job a lot easier. Right? I have two things. Uh and the Ceo doesn’t have to look at making risk decisions as being such a pain in the butt. It’s not difficult if you trust me to give you good risk data to make good decisions, you’ll just make decisions. You won’t have to question everything. So I think we make it a lot more difficult then we should. So I asked the global company, by the way, a year ago and then I was out there last week and I asked the same question. I remember, you know, the first time I was out here and I asked you this question, one who has who owns information security globally and who owns information security in this region. And you didn’t have an answer for me. So let me ask you that same question now. They still don’t have an answer for me, right?
[00:14:16] Shawn Pollard: Just mind boggling, right?
[00:14:18] Evan Francen: And they look at me like it was my job to tell them the answer. And I do tell you the answer. It’s the ceo let’s get some time with the Ceo. And that’s really actually the next step is spend 5 10 minutes a month. Let’s start easy these into this. Um But anyway, Cissokho’s are under a lot of stress. There’s just a lot of places. There’s many places where A. C. So isn’t respected where C. So is looked at as a necessary evil. You know, there’s compliance requirements now. Like you know the state of new york. You know the mandates you must have a C. So well great. I mean how do you think the Ceo is going to feel about that when a half the higher to see? So come on. You know, it’s just whatever. So I think she says, and I think things have changed. They’ve gotten better, but uh maybe better in terms of respect but not better in terms of stress, the world hasn’t gotten safer.
[00:15:18] Shawn Pollard: Yeah. We think their stress levels not getting less. No. No.
[00:15:22] Evan Francen: And some of the studies are you know, they call it advanced persistent stress. There’s a study there. There’s a study about workplace cultures that are driving security people to drink. You know that’s not the right way to deal with stress is to medicate um we’re gonna get to how we deal with stress or how I think the right way to deal with stress is for a C. So um
[00:15:45] Shawn Pollard: I was thinking one of the stats that she had in that article about one in four Csos is burned out. Oh yeah. And I think that, you know, you correlate that to other fields. You see the same thing and teachers, you mean go across the high stress curve fields, it’s really common. And I think those abilities, uh most tactical ways to deal with stress are not communicated very well, you know, we’re just told to suck it up or do a better job and it’ll get better. You know, whatever bad idea seems to be floated way more way better more often than those tactically good ideas.
[00:16:24] Evan Francen: Well, the thing is to, in an industry that purports to be talent poor, right? We need more talent in this industry. The people the CSOs that are burning out with them goes a ton of wisdom. You know, a lot of these men and women, mostly men and that’s another issue. But whatever most of these men and women have so much experience, they’ve seen so many different things. They remember the way it used to be in terms of fundamentals, foundational stuff with security, when life wasn’t quite as complex as it is today, in complexity is the enemy of security, right? So yeah, it is harder to secure things today than it was back then because things are more complex. So with that comes more stress. And a lot of T cells were just saying, I’ve had it are leaving the industry, they’re retiring, um but they’re leaving holes, big holes, big shoes to fill. So yeah, that’s sad too. And then there was the black hat talks, there were two talks last year in 2018 and just just listen to these titles, right? You should wake you up a little bit. The first title is mental health hacks, fighting burnout depression, and suicide in the hacker community. You know, suicide. That’s real. You know, and I was sharing with you, I know two people personally who were in this industry who committed suicide and that’s sad. It hurts. Uh there’s so many questions, you know, so many things you ask yourself, like, what could I have done? What signs did I miss? Uh and you you kill yourself with this, why? Right? Why? Why? Why you’ll never know for certain, right? They’ll be. But that’s hard. It’s hard to deal with it. It’s not worth it. There’s no job in the world ever, anywhere that’s worth your life, right? So that’s an interesting talking. The link is a link to that talk is, you know, in the blog post, another another talk that was given last year, Black Cat was holding on for tonight, addiction in info sec uh you know, whether it be addiction to drugs, whether it be addiction to alcohol, whether it be addiction to whatever I was sharing with you. You know we had we had a good 4.5 3.5 hour ride out so we were able to kind of get real with each other while we were in the car uh and shared, you know, kind of some personal things and one of things I shared with you is, you know, I have an addictive personality, You know, I quit drinking 19 years ago because I was just too good at it, right? I was really good at it. Um Then you take that addiction and you just put it somewhere else and I put it on to gaming, you know, it was a really good, you know, so we get a gaming um and I took it and put it on to work, right? And then you know, so I just you just take it and put it onto another thing. But the thing is you’re trying to escape. I think the root of what the actual issue is, you know, So that’s that’s also sad addiction addiction can nip anybody. The best people, people that I thought I would never see addicted to anything ever seen taken down. That’s that’s tough. So anyway I’m doing a lot of talking sean you feel free to chime in on anything so or not, it’s totally, you know, I’m a low pressure kind of guy. We have enough stress already, so I’m not putting any more on you. Uh So stress also, you know it’s not just with information security, it’s not just the professionals who deal with stress. It’s also people who deal with, you know other things about information security like just normal people. Um It’s a workplace stress, employees are suffering higher levels of cyber stress in the workplace. Now we’ve got this thing called cyber stress. So people are stressing out about security. There’s another report that was out by Kaspersky. Uh you know the state of cyber stress, 81% of Americans and 72% of Canadians admit that the news of data breaches has caused them stress. You know stress is subjective so you know whatever. But why is it less than Canada? Well it’s Canada. Yeah. Yeah, I mean they’re probably drinking Molson golden or something up there. I don’t know, I don’t know about Canadians. Uh I do go to Toronto, you know at least once a quarter. They’re different.
[00:20:53] Shawn Pollard: But there is a customer. Yes level company.
[00:20:56] Evan Francen: They have an office in Toronto in the United States and Mexico but that, have you ever driven in Toronto before? I haven’t been there. Oh my God don’t drive, not in downtown, it’s the worst time. I hated it. Talk about stress. Oh my God. Well I actually one of the times I was there, I was there during the Maple leafs were in the Stanley cup playoffs traffic. It took me like two hours just to get out of downtown. Yeah, that was a rough day. Yeah, but I don’t know why Canadians have at least according to the study of less stress. Maybe we didn’t ask them the question. Right? Uh, so how do you deal with all this stuff? I mean information life in general, just life, life is stressful, right? You attack onto that kids bills uh, health issues and if you read the news, I mean that alone can make you think make you suicidal because it’s never anything good. And then, you know, tech under that our work life and we do have unique stresses were always living under the kind of this constant, maybe not fear, but just knowing in the back of our minds that it’s just a matter of time before the, it’s going to hit, you know, the shoe is gonna drop because we know that no matter what we do, we can’t prevent all bad things from happening. So then what are we going to do? You play this assumed breach kind of situation where, Okay, well what would I say if I was on the stand and I don’t know if people do that, but that’s what happens. Um, so how do you deal with all this stuff? Well, you know, and I think it starts with support, What’s your support structure? Everybody needs support, even the strongest, most manly man, even the strongest, most independent woman needs support. We all need support. So I think it starts there and who do I have around me, that provides me with support. You know, it starts with my family, it’s always my family. You know, you and I were talking about our wives, um there’s all kinds of different shapes and forms and colors and the families, right? So there’s our traditional family where it’s a man and a woman and there’s man, man, woman, a woman, family’s family in terms of support, Will you support me or not? Encourage me when I need encouragement, hold me accountable, when I need to be held accountable, put me wreck on the path when they need to be put back on the path, but in our lives and my life my wife is invaluable for that. I’d be dead without without my wife. I mean, I know some people, there’s a drama, I mean, that’s just the truth.
[00:23:42] Shawn Pollard: Yeah, I think for myself, you know, I probably wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning and, you know, be able to function. We just, there’s so many things that, you know, just from day to day perspective, I’m really, really bad at that she excels it and just holds things together together, like just scheduling, I mean, probably three times a day, you know, we talk about, you know, where is this, that where’s that at? And I’m like, I don’t even have a clue just tell me, right, and I don’t have to worry about it and you know, that probably causes her stress, but you know, it’s it’s that balance that, you know, I you couldn’t dream up a better scenario, you know, to really compliment me in those areas that I suck, like really bad and should be open probably to tell you that and you know, um it’s really awesome when you think about it,
[00:24:37] Evan Francen: right? I mean the whole world could wash away can melt and just, you know, I’ve told you about the time when you know, I lost my house working to start a business, right? We didn’t have any money. Uh you know, there’s so many hard times you go through in life and at the end of it I turn and she’s there and she supports me. I could have the worst day ever, right? Just everything went to crap today and everything is better when we have that support.
[00:25:10] Shawn Pollard: Yeah, it’s really I was sharing before and I was telling you about, I had a pretty massive back surgery and I was in a body cast for six months and My wife was nine months pregnant, you know, tough and we had an 18 month old, you know, and she just stood tall through the whole thing. You know, I mean, I literally amazing, couldn’t
[00:25:32] Evan Francen: function. I don’t know where they get this
[00:25:33] Shawn Pollard: hardly at all. And you know, two kids and she she had a cesarean on top of all that, you know, it was pretty gruesome, but just an incredible, you know, fortitude to stand tall through that, and I mean, it’s super human a lot of it,
[00:25:54] Evan Francen: Well, it really is, and so, you know, because I’ve had friends, you know, in being as long in this industry as I’ve been, I’ve had friends who’ve had crappy marriages, friends that have great marriages, I’ve had friends who um like I said, couple who committed suicide, I mean, there’s just all kinds of different ways that these things go, and I think the people that put family first are the ones who have that support, right? So you have to actually invest in it, you know, you can’t just, you know, hey, you know, I heard on Evans podcast that his wife supports him, were you, for me, that’s not how it works, right? I mean, you have to pour into it, right? And yeah, so, I mean, if you don’t have that support structure, get that, get that right first
[00:26:47] Shawn Pollard: and then
[00:26:48] Evan Francen: get your job right?
[00:26:49] Shawn Pollard: It’s more the action that you take as individuals important of that person, instead of worrying about that person not doing what you need right? I mean, it’s just, you know, I heard a great sermon on sunday really to that same effect of, you know, if you’re looking around and all the problems around you solve yours first, and most of those go away because the impact that you have and people will see you working on those things that you struggle with, um, you know, it’s it’s inverted are thinking is we need to fix everybody else to solve the problem. And the reality of it is our biggest issues ourself. And certainly, you know, in regards to relationship with the response that um you have to pour in.
[00:27:32] Evan Francen: Yeah, maybe, maybe, and maybe your family doesn’t include a spouse, right? You’re not married, that’s okay too. You still have other family around, right? We’ll be brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever you consider to be sort of your family, that’s what you invest in, you know, to kind of have that support because you’ll need it. I mean, there are days when you just need to cash out, man, I need to all these deposits I made into my relationship account. I need to I need to take a big withdrawal right now because I’m just, I’m stressed or I’m sorry, I’m tired. I just want to go to bed. You know, it’s four o’clock in the afternoon. I got no gas left and to be able to do that. You know, it’s just, it’s awesome. So family, family, family, family can do, and I do realize that there are some people who don’t have families, I really do um have actually an extra amount of, I think respect for those people because it takes an additional level of strength that I don’t think I have to do that, you know? Um and maybe, you know, if and when they do get that family, holy crap, what’s gonna, what kind of people are they going to be? Uh
[00:28:48] Shawn Pollard: you learn to deal with it? No. Right. Exactly, healthy
[00:28:52] Evan Francen: wise, right? Don’t go out. You know, I had a rough day at the, you know, the office this week and let’s go get blitzed. It’s
[00:28:59] Shawn Pollard: and we see it a lot though
[00:29:00] Evan Francen: all the time. All the
[00:29:02] Shawn Pollard: time. Yeah, it’s add alcohol to solve the problem and and it always makes it worse. I mean, it’s consistent. It’s one for one if that’s your solution, that’s not to say, you know, after work one day, if you want to go have a drink with somebody, you’re a bad person, we’re not absolutely saying that at all. But if that is your solution to stress and, you know, you think back through your last week and if every time I get high stress, I’m going, you know, took place, you know, to drink,
[00:29:31] Evan Francen: to medicate. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Especially if the purpose of my medication is to release is to actually Medicaid, going out and getting drunk to have fun to drink, to have fun. It’s different than drinking drinking too Medicaid, right? To numb it rather than deal with it. But anyway, that’s, that’s a whole addiction thing. And if you do have addiction, I mean, I myself struggle with addiction, I’ve been sober for 19 years. Uh but I have other friends, my whole friend, so many of my personal friends are addicts of one form or another. Um, and we need each other, right? We need each other support each other. Uh, if you’re an addict or you’re struggling with these things, get help. I mean you can email me, I mean I can point you, I don’t have all the answers nobody does, but I do care. And I think that’s another thing that tears me up about people when they give up and they commit suicide is there’s always somebody who cares always. Absolutely. Um, so anyway, family big, big, big mentor is another thing and, and mentoring was was kind of a central theme, not a central thing, but it was a theme throughout the whole series of articles, mentors are very important. I have my own mentor and I know you have yours and you’ll tell us a little bit about your mentor, but my mentor isn’t a security guy, so it doesn’t have to be a security guy. It’s uh, somebody who’s wise, I respect, um, lives a life that I’d like to emulate in a lot of ways. Never ever steers me wrong, never gives me bad advice on purpose. Sometimes the advice doesn’t work out the way we thought it would, but that’s my mentor and I’ve had my mentor since uh, 99, just had coffee them last Friday, still do it every week. Yeah, it’s important, man. I mean you got to have that support sometimes. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Oftentimes I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. And if I want to be honest
[00:31:35] Shawn Pollard: at times, we just need somebody whose eyes are not directly in my world, look out from the outside and say, have you thought about this, right? And we won’t see it because it’s too close to our nose. We can’t, we can’t focus on it.
[00:31:51] Evan Francen: Have you ever had when you tried to tell your mentor, when you were going to tell your mentor or something like this is my weak global bond. You go to tell them and as you’re saying it, you’re like, oh God, this wasn’t good, was it? You know what I mean? I was, I thought it was good, but now that I’m telling you, I realized it’s not as good as I thought it was. Yeah. Have you ever done that?
[00:32:11] Shawn Pollard: I did? I remember really vividly bringing a brand new truck to show off my accomplishments and my mentor looked at me oh, that’s nice And I knew exactly what you’re saying. It was, you didn’t, you didn’t need to buy this truck to prove your worth or to prove that you’ve accomplished something, right? He knew that without that. And he, and he kind of touched it and kind of patted it a little bit and it was just that figurative. Okay. This is nice and let’s go have coffee,
[00:32:41] Evan Francen: right? Yeah. And even that part, like, I’m, I’m not impressed. That’s not what I’m impressed, but that’s not why I’m here because of you. Yeah.
[00:32:51] Shawn Pollard: And it was so loud and clearer as we were walking up to the house and I didn’t go and sell the truck right then and there and I actually still own it today, which is a little different story. But um, just knowing that my worth was not there and he believed in that was really tremendous. And, and you know, all this was nonverbal. Yeah. Cool. Oh yeah.
[00:33:16] Evan Francen: One because you have that relationship, you both invested in the relationship to a point where sometimes we have to talk. Yeah, We just, I get
[00:33:24] Shawn Pollard: it, you know, in
[00:33:25] Evan Francen: a society, sometimes your metric gives you that look and you’re like, okay, I get it.
[00:33:28] Shawn Pollard: Yeah. Our society talks to us all the time about honor, the self and self respect and all this stuff. And you know, when you get in that mentoring relationship, you know, they see through that garbage, right? You know that we’re actually all very weak. We all very much need help. And, and I just, I’ve gotten just a ton out of the mentoring relationship that I’ve had, uh, at the lowest spots in my life. I’ve been able to go to him and sometimes we just hug and just bawl her eyes out. You know, when some real personal tragedies have happened, a loss of a child or um and he had the same thing happened to him and I went over there the next morning and we just hugged and you know, he’s pretty, pretty small short guy and I thought he was gonna crack my lungs. I mean I couldn’t really breathe, he was holding on so tight, right? And and it was Probably five minutes of crying, you’re standing there, right? And you know, the opportunities be there for somebody like that is uh you know, you can’t put words to it,
[00:34:43] Evan Francen: right? And now I’m at, I don’t know are you? You might be mentoring somebody already, but I’m at this point in my career where I really want to start spending more of my time mentoring others. I was really cool Megan at work. We’re at the M. E. To be uh it was a speaking event at, it was a panel actually at the University of Minnesota on campus and Megan Lori and then a couple other ladies were on the panel and I was the moderator and we were talking about something, some questions to come up and in that Megan had referred to me as her mentor. I thought, you know, I mean you just like you almost want to cry like
[00:35:27] Shawn Pollard: wow! Really? Yeah, she’s an extraordinary person. Oh my God! Right. Really?
[00:35:32] Evan Francen: So I do want to spend more of my time mentoring and that was part of what the mentor program was about to or is about. Uh unfortunately there’s so much of you that you can give, you know what I mean? There’s, you want to enter everybody, but it takes, it takes some one on one relationship. Right. Do you mention anybody right now? Are you going there?
[00:35:57] Shawn Pollard: Um, you know, I’m open to that. I’ve still got kids in the house. So really focus my energy uh every time we have. Yeah. Good.
[00:36:05] Evan Francen: Yeah. Cool. Alright, associations and trade groups is another great place to find support that there’s something really magical and telling something to somebody who gets it, who’s been there before. Um you know, sometimes I’ll tell my wife something and she just doesn’t get it. She just can’t relate to it. She still loves me. She still supports me, but we’re just not connecting there, you know? Um and that’s why when, you know, when you can talk to piers, when you can talk to people either at work, we have a really healthy, I think uh culture that fr secure where I think a lot of the security analysts there can talk to other security analysts about. Yeah, but if we didn’t have that, I think I would have to be in trade groups more often. Just a get it out right and then have people go, yeah, man, I’m dealing with that same thing. That means a lot, that should be part of your support structure also included in this article. Co workers and friends now in a healthy work environment. I think co workers and friends are great part of your support structure in other environments. I’ve certainly seen where it’s become very destructive because it becomes gossip and finger pointing. He said she said kind of stuff. And so be careful when you use co workers and friends as as your support structure. And really, really be careful if you’re going to use coworkers and friends where your spouse should be in terms of your support structure, right? If I go and talk to a co worker about some kind of thing that I’m struggling with when I should have been talking to my wife about it. That can that’s a bad deal that can be really, really bad. So be careful with that.
[00:37:50] Shawn Pollard: A situation where that be good. No, I’d probably leave that part to say it’s across the board. Yeah,
[00:37:57] Evan Francen: but his wife is your soul mate. It happens though. I mean we’ve both seen it. I’ve seen it numerous times where people are confiding in each other at work. It’s like, man, you should probably be, I know you’re married, you probably talk, you
[00:38:10] Shawn Pollard: know, well especially if it’s cross gender. That’s a really bad idea, right?
[00:38:15] Evan Francen: Yeah. And I have a rule. Uh My own rule is I don’t go to lunch with with a female alone ever client corker, something’s got to come. But now we hired Renae who’s an executive so that we do have coffee once a week, but you know, you gotta be careful with that, which then brings us to accountability. So not only does your support group and you know, we should create an assessment. We’re good at creating assessments. We should create an assessment of this. Like I don’t know what criteria characteristics we’d have to build into it, but there’s gotta be something here because not only do I need to have a support structure that cheers me on that lifts me up. That makes me feel good. I also need to have a support structure that holds me accountable when I make promises. They remind me of my promises, they keep me on the path. They um, and they see that I’m starting to make unhealthy choices. They say something, they don’t just let it happen.
[00:39:21] Shawn Pollard: I’ve been really fortunate for um, I would say probably about last 56 years had accountability. Uh, you know, other men that I can, we talk on a regular basis and we go through spiritual issues, uh different battles. And are we doing those things that we know from a spiritual basis and we need to be healthy. You know, are we in the word every day and we, you know, quiet good, solid, quiet time nod. I’m doing 80 mph down the freeway and there’s 20 things going on. I’m trying to have a conversation, you know, um kind of thing and and just keeping, you know, I think anybody is prone to starting a good idea And you know, like anybody starts a diet, right? And a couple weeks later, the studies show, you know, half the people drop off another, you know, a period of time, there’s yet another bunch and by the time you get six months out your, You know, you’re down to 23, 4% that are still going and that’s human nature. If we don’t have something very adamant in place, very thick, very strong. Another person that like you said, is there to say, Evan, did you do this today? And are you telling me the truth? That level of accountability is so countercultural, right? I mean, nobody wants to have somebody in their face about even what they promised. They get
[00:40:47] Evan Francen: out of my business man. You know,
[00:40:48] Shawn Pollard: what’s it to you that even if I asked for that, right? If I say Evan, I want you to be my accountability buddy. You know, after the first day I’m going, all this sucks. I don’t want, you know, maybe I didn’t do and I don’t want to hear about it, right? And uh, it’s very unique. But if you get into that, you know, again, I use it from a, a faith based perspective and it’s so powerful
[00:41:12] Evan Francen: and you it really is, it comes down to being honest with yourself, right? We’ve talked about that too. I look at myself in the mirror and say, who, you know, what am I good at? What am I not good at? What am I trying to be? What am I, what am I really is those tough questions and you have to be, you have to get honest right and having somebody um help me who can watch my back, who can protect me from myself. Because I, I’ve said this before which leads us into the next piece in this article is balance. If you leave me to my own devices, there is no balance. I have an addictive personality. I will right now. I would work myself to death. I mean I just would, I love it. I love working, it feels good. Um if I didn’t have a wife who said, hey and maybe maybe you don’t need to work tonight too. You know, I mean without that I seriously don’t think I’d be here. It’s that important to have that accountability. Yeah. And I think one of the most dangerous things in the world and I’ve told share this with you too. I think one of the most dangerous things in the world is a man whose board and has time on his hands, 100% he’ll destroy himself or somebody else. You know, I’ve done it. I’ve seen it so many times with my friends, it’s like, yeah so accountable is big, so which brings us to them into balance and this is this is important for us to to know too. Um is balance is different for every person agreed, right? What’s what’s balanced for me isn’t going to be balanced for you, right? So tell me what your balances
[00:42:56] Shawn Pollard: well, it’s like you said everybody is different and and for me it’s um I had to leave a position that was in for more than a decade and I loved it, I loved my customers, I love doing what I was doing and it was just incredibly obvious that balance was broken and uh you know the roadmap was worse, it was always going to get worse, you know, more stress, more hours, more demands and I can honestly tell you that the work life balance that frs care has been 100% better. My wife has commented that, Oh I get to see you now, I mean I was working a lot of weekends, nights I mean it just never let up and
[00:43:39] Evan Francen: so she gets to see you now and she likes it.
[00:43:41] Shawn Pollard: Uh she hasn’t committed, okay, let’s get let’s work on that one, right? But yeah it’s different and honestly it’s a bit of a learning curve again, you know, like I’m working from home, so on days when she’s got off, you know, I come up and like every hour and a half and get a drink or something, she’s like what are you doing? I’m just gonna break, just saying hi and that um on interaction, Yeah, it really is and what we’re learning um you know really how to interact again at that much. Yeah and yeah, it’s been really awesome that way. So
[00:44:17] Evan Francen: that’s awesome. And I want to just take a quick second. Uh Excuse the background noise. We’re actually sitting in a hotel room today, right? Because like I said, we’re in Aberdeen and so the heater went off. My my my laptop was telling me I have emails and yeah, anyway, balances Balance is really important. One of the things that we had done in podcast, I think 16 or whatever was we had our wives on myself and Brad. And uh well one of the questions was, you know, how many hours does your husband work? Right, That was I think I should quote that. No, right, don’t do that. They can listen if they want. But Brad’s number was 55, that’s his balance, totally. Nothing wrong with that. Other people’s balances. 40, 40 hour work week, that’s all I want to do. Others are even 30, maybe even less because they’re balancing all these other things that they have in their life, right? Things that they enjoy. Things that improve their quality of life. They asked my wife how many hours I work and she lied. Yeah, maybe not. But it seemed like it, she said 100 something. Nobody works that much. But uh but I did make a deal with my wife, right? This is goes back to that support thing. I made a deal with my wife that I was gonna do tenant years worth of work in the next five, that was a year ago. So we have four years to go. So this is sort of to be expected, but if I don’t follow through with my part of the promise in four years, assuming I’m still alive, uh yeah, there’s gonna be, yeah, I’ll be held accountable. Which
[00:45:54] Shawn Pollard: do you have an official date?
[00:45:57] Evan Francen: It’s going to be basically Lydia’s, Lydia’s my 14 year old daughter, it’s going to be her graduation day will be kind of the date, so graduation will probably a Saturday. So whatever, I should actually figure that out, so I can start counting down the days because that would be encouraging I think for, but even despite all of that, I have a really healthy marriage, I mean, it’s like, it’s such a miracle, it’s like how can a guy who works this much and it’s just crazy weird uhh Yeah,
[00:46:29] Shawn Pollard: but I think anybody who’s married to somebody, and again, it could be a guy that’s married to, you know, one of the ladies that works in our office or vice versa in this career field, you know, I think really would be nice for them to hear that podcast when they’re dating. So they know exactly what they’re getting into and the rally of it is I always call it sprints and marathons. Um you know, I’ve put 100 hour weeks in for um you know, plus or minus that for five and six weeks, you know, when we’re in the middle of a big project and it’s a huge deal. Um, and those things happen and your spouse has uh significant other has just got to understand. That’s what we do for a living. Now. If you’re an I. T. Or security, I think the same um, kind of thing as far as the hours that go in, if you’re in a compliant situation and you know, you’ve got a big auto coming up and you’ve got work that has to get done by giving period of time. You might put in a sprint of 100 hour weeks for a period of time, 234 weeks. I think the main thing for me has always been when that sprint starts looking like a marathon, right? And you can’t see an end and you started, like you said, lose hope and you’re just level of frustration and a lot of times, Um, you know, we just see environments where leadership is not supporting folks. Um, I think I shared with you in 13 years, I never had somebody say you’re working too much back off. Right? And again, just being honest on the webcast, I get a call at least every other week and usually every week from our team lead and again she’s just a rock star, two miles. Yeah. And how are things going? I want to make sure you’re, you’re still swimming. Yeah. And and again I shared with you that I honestly don’t care if things you know, ever get better just knowing that somebody cares is huge. I mean, I can’t articulate very well how important that is. And yeah, that’s really cool.
[00:48:38] Evan Francen: And one of the things I ask a lot because I’m just kinda curious, you know, is when people are really are swamped, I want to know, do you see the light at the end of the tunnel or is this thing looking long for you? Because if it’s looking long, if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, then we have to we have to intervene because it’s not healthy. No, it’s not healthy at all. I don’t want not healthy employee. I don’t want uh I don’t want you to die. I don’t want you to leave because we didn’t do this right. Um which is a big part of why Renee you know, is just doing an art project management team. I think you’re doing just amazing things. I want people to work a healthy number of hours, whatever that is for you. Let’s do that, right. Um but that, but that all comes down to balance and to think that everybody’s got the same balance to say just across the board, okay, it’s going to be X. Some people will thrive under that. Some people will die under that. So you’ve got to have the right the right balance for each individual
[00:49:37] Shawn Pollard: person. I was thinking of a conversation that one of the project managers, Tyler and I were talking about last week and and he just, I think has got a nice feel for balance and he’s like, you know, you know, really gave me some nice advice in the middle of the heat of the battle of a lot of work and uh and I just thought it was good flatfooted advice and I’m like, man, that’s, that’s really
[00:50:02] Evan Francen: cool. It is cool. So balance. The advice really is to find your balance to find your balance. If you don’t know if you don’t know how to find your balance, ask your wife, ask your family, ask your mentor, ask whoever so that you can find it and then call it out, put it down, tell somebody else about it, put it on paper, whatever it takes, so that your support structure will hold you accountable to what you’ve said is going to be your balance had I not said a year. So my balance is crazy compared to other people’s balance, that’s fine. It’s for a short period of time. My Sprint is a four year left. Sprint. My wife and I are on the same page with that, she’ll hold me accountable if four years and one day this doesn’t change. Um So anyway, find your balance, manage your balance, make known your balance and then the other health things, you know, like spiritual health. You mentioned spiritual health. Um Spiritual health for me is really the foundation of everything. Um, and I realized that there are different faiths in the world and so I don’t want to be and people attack each other based on their faiths and that’s just so distracting for everything. Um, you know, to me, jesus, is the ceo of fr secure, always been the ceo of fr secure. That doesn’t mean you need to be a christian to work at fr security. Just need it. Just, you need to know where my decisions are coming from, where I’m going. Uh that’s critical, right? So get your spiritual health and whatever that is for you, I’m not one of those people that’s gonna beat you over the head with the bible and say, it’s got to be, this is gonna be that find it, embrace it and eventually you’ll find the truth in it, right? So don’t neglect your spiritual health. It’s something bigger and stronger and wider and, you know, it’s just bigger than you. And sometimes we’re asked to do things that seem a lot bigger than us and we need that physical health. This is a part where, you know, I could certainly use more accountability, but you know, the cool thing we’re doing changes some colors.
[00:52:08] Shawn Pollard: No, yeah, you don’t,
[00:52:10] Evan Francen: I eat them. That’s why maybe some chickens, that’s one of my projects, I eat too many cows.
[00:52:16] Shawn Pollard: No, I don’t get any more cows,
[00:52:17] Evan Francen: cows and pigs, man, that’s a lot of cows and pigs gets him in trouble. Uh, but exercise diet, you know, those physical things, if you’re overweight, get help, you know, do something about it, you’re only gonna get one, you know, you want spin at this thing and I’m starting to learn and I’ve been on, I guess you could call it a diet and went from, you know what 51-2, 17 and I’m kind of there now and still working on it. But um, he’s got other bad habits. I need to kicked to the curb. I love what our team is doing. And this was all them with rene and peter and um just that team, your team With the strength in your core thinking, I know it’s so cool. I’ve been doing it actually. I did my 45. What, how many seconds are we supposed to be doing right now? I
[00:53:11] Shawn Pollard: think 45
[00:53:12] Evan Francen: Okay. I did 50 actually this morning, 45 last night at 50 this morning. So I wasn’t sure. I was like, yeah, but what a cool thing. So the concept is we’re stressing our core values, we’re exercising our core values and while we’re doing that we’re exercising our core bodies. That, that’s brilliant.
[00:53:31] Shawn Pollard: Yeah, it’s good stuff and it’s amazingly difficult. Yeah, I thought the first time I did it, I’m like, oh, this is really what a bunch of us here, right. And then I did, I’m like, okay, like you said, I was shaking like a leaf by the time I got up, like jesus on how many people saw me shake
[00:53:47] Evan Francen: and what are we supposed to get to and we’re done with this thing four minutes or something? I would say
[00:53:51] Shawn Pollard: three or 4 minutes. I don’t believe
[00:53:53] Evan Francen: it when I see it. Right? Alright. So about physical health and you know, we have a bunch of people at work that they go running exercise, we have our are corporate sponsored or corporate subsidized health club membership thing and you know, so that stuff is really important. Don’t neglect that. That’s part, it should be part of your balance, mental health, mental health is the one part where I think it hits home for me most and you know, when I’m, when you really think about it, it hurts because uh, you don’t know the hell that people go through in their minds and uh,
[00:54:31] Shawn Pollard: or their backgrounds and what they’ve been through and it’s hard to, you know, a lot of times were so prone just to show you don’t how we’re gonna or, or even, you know, they have very superficial relationships is how is the football game or you know, how is the weather and trying to, like I say at least one person in your work environment pour into them, you know, especially if you see him struggling, you know, and it doesn’t mean that, you know, it has to be some very elaborate thing you do for him every day, but just truly show that you care and you stop and listen adamantly for the words that they say can be the dealmaker.
[00:55:12] Evan Francen: And one of the things that we do a lot for securing, it sounds kind of corny, but we tell each other, I mean at least in the management team, we tell each other a lot that we love them. You know, I’ll tell brad, I’ll tell James, I’ll tell john, I’ll tell kevin, I love you. It’s not because this is the world today kind of twists that into some kind of weird, right? No, it means it means that I would do things for you without any self interest without any repayment. I don’t, I care about you enough to where I would sacrifice for you
[00:55:46] how to start a cybersecurity career: like a family
[00:55:47] Evan Francen: member. Absolutely. So you call me in the middle of the night and whatever you need to be picked up at the bar because you drank too much. I’ll be there. That’s the kind of, that’s, that’s love. Right? So having that kind of support. Like I said, you can’t do with everybody, but do some people, right? Because you never know. I had a customer actually of ours who became a friend early customer who’s going through a divorce and uh, there was one day, um, I was on my way downtown Minneapolis. I was going down 394 and I just felt the surge, I’m gonna call him. So I picked up the phone, call him. How’s it going man? How you feeling? And he just started bawling about bowling. He was like, I can’t thank you enough. I needed this so bad. And I was like, yeah, man, I mean, I didn’t know that. I had called at that time, But we talked for 30 minutes. I was late for my meeting, but I didn’t care. Um, and at the end of that, you thank you. Thank you, thank you. And from that point forward, our relationship now is like, right, I mean it’s solid. He’s not, it’s not part of a support group structure thing. Uh, so I don’t know what
[00:57:01] Shawn Pollard: you have to do things like that to earn that right to be at that level of friendship. Oh yeah,
[00:57:06] Evan Francen: you got to do something.
[00:57:07] Shawn Pollard: You have to do something. It’s a positive step.
[00:57:09] Evan Francen: They’re not just going to come to you and like, right, hey, I’m struggling with this. I mean, they don’t, that’s not how it works. You have to be active. Yeah, seek it out. So do that for people. And if you’re struggling with, with mental health issues, if you’re feeling suicidal, if you’re feeling struggling with childhood things, struggling with any number of, I mean, there’s millions of things that we can struggle with. Get help man, talk to somebody, there’s always somebody to help. No matter how desperate it seems, no matter how just dark everything is, it’s there’s light. I mean there is. Trust me, I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it the other way too. But I
[00:57:47] Shawn Pollard: think a lot, a lot of times that greatest light is just on the other side of darkness. Yeah, there’s some correlation there there. Yeah. And you know, called you know the devil or evil or whatever you want to say tries to put that darkness so that you just give up hope and and and that just it’s on the other side and um like you said it, it can be really ugly.
[00:58:16] Evan Francen: Absolutely. And and these aren’t just security work skills, these are life skills, you know, and I think in our security industry, we just have kind of a different brotherhood sisterhood kind of thing where we need to band together, we need, we need to relate to each other, we need to help each other with these stresses and everything else that we go through, which then leads us to the next piece, which is health at work right there are. We’ve seen really healthy work environments and we’ve seen really toxic work environments and uh get out of a toxic work environment. It’s not worth it. It’s never gonna be worth it if you unless you’re in a position where you can actually change that toxic work environment if you’re not in that position. Get out why would you subject yourself to that? What amount of money is important enough or enough to sacrifice your health, your marriage, your sanity. Your I mean get out.
[00:59:15] Shawn Pollard: I think just doing so many assessments into different environments. I can tell Certainly within 15 minutes of an assessment, when I get to meet the main group of people, I’ll be working with how toxic or how good that environment is. And you just look at the countenance on each other’s faces when they’re talking to each other and some when somebody speaks, the other person will just like their head will drop and and they’re just cowering from just casual conversation. And some they look so bright eyed and so interactive when they’re talking uh we don’t find a lot that’s in between. It’s either pretty darn good. Not perfect, no place is perfect but in the same light um we see something that you just go, uh huh how do you do this every day, man? Yeah. How do you
[01:00:09] Evan Francen: dare? So much of it is you’ve just been maybe you’ve just been devalued for so long or you feel like you have no other alternative. But there’s always an alternative for that too. Especially in our industry. If we have this talent shortage thing that we say we do get out, go get another job and you don’t have to get out while burning a bridge because chances are but chances are if it’s a toxic work environment, they’re going to try to have some repercussions anyway, right? They’ll bad mouth you on the street, whatever they’re gonna do. So what, you know the truth will eventually come out, but you just don’t need to subject yourself to them.
[01:00:45] Shawn Pollard: I’ll always take the high road. Um, I would say, you know, there’s um just not that many different connections. Actually. There’s lots of everybody knows everybody. So let’s say you want to do is get the word out that on your way out you just totally dismantled. You know, that was relationships that you had. No, just
[01:01:07] Evan Francen: that’s also not worth it. That I’ll always come back to bite you.
[01:01:10] Shawn Pollard: Yeah, No, I always want to shake hands on the last day.
[01:01:13] Evan Francen: Yeah, that’s my goal. Yeah. I will sleep in on the last day. I haven’t had a last day for a long time. But no, there will be a last day. Uh, so yeah, in that link, there’s seven science. There’s a link to an article in medium that come with seven signs that you’re in a toxic work environment. I think sometimes people don’t even know that they’re in a toxic work environment. So the signs, I’ll just go through them real quickly. I mean we’re at about an hour anyway, but one you’re told to feel lucky you have a job. I can’t even imagine somebody saying that every like, I’m sorry, what what did you just to poor communication. three, everyone has a bad attitude for there’s always office drama. Five dysfunction rains six. You have a tyrannical boss and seven you feel in your gut, something is off or all the above. Right? So those are seven signs of a toxic work environment. Check yourself. Make sure that you’re not being subjected to that yourself. Uh, so that’s, that’s the article that’s about living healthy. I, I suggest that people read it. I’d love to hear comments on it. I’d love people to add their pieces. Give us some advice. I certainly don’t have all the answers. I’d love to hear more. Um, about what’s working for you. What’s not working for you? How do you deal with stress? Um, maybe you have even a more stressful job than we do, which I’m sure there is. I can’t imagine being a full time incident responder. Uh, you know that big pain,
[01:02:44] Shawn Pollard: we think, you know, at the end of the day, what we do is important and I’m trying to don’t play that. But we’re not doctors with blood on her hands all day or if I make it, but we’re going to get to that. Are we?
[01:02:54] Evan Francen: Well, we were going to talk about medical devices and things. There we go. But I used to use that thing. I used to say, hey man, take the particular load off. If you’re report doesn’t get done tomorrow. Nobody’s going to die. Right? But now we’re putting, you know, coyote. So it’s like I can’t even and now you have to patch your car and I have to patch your plane. You know, it’s like, well, maybe somebody will die if I don’t to this, right?
[01:03:23] Shawn Pollard: It’s getting to that level. I’m sure it’s
[01:03:26] Evan Francen: nuts. Which then brings us into the news. But I’m sorry. I interrupted,
[01:03:30] how to start a cybersecurity career: you know,
[01:03:31] Evan Francen: I used to use that all the time. I’m like, dude, take a load off, right, Nobody’s gonna die. Right? And then I got to thinking of like crap, I might be lying to somebody now, nuts. All right. So the news, Yeah, we had three, I just have three news things. You know, these are things I thought were interesting last week. You could be very interesting. You can pick a billion things, but one is the Tesla car being hacked that they owned their own contest. Zd net has the article, there’s tons articles. If you just google Tesla hack, you’ll find plenty of information about this one. But this was the plan to own conference in Vancouver. Uh, Tesla car was hacked, surprise, surprise everything. Anything can be hacked. Uh, but that, that, I guess the convicting thing in all of this. So they were awarded $375,000 in reward money and a bunch of things. Um, the concerning thing is, I don’t want my car act, you know, I want, I want a simple car, you know, I want a 67 Chevelle, you know, that you can’t hack it, right? Not unless you’re physically there to hack it. I want a supercharger on it. Right. Go ahead. No but I mean the simple stuff, I mean what was wrong with that car? It got me from POINT A. To POINT B. That was the reason why I had the car. But now everything’s gotta be electronic, everything’s got to be and we think it makes our lives simpler. We do it because it’s convenient. It makes our lives easier. No it doesn’t make your life more complex, more stressed now I have to worry about patching my car and going down the road and having to power off. Right? I mean
[01:05:17] Shawn Pollard: It’s 80 mph. Yeah
[01:05:19] Evan Francen: 700 you know and that’s and it’s just gonna get worse and worse and that’s my concern. Um I like technology. I really do. I just don’t I don’t like it everywhere and I like it and everything. Where do I run? Where do I get away from it for just a week or two. I go into my car, I’m connected to my house. I got a IOT I don’t but I’m saying speaking in generalities it’s in your house it’s in your car, it’s at work, it’s a dad you’re playing it’s in your feet. No I don’t I don’t have anything in my my you know what? I drive, I drive an F 2 50 2015 there’s no electronics in that thing. It’s not connected to nothing and still has software because everything every car after like 2000s to probably has some software in it, but nobody’s going to hack it. I don’t have a Wifi interface or anything. I mean, you have to get in and do O B O T B two, whatever, you know, uh, you have to flash it. But yeah, it’s frustrating. It really is because people are going to die. It’s just, you know, when we said, well, don’t worry about it, man, nobody’s gonna die. They are going to die. I mean, that’s just the way it goes. I mean keep playing this forward, right? Um, because the next, you know, now they’ve taught, you know, there’s there’s been lots of discussion over the years about autonomous vehicles, vehicles that drive themselves. Well, great. Who quoted that because of the fact of the matter is no matter how much you test the code, no matter how many people you have look at it, no matter how it was written, there’s going to be a flaw. Exactly. You know, human beings just do that.
[01:07:04] Shawn Pollard: 7 37. Yeah,
[01:07:07] Evan Francen: yeah, so the seven and the 7 37 well, in the in the 7 37 max, you know, they say, well, it’s not the software that caused the crash, but it’s we can make it better by applying the patch what? Okay. Yeah, to patch something that doesn’t okay, I don’t I’m confused,
[01:07:27] Shawn Pollard: but whatever the logic is really skewed on that one,
[01:07:30] Evan Francen: right? So, but you’ll be patching planes will be patching cars and dispatching trains will be patching bicycles, you’ll be patching skateboards. I mean every devices, everything is going to need a damp patch now. Great. Yet nothing is going to have an interface to patch it with. Right. And this is crazy. So fema. Uh, what I’m done ranting on that. It’s just, it’s just, it’s getting scary, man. Uh oh second news article was fema, leaks sensitive details of 2.3 million disastrous survivors. This one’s sad because these are disastrous survivors. Kick them when they don’t Yeah, they’re survivors. They made it through a disaster. Probably a good portion of these people busted their tails to get back on their feet, you know, to this place where they’re at. And then, Oh, great. The one the organization I trusted to help me here now lost my data. Now I know that no matter what we do, we can’t prevent all breaches and bad things from happening. It’s just unfortunate. It’s sad that that deal with this. Right? So that uh, yeah. And all the links for these are in the show notes, you know, that we’re going by. Uh, and then the last one was facebook and I can rent all day about facebook to facebook google apple. If you think they actually care about your privacy or a fool
[01:08:53] Shawn Pollard: they don’t. Absolutely, yeah. And they prove it just over and over.
[01:08:58] Evan Francen: Right? I mean, and when they they fool you into thinking that they are so much for privacy right? They’ll take the lead and they’ll make public statements and make manifestos about a privacy so important for us. We’re pulling for a federal privacy law and all this other stuff. Well why would you be doing that? Because I want one law as opposed to the hundreds that we have today in dealing with privacy. So it makes it simpler for them. Plus this is a great opportunity for me to put a great face forward and play a big pr thing on everybody and make them think that I really care. But then you see the incident response their public statements on incidents, they don’t care. I mean, google sat on a breach earlier last last year for months and didn’t tell anybody about it. And then when they did tell you about it, like I don’t
[01:09:46] how to start a cybersecurity career: worry about it come off
[01:09:47] Shawn Pollard: whenever I think we’re so prone to listen to the very last news bite and then believe in it.
[01:09:53] Evan Francen: Well, the fact of the matter is uh yeah, yeah, I mean, I don’t I don’t know, I forgot I was gonna say cause I’m getting fired up about this, but
[01:10:03] Shawn Pollard: your face is during the red.
[01:10:05] Evan Francen: Well it’s not it’s not facebook’s information, it’s not your information. And so for you to treat it the way you treat it. And then and then to respond with some of the words that you used in response to it. You have no right uh 600 million accounts or hundreds of millions of accounts stored in clear text. Is that so we need to tell you that that was not a good idea. And then, you know what thousands of database queries, you know, logged
[01:10:33] Shawn Pollard: well. And to say that none of that got out. I mean, come on. Seriously. I mean,
[01:10:39] Evan Francen: so anyway, that’s that’s the news. Anyway, Tesla car get getting hacked, fema leaks. The 2.3 million disastrous survivor’s accounts are details and then facebook um,
[01:10:50] Shawn Pollard: passwords when I read uh there’s e voting machines now because they want to connect all this stuff to the internet like you’re talking about. So they’re gonna expose all the source code as open source to the hacker community to validate its um, breach proof? Sure. So that’ll be interesting.
[01:11:12] Evan Francen: Sure. Yeah.
[01:11:14] Shawn Pollard: Think about that voting machines. Open source.
[01:11:16] Evan Francen: And that’s been an ongoing debate forever. Right? If I make something open, like open source software is more secure than commercial software is the, you know, the ongoing debate back and forth. Uh the software software, it’s all got issues. Right? So yeah, when I’ve just exposed the the the source code, you know, I guess it just makes a little bit easier for somebody to find the flaws. Good guys and bad guys. The thing is, do you, are there enough good guys with time on their hands to devote to it without getting paid to actually vet the code, Right? The white house maybe black cats, That’s what they do for a living. So they’ve got time. Right? So yeah, that’s interesting. All right. Anyway, we’re uh, we went along today, but I thought it was fun. I really enjoyed talking about things that are really dear and personal to me because if I’m not healthy for myself, I’m not healthy for my family. I’m not healthy for my clients. I’m not healthy for the industry. I’m not healthy for anybody. So don’t underestimate the importance of health. Um, even though we’ve all got things to work on, like I I have certainly a physical security. Our physical, I could get in better shape. I could go running, I could do more cardio. I could eat better. I could stop drinking, smoking all this other stuff. Actually don’t drink. So that’s good. Um, that would go a long way towards me being a lot healthier. So those are things I need to work on, you know, and I’ll use my support structure to do that. But we all have things we all do to work on. So get honest, live long. Um, because there will be a day to when you retire and how sad would it be to run this race? You know, have a 30 year career in information security and then get to the end of it and die or not have any energy left to really enjoy the fruits of your labor
[01:13:11] Shawn Pollard: health is in such bad condition where you can’t function right? We see it all time.
[01:13:16] Evan Francen: Absolutely. So don’t don’t please don’t underestimate that there’s no amount of anything that matters. Uh That’s that uh next week brad will be back. But I’m gonna we’ll have you back again too because I think there’s some good things that we’ve talked about over the last day or so that are good things for us to to share.
[01:13:36] Shawn Pollard: Its been fun. Uh Road trip has been good. We had a great customer and had some phenomenal interchange and and I’m learning a ton as every day I’ve been doing. So it’s a garden hose. So always use. Yeah. Yeah.
[01:13:52] Evan Francen: Ah Don’t forget to follow me or brad. And then we were talking about earlier. You don’t have a twitter but maybe
[01:13:59] Shawn Pollard: maybe soon.
[01:13:59] Evan Francen: Yeah. Right. Yeah. I’ll tweet tweet the crap out of it man. Yeah. Something retweet your tweets or something like tweet tweet. Yeah. Why not? But if you want to follow brad or I that’s probably the best place because we usually post a lot of new stuff. Articles that were written events that were going to whatever we’re doing. Uh Mine is at Evan francine just my name. Evan francine no space uh brad’s is at brad and I. The thing about brad’s last name is he snuck a I don’t know why I spelled it this way. Family thing. I guess N. I G H
[01:14:34] Shawn Pollard: it is,
[01:14:34] Evan Francen: is brad. So we’re both there. Um, and as always, we’d love to hear your comments. Love to hear your questions. Uh, if you’re struggling with something, I mean you heard some things today, uh, if you want help man email us, we’ll see what we can do. I mean we won’t neglect it. That’s for sure. Uh, and you can email us show at UN security at proton mail dot com. And that’s a wrap.
[01:14:59] Shawn Pollard: Very cool. Thank you. Thank you.