Inside IT Security: Steve Hasson
Steve Hasson joined CIS in March as its Lead IT Security Engineer. Steve is part of the newly-formed IT Security team, which will be led by the Chief Information Security Officer (search in process), and includes Bob Fletcher, IT Security Engineer, and Pat Falcon, IT Security Policy and Communication Coordinator.
Q: What did you do before coming to Brown?
A: I've worked at a variety of businesses and institutions: Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, One Beacon, Citizens Bank, GTECH Corporation, Bryant University (taught), and New England Technology (taught). I started out as a helpdesk technician, quickly moved to a network engineer from Cisco, and was then promoted to a senior network engineer focusing on security. I obtained my CISSP then moved into a senior security engineer position.
Q: What was it about IT security that attracted you?
A: I was drawn to it because of my role as a network engineer – I realized the need and wanted to be part of the solution.
Q: Though you've been at Brown for only a short time, have you noted any differences between the corporate and academic environments?
A: Yes, that the university community wants to maintain openness no matter what the cost, and is therefore slower to adopt security measures. I believe that with the proper education – raising the level of security awareness, taking a slow, careful and honest approach – appropriate security can be instituted without losing the openness that the university is used to.
Q: What are some of the CIS projects you'll be working on during the coming months?
Q: What was first "outside the box" thing you did using a computer?
A: I created a company whose sole niche was cleaning computers. This was very lucrative at a time when computers were considered an asset – with an upgrade path – rather than just a commodity, so there was value in keeping them running and clean.
Q. What do you do for fun, that doesn't have to do with computers?
A. I enjoy my two boys – playing football, boating, finding 4 leaf clovers and going to motor cross tracks – as well as my motorcycle (named Stiletto, Stella for short) and my boat (Catfish, or Lady Cat). I also represent Edgewood Galleries, presenting fine art at silent benefit auctions both nationally and regionally.
Q: What would be the most important piece of IT security advice that you'd like to pass on to the average user?
A: Keep your system patched and do not run services that aren't necessary.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
A: Big things are coming – but I need your help to create a service industry that actually solves a need.