This month we’ll get to know LIVEcommunity Cyber Elite expert, @PavelK. Our Cyber Elite members are among LIVEcommunity's top contributors and we are excited to be featuring them via our community interviews!
Pavel, who hails from Czech Republic, started his career as a System Administrator before becoming a Network Engineer and focusing on cybersecurity. He currently works as a Security Engineer, mostly focusing on NGFW, EDR, SIEM and SOAR, in Tokyo. He has more than 15 years of IT experience and holds his CCIE. He enjoys helping others and answering questions in LIVEcommunity. In his spare time, he loves to snowboard, ski, and go on long runs.
We recently had an opportunity to talk to Pavel about Palo Alto Networks, his journey in cybersecurity, and of course, being a LIVEcommunity Cyber Elite.
What does it mean to be a Palo Alto Networks Cyber Elite?
To be honest, I would be engaging in LIVEcommunity regardless of my community rank. But if you press me, I would say that it recognizes my ability to help in any situation.
What was your first experience with Palo Alto Networks?
Back in 2017, I joined an organization that recently started with a role in Palo Alto Networks Firewalls. This was a starting point for me and from there it started to grow by implementing more firewalls as well as adding additional products such as Panorama and XSOAR.
What motivated you to start engaging in the LIVEcommunity?
While I was going through some of the unanswered topics, I realized that I faced the same issue and felt pity not to answer it if I knew the solution, so I started to get engaged. That is how I started.
What keeps you coming back today to the LIVEcommunity?
In general, I go through every topic/discussion in LIVEcommunity. What interests me are issues other people are facing and solutions to those problems provided by community peers. Even though I do not necessarily have hands-on experience with some of the products, I still go through all those posts to broaden my view and get a better understanding how community members are using products and what common challenges are.
What advice would you offer to new community members?
From my point of view, LIVEcommunity is the right size: not too small, not too big and has the right balance of people, including customers, partners, and Palo Alto Networks employees. With all these diverse community members, there is a good chance to get an answer or suggestion — so do not hesitate to make a post!
What advice would you give to someone who is just getting started with PAN products ?
Go through LIVEcommunity videos, go through Palo Alto Best Practices and setup guides.
How do you think others can up-level their cybersecurity knowledge ?
For someone who is starting completely fresh, I would recommend starting with the IT fundamentals on how things are working. Get a decent understanding of how networks and computers function. Get an overview about cloud technologies and basics of programming, then pick one or more areas of cybersecurity to focus on and specialize in that area.
For someone who is already an experienced professional, it is tricky to give some advice, as this field is so diverse. I suppose I would say don't be afraid to explore soft skills alongside deepening of IT/Cybersecurity knowledge!
What aspect of working in cybersecurity do you find most interesting or exciting?
Continuous learning and strive to understand things inside-and-out.
What's the number one thing individuals aren’t doing but should do to secure their virtual worlds?
This is a tricky question. Honestly, since cybersecurity is such a broad topic that can go into depth in every aspect, it is hard to pick just one. On a general note, I would say it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Stick to best practices and do not overlook nor underestimate anything.
What can you share with us about your typical workday, daily routines ...
Typically, I get up early and start with my morning routine, which includes reading through latest cybersecurity news, vulnerability reports, cybersecurity blogs, etc. Then I spend my day working on daily tasks, depending on priority, attending meetings and going through logs or dealing with ongoing issues. I always aim to put aside at least one hour in the afternoon for study and approximately one more hour before bedtime.
What do you do in your free time when you’re not working?
Due to family life, I have limited free time, however if I manage to get some time off, I enjoy snowboarding and skiing in the winter, outdoor activities in the summer, and the sauna all year-long!
What’s your community super power?
I do not think I have any super power. As a community member, I aim to reply with utmost respect and politeness.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Pavel, our featured Cyber Elite expert this month. If you have any specific questions for Pavel, please reach out to him in the community by tagging him in a post with his username @PavelK or post a comment in the section below.
Be sure to visit the Cyber Elite Program page to learn more, and stay tuned as we’ll continue to interview and feature all of our Cyber Elite members!