“The LIVEcommunity keeps my skills sharp” — Get valuable insights from Cyber Elite expert Steven Cantwell!
This month we’ll get to know LIVEcommunity Cyber Elite expert, Steven Cantwell. Our Cyber Elite members are among the top contributors within the LIVEcommunity and we are excited to be featuring them via our community interviews.
Steven Cantwell, Cyber EliteWith more than 23 years of experience in IT and cybersecurity, Steven is a Senior Security Architect for Cloud Harmonics, a Palo Alto Networks preferred Authorized Training Partner (ATP). Steven holds Palo Alto Networks certifications as a PCNSA, PCNSE, and PCNSC and has spent the past eight years working for Elite ATPs as a certified instructor for all Palo Alto Networks EDU classes. Lastly, Steven is the Business Lead for Cloud Harmonics’ Professional Services, focusing on implementations and migrations to Palo Alto Networks Strata, Prisma, and Cortex branded solutions.
We recently had an opportunity to talk to Steven about Palo Alto Networks (PANW), his journey in cybersecurity, and of course, being a LIVEcommunity Cyber Elite. Read on to get his thoughts on these topics and more.
What does being a LIVEcommunity Cyber Elite mean to you?
For me, it acknowledges that Palo Alto Networks and its community members value the level of knowledge, technical detail, and experience that a Cyber Elite offers to the community at large.
Personally, I love being able to assist with the easy questions, and then digging into tougher scenarios. The LIVEcommunity keeps my skills sharp.
What was your first experience with Palo Alto Networks products?
My first experience was learning to be a Presales engineer within my company, with the job of being a network security instructor, teaching Palo Alto Networks authorized training courses. That was nine years ago, and wow, has the industry changed. From firewalls to virtualization, to public cloud, and now Prisma and Cortex.
What motivated you to start engaging in LIVEcommunity?
My career experience has already been technical in nature. When I first started working as a consultant, with roles of presales, post-sales, and training, I realized that I was in a position to make a difference. That I either had, or was experiencing some of the same issues/concerns that new customers or engineers were facing. So being able to learn a new feature (before it was released) and then assist others, offers a great reward. As the saying goes, “Sharing is caring!”
What keeps you coming back to the community?
Oh, the pace of business moves at IT speeds. There is so much to offer, but also, there is so much more to learn. No single person can retain all knowledge. We all have our specialties. I learn from the other Cyber Elites about their method of asking questions, their methods of assistance, etc. It is great to get a notification that “You got a Like…” and even “Your Suggestion was accepted as a Solution.”
In addition, it is interesting to see people grow their skills. I have watched as new members introduce themselves in community and evolve into seasoned engineers who later add insight when replying to my comments, or even venture to share different perspectives to resolve issues.
“Personally, I love being able to assist with the easy questions, and then digging into tougher scenarios. The LIVEcommunity keeps my skills sharp.”
What is your message to newcomers in community?
The LIVEcommunity should always be the first place to look for technical knowledge and assistance. There is quite a following within the Community, so that you get to know people, albeit for a brief moment. Don’t be shy, ask! We are mentors!
Can you tell us about a typical day at work? What are some of your daily routines, including how you come to the community to support that?
A typical day is organized chaos, to say the least. I am responsible (in part) for supporting our virtual training labs, as Palo Alto Networks releases new courseware. This includes installing/configuring whatever solution (firewall, computers, cloud based) is needed for the course. In addition, I am the Lead of our professional services, which has responsibilities for presales and post sales activities. Lastly, I am a fully certified security instructor, teaching all classes offered by Palo Alto Networks. Altogether, there are times where I need information and the LIVEcommunity is where I go for information. Naturally, I view open/unanswered questions and then off I go, to assist those who are in need.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
What is that? I am married to a Brazilian who loves the beach, so naturally (living in Florida), beaches are accessible year-round. I recently joined a new campaign for a role based game, as well as having down time to play some console games.
Who is your cybersecurity inspiration?
Great question. There was an AMAZING instructor/technical Lead who used to work for Palo Alto Networks in the Education department. His ability to translate highly technical jargon into everyday training language was amazing.
Next, I look inward to my company. I am honored to work with my co-worker and our director, two senior level engineers, who literally have dabbled in just about everything, within their 20+ years in IT. They are the reasons why I wanted to work for my current employer. “Excellence in all things. In all things, excellence.” (His catch phrase, just for the record.)
What is your LIVEcommunity superpower?
Empathy, really. Everyone is looking for assistance. For someone who goes beyond just “read the manual” or “click this link,” but understanding and mentoring a person (even to the slightest degree) is rewarding. If customers/partners/end users succeed, then by extension, Palo Alto Networks has done its job. By enabling me to give back to the Community, we work together to allow success to grow.
“The LIVEcommunity should always be the first place to look for technical knowledge and assistance.”
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Steven, our featured Cyber Elite expert this month. If you have any specific questions for Steven, please reach out to him in the community by tagging him in a post with his username @SteveCantwell 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!