An Armed Forces Story: Protecting our Digital Way of Life

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On this Armed Forces Day, read An Armed Forces Story: Protecting our Digital Way of Life to see how two Palo Alto Networks employees, who are active in the military, utilize their experience to help protect our digital way of life. 

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For every leader in the commercial world, the ultimate goals are revenue and growth, and they know that the strength that supports these goals relies on the discipline and values of their staff.


For a global enterprise that holds cybersecurity to the highest standard such as Palo Alto Networks, the investment they make in their staff is the baseline that helps make “a world where each day is safer and more secure than the one before.”


Cybersecurity is now a global topic, making hackers and cyberattacks more of a threat, which means that it’s on everyone’s radar, both corporate and government around the world. In order to combat these threats, companies like Palo Alto Networks thrives on hiring staff that help us stay ahead of the curve, which includes veterans and military personnel.


While we approach Armed Forces Day in the United States, which is the third Saturday of May, dedicated to celebrating the creation of the different branches of our military, we want to recognize the contributions that our veterans and active military make to help protect our digital way of life on a national and global scale.


As the world’s leading cybersecurity company, we understand that it comes down to the right types of people to help us deliver the power to protect billions of people worldwide. The contributions that our veterans make helps us provide essential tools, including our cloud security platforms.


In a recent article about attacks and breaches to cloud customers, it stated, “cloud customers were hit with 681 million cyberattacks” in 2018 after cyber criminals leveraged “known software vulnerabilities, involved brute-force, and/or stolen credentials” (, 2019). 1st Lieutenant Jonathon Canada and Grandfather1st Lieutenant Jonathon Canada and Grandfather


In fact, our own Unit 42 research team reported that account compromises and compliance issues are increasing with “29% of organizations have potential account compromises” and where “32% of organizations publicly exposed at least one cloud storage service, 49% of databases are not encrypted, and 32% of GDPR compliance checks fail” (, 2018).


Jonathon Canada (@jcanada), Cloud Security Specialist at Palo Alto Networks and a Cyber Operations Office and 1st Lieutenant for the Army National Guard, knows the importance of cloud security very well. Through his military experience, he is familiar with enforcing cybersecurity best practices. Canada helps protect our digital way of life by architecting Palo Alto Networks cloud cybersecurity platform across Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.


“My military experience has taught me how to be adaptable, excel in situations requiring teamwork, and I’ve also had many opportunities to receive cybersecurity training, which of course has been very useful to Palo Alto Networks,” said Canada.


Keeping your company’s cloud security tight is just as important as any other types of cybersecurity. Our veterans and active military staff embrace a growth mindset and that enhances their ability to teach our customers how to operate our tools, maintain a safe network, and defend their information from cyberattacks.



Lieutenant Colonel Tim TreatLieutenant Colonel Tim TreatAccording to Unit 42, cyberattack increased in 2018, and a report they published explains how “cyber fraud schemes helped contribute to $1.29 billion that the FBI estimates was lost last year to Business Email Compromise schemes,” (, 2019).


Tim Treat (@TimTreat), Cyber Operations and Defense Expert at Palo Alto Networks and a Lieutenant Colonel Cyber Operations and Defense Officer for United States Air Force, ensures talented people across multiple industries have the capabilities needed to adopt new technologies and protect their organizat


Through his military experience, Treat developed the necessary skills to field innovative capabilities that enable IT and security professionals to operate, maintain and defend cyber systems as a team. “We wrote concepts of operations and doctrine to explain the capabilities and proper ways to employ them for operating and protecting what is now discussed as cyber – modern cybersecurity,” wrote Treat in his blog about cybersecurity (, 2014).


“The biggest thing I’ve learned, is that it’s all about people. Today, we don’t have the technical problems to train people properly on how to execute cybersecurity best practices,” said Treat. He added that “the right technologies exist to protect organizations, and helping customers consume measurable capabilities derived from technologies is a 21st century necessity.”


People such as 1st Lieutenant Canada and Lieutenant Colonel Treat have set excellent examples for veterans transitioning into civilian life, showing them how to use the values and experience learned during their military experience and applying it to a life in cybersecurity.


In fact, it is this line of thought that brings brilliance to the Veteran Training Initiative by Palo Alto Networks and how it can help veterans transition into careers in cybersecurity. In fact, Palo Alto Networks is a proud to partner with VETSinTECH, FourBlock veteran career readiness, and the Army Cyber Institute at West Point.


So for this Armed Forces Day, from a civilian like me who fully embraces freedom, I want to say thank you to 1st Lieutenant Canada, Lieutenant Colonel Treat, and all the veterans and active military men and women in cybersecurity for continually fighting to protect our digital way of life.


If you are a veteran or active military, whether in the United States or internationally/globally, and about to transition into civilian life, please take some time to explore the resources available to you on LIVEcommunity and on the main website for Palo Alto Networks.



Additional Information

Veterans at Palo Alto Networks

Veteran Training Initiative on LIVEcommunity

Introducing the Veteran Training Initiative

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