Tell us about what your business does.
I guess you could say I'm a White Hat Hacker or Penetration Tester. Often these labels are used by the media to describe what I do. I've been breaking into computer networks for about 10 years, both in Canada and the US. As an employee of a Cyber Security company, I was fortunate enough to travel and work with clients from 30 to thousands of endpoints in many market verticals. (An endpoint being a computer workstation or server). I've worked with Police Services, School Boards, Law Firms, Municipalities, Public Utilities to Manufacturing. While working with these clients, despite their budgets and IT departments I quickly identified similar issues across all clients, regardless of size.
While medium and large companies have an IT department and big budgets to secure their computers and network, the little guy, the small and micro business has no such luxury. Some rely on "The IT Guy", but often they are not Cyber Security experts. Often, simple Cyber Security Best Practices are overlooked by "The IT Guy". I saw an opportunity to offer my expertise, ability to train people, identify Cyber Security gaps, Hack into networks, offer advise and developed an All-Inclusive Cyber Security managed service at prices everyone can afford. Cyber Security should be accessible and affordable to everyone. Our lives are so deeply entrenched in the online world, Cyber Security and Privacy is no longer an option. Therefore, I decided to leave my previous job, create my own company and offer Cyber Security services and training to micro and small businesses. If you're worried about Ransomware, Privacy, getting hacked or anything to do with Cyber Security at home or your business I can help.
What is your mission statement?
"Educate our clients to think like a Hacker"
Company Core Values include:
• Transfer knowledge through training
• Passion for Cyber Security
•Make Cyber Security simple and affordable
•Eliminate the fear
What do you love most about what you do?
I love to travel, meet people and get a rush from the chase. What I mean by the chase, is searching clients' networks and computer systems for that needle in the haystack that permits full control over their computer systems or network. Sometimes it’s easy, only taking minutes, other times it can take hours or full day. My record is 20 minutes, and that includes opening my laptop and waiting for Windows to start. Fortunately those "easy ones" don't happen much these days. Windows security has been greatly improved over the years. Although there are many ways an attacker can defeat security controls or take over a network. Usually through weak passwords and lack of best practices. We call this "Low Hanging Fruit". It’s a case of "I don't know, what I don't know" meaning these easy things are overlooked, ignored or simply unknown to most non-IT users.
How does the work that you do change the world or give back to our community in a positive way?
Most Cyber Security solutions are priced out of reach for micro and small businesses. Some vendors don't even bother having a solution priced for that market segment. My view is different, I want to offer solutions that are affordable to everyone, even a home based business with one computer or the super small law office with 2 or 3 computers. Cyber Security Solutions and implementing Best Practices can be affordable for all market segments. That is what I want to do. Be the Cyber Security resource for the little guy.
What do you love most about working at Innovation Works that you are looking forward to coming back to?
I'm new to Innovation Works, I'm not sure what to expect. But the staff, especially Lore W. has been wonderful at welcoming me and even permitted me to work from a Flex desk few days, to try it out so to speak. I have to say, I really enjoyed having an office type atmosphere. I'm primarily looking forward to interacting with others at Innovation Works, joining the community and participating in events. I think we've been isolated at home far too long. It will be a nice change. I'm really looking forward to it.
What is the best thing that has happened for you or your business as a result of working at Innovation Works?
I felt a really positive 'vibe' while using the Flex desk for several days, before deciding to become a tenant at my permanent desk. I'm really looking forward to meeting other tenants and perhaps collaborating, sharing ideas and networking. Also, I'm really looking forward to offering some short (Free) Cyber Security training sessions for other tenants.
How have you had to adapt your business as a result of COVID-19?
Like everyone else everything moved to Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Information Technology Companies were quite fortunate because most were already equipped and ready to tackle the virtual norm. In fact, it feels bad saying this, but from what I've heard when talking to other IT People, the Pandemic was good for business. Many IT Service Companies were kept very busy as everyone scrambled to get online. When it comes to Cyber Security, that is something many are only looking at now, after moving their workforce online in a super short period of time. I suspect many still have Security challenges, and are vulnerable to attack.
Have you been able to contribute to any community initiatives to help those impacted by COVID-19?
Working from home, I've been pretty isolated. However, I have completed some User Awareness Training for a non profit in the Windsor area. In fact, as a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) part of my certification requirements, I offer basic cyber security advice to anyone free of charge. So if you have some questions, please feel free to reach out.
What do you hope will be different about the world or our community after COVID-19?
We are all in this together, at the end of the day we are all Human and should treat each other with dignity and respect. The other sad truth is the extreme homelessness I witnessed in London, especially the downtown core. Unfortunately the vulnerable population becomes more vulnerable in times of extreme distress like this pandemic. My hope is the provincial and federal governments do more. If Canada's Federal government was able to find Billions of bail-out dollars for rich Corporations, I think homelessness could also be solved through better funding. Unfortunately that is not the case, and I suspect will continue to be overlooked for many years to come.
To learn more about Centra Cyber Security and Tom Bigos, check out the website here.
To contact Tom, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org