Chief Information Security Officer
30
Jul

James McLeary, EVP Head of Information Security Office at TMB Bank PCL, Talks about the EC-Council Certifications

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Read what James McLeary had to say on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ec-council-certifications-james-mcleary/

On the subject of professional certifications in security, my views have changed over time. Admittedly, I used to consider certifications a bit of a nice-to-have as the course material often did not keep-up with the real-life application of the subject matter. However, in today’s cyber security field, i see certification as necessary to keep-up with the rapidly changing environment and an opportunity to step-back and take a strategic look at the overall landscape. Thankfully, the courses on offer today also present a real-world view of cyber security and are continually updated to reflect latest trends.

I started my career as a software engineer, later moving into IT management roles. From there, I took several senior risk management posts before coming back to the fast-developing arena of cybersecurity. I love what I do; it’s my subject of passion, as a CISO, I get to apply technology, risk management, and a whole host of skills day to day.

Apart from all of this, the Certified CISO (C|CISO) credential was a unique offering and the one that was required. I am also a proud Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH). Both of these EC-Council programs left me with abundant knowledge: the C|CISO through online videos which were self-paced with a credible online exam, which made this C|CISO credential special for my career; and the C|EH, which was classroom-based with extensive training materials that can be referenced far beyond the actual course itself. The C|CISO training came with a few significant takeaways: establishing Cybersecurity Framework and working with the board and other executives to increase awareness, learning various cyber attack methods to develop a pen-test program and new cyber playbooks as part of Incident Response.

Next up I may take the Certified Ethical Hacker Master program to further develop my technical skill-set, or move on to the ECSA (Certified Security Analyst). Afterall, I firmly believe that a successful CISO should have governance, risk & compliance skill-set as well as a strong technical standing.

My word of advice to budding cybersecurity professionals is to go for it! There are lots of opportunities and a shortage of talent in the industry. Dip your toes in the water, try attaining a credible credential like the C|CISO or the C|EH if you like it, and you’ll be hooked in no time. Feel free to contact me if you would like any advice on certifications and courses.

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