Continuing our theme of highlighting our technicians, this week we sat down with Brandon Armstrong, Senior Engineer and Cybersecurity Specialist to discuss how he got started in the field, what he as a cybersecurity professional sees coming on the horizon, and more about what he does at TSP to bolster our cybersecurity offerings. If you haven’t been following this series, check out our profiles on Adam Fisk, Paulo Rodrigues, and Jason Ross as well!
Education and Early Career in Tech
Since high school, Brandon has had a passion for IT and computers. He started his education by enrolling in the pilot program through the San Antonio College for the Information Technology and Security Academy. This program allowed him to split his time in high school between regular courses and college-level IT courses.
After taking courses in Computer Science and Mathematics at UTSA, Brandon made his way to work for Apple. While many TSP employees worked at Apple stores in a semi-retail fashion, Brandon worked in Austin for more than four years at their corporate office. While many think of Cupertino, California, as Apple’s headquarters, Austin is their largest campus, with over 10,000 employees. During his time at Apple, Brandon became an expert in Apple support, learning from the best, and even was there when Tim Cook officially launched the new offices in Austin.
In 2020, Brandon graduated from WGU with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management – Information Technology from WGU.
From Apple Help Desk to Cybersecurity
When Brandon started at TSP, it was a much smaller team than we have today. He was initially hired to be the Apple help desk expert, but over time had the opportunity to pursue what interested him most, cybersecurity.
“I’ve always been interested in cybersecurity. Everything else in tech changes, but cybersecurity isn’t going away. Computer repair shops close, hardware changes, but security at its core remains constant.” – Brandon Armstrong.
As our resident cybersecurity expert, Brandon keeps up to date with the latest industry practices by attending conferences (check out his biggest takeaways on last year’s IT Nation Secure Conference), trainings, and gaining certifications.
Most impressively, Brandon just finished his training with ISACA and completed his CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification. This certification is a world-renowned standard of achievement that not only proves Brandon has the knowledge and tools to audit client systems, but it adds further legitimacy to TSP’s popular cybersecurity audits. Learn more about ISACA certifications and their importance in our new article.
Cybersecurity has always been Brandon’s main IT interest, but when he first went to college, it wasn’t offered as a course or major. This spring, Brandon plans to go back to school for his master’s in Cybersecurity & Information Assurance at WGU.
When speaking of favorite projects at TSP, Brandon mentions working on video Wall installation at Kayak and transitioning to being the RMM support for TSP, but he is most happy with the development of cybersecurity training for our clients. He has given three in the past few months, helping organizations prepare their employees for cyber threats and how to identify phishing scams. These trainings not only help organizations prepare themselves better for a cyber attack but help to introduce them to the services TSP offers beyond our standard managed IT services.
On top of the cybersecurity trainings Brandon leads, he also is responsible for developing relationships with INFIMA and KnowB4. Through a partnership with both, Brandon and TSP have developed regular cybersecurity training emailed to our clients. These educate our clients on certain cybersecurity threats and test their knowledge on how to react when they do happen.
The Future of IT
Discussing what’s on the horizon for IT, Brandon remarks the biggest thing coming is standardization for MSPs. Right now, no real standard exists that MSPs are beholden. The standard getting the most traction right now is the CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification). It’s the one people are paying the most attention to for MSPs as it’s what is currently used for government contractors.
“With all of these standards out there, it will be interesting to see which ones become required for MSPs to operate. If any of these do become a requirement, it will really change the game for how MSPs do business and operate.” – Brandon Armstrong
As we wrapped up our discussion, Brandon left some parting advice for those new in the field. “Make sure you eat lunch in the break room. Make sure you attend company happy hours. This interaction with your coworkers, especially the more senior members will help you when you need advice or solutions to a problem you’re stuck on.”
Make sure to stick around for other upcoming profiles in IT, highlighting TSP technicians and what makes them integral to our success. Interested in bringing our managed services to your organization, or want to learn more about our cybersecurity audits? Contact us today to get started!