Profile: Jose Neto, Information Security
by Danielle Castelli
Jose Neto’s passion for information security really comes through when you talk to him about his chosen field. Jose, an information security agent for the Department of Defense and recent Examplify Subject Matter Expert (SME), appreciates the knowledge he gets to absorb through his colleagues and clients. “I get a chance to work with the brightest minds in the computer security world,” Jose explains. “As a professional, I get to basically absorb all of their knowledge and expertise, and I get to see things from different angles.”
At only eight years old, Jose started his lifelong love of technology with an interest in taking apart and exploring computers. He used Gopher, an early application layer protocol, before the World Wide Web became a part of everyday life. “Scientists were posting technology research [on Gopher]. Even as a teenager, I was actually trying to make some sense of it,” says Jose. “I loved the technology field, and knew it was what I wanted to pursue in the future.”
Jose sees security and encryption as one of the biggest issues facing us today. He stresses the increased importance of having security attached to any electronic venue in which people are entering or exchanging personal information – something that has become ubiquitous at a rate not matched by required high-level security. How do we catch up, security-wise, to the increasingly normalized exchange of personal information online? “One step, in my opinion, to move forward on this is encryption,” Jose offers. “There’s no current requirement to implement encryption in a lot of areas. There are always different ways to innovate. But with the technology we have at this moment, encryption is a step in the right direction.”
Network security is one of Jose’s areas of expertise, and the topic of the Examplify workshop he participated in – something he had been wanting to do. Years ago, Jose says, he began to follow certification programs and acquire technology certifications. With the additional certifications, he became a well-rounded professional – not only academically, he says, but with real-world experience and credentials. “I knew the value of certifications and what CompTIA was doing with standardizing the professional competency. When I got the message for the Examplify workshop, I was really thrilled to be involved and contribute.” Exchanging ideas with other experts in your field is often one of the most enjoyable aspects of being a subject matter expert. “Having all of the experts in the room adds a lot of value to building assessments with real-world applications, which is highly beneficial for students and professionals,” Jose says.
A self-described “lifelong learner,” Jose is currently working on his PhD in information assurance. He is striving to learn more about the research process. “I want to help mold the future of technology,” he states. “Having a PhD gives me that scope: that my research will no longer be something local for just my company, or my university; it’s going to be something that makes more of a global impact.”
One of Jose’s concentrations is cryptocurrency. Having a decentralized currency that no one central entity controls “really became a disruptive technology, but it can probably be implemented effectively throughout the world,” says Jose. “I want to be one of the early researchers that will help guide and move that particular technology.”
Another area of interest for Jose is BCI, or Brain/Computer Interface. Jose wants to learn more about what he calls “the one computer that no one has been able to fully understand.” BCI is not as far-out or sci-fi as some may think: “There are already ways to connect EKG sensors to the brain and control computers, so there is going to be a security arena just like we have with other computer systems, such as OnStar,” Jose explains. “At this point, it is just like any technology: first, everyone just works on making it functional, but they don’t really think about the security implications. That’s why I want to get myself ahead of the game.”
Jose takes his love of technology to other areas of interest in his life, including sound production, multimedia, and drone photography. He has a personal recording studio where he does digital recording and video production. On his free time, Jose can also be found flying his drone, capturing aerial footage.
Discussing the finer points of security encryption, BCI, and home drone flying is riveting and intellectually stimulating – the kinds of discussions you get to have with other like-minded experts when participating as a SME. “That’s what drives me to be involved with organizations like Examplify and CompTIA,” Jose says. “At the end of the day, if I can make an impact, that’s a goal of mine.”