John Chambers

Info Security Consultant

<p>John Chambers</p>

Interview

Why do you like working for Key?

Throughout my career at Key, I’ve seen several people leave and then return. I think that speaks volumes for those of us who stay. For me, the supportive culture here is important. There is a commitment to and investment in my development as an employee. For example, we have career assessments that encourage us to ask ourselves questions we might not think to ask about our career path. The enterprise mentoring program, MentorMe at Key, allows you to work with a leader on professional development topics that interest you. I’ve worked on communication, prioritization, presenting, and knowing my worth – topics that don’t always get discussed outside of a mentoring relationship. I’ve also participated in a program called “Aspiring Leaders,” which has played a considerable role in my development through senior leader networking, presentation training, and learning to be an influencer. I haven’t felt the need to look outside of Key because there are so many directions I can go internally.

What’s interesting about your work in information security?

My team manages vulnerabilities. That means we’re constantly looking for weaknesses in our systems that bad actors could exploit. Our job is to not only help assess the risk to our environment should these detected weaknesses be exploited but make sure the teams at Key are aware when concerns are discovered and of the actions that need to be taken to mitigate risk. I had a Technical Support background, and my first opportunity in InfoSec was as an Access Control Specialist. Moving to Vulnerability Management was a new learning opportunity for me, and like most people who aren’t in Info Sec, I had no idea of the level of effort it takes to keep our systems safe.

The satisfaction comes with knowing you are on the front lines of protecting the company. When I see teams engaged and issues resolved, I know I’m doing work that makes a difference. A less organized approach could be disastrous for the organization. We have a large team and many resources that allow us to manage security in more granular ways—it’s crucial to focus your attention on the Info Sec world.

Has Key contributed to your professional growth in any unique way?

Amy Brady, our Chief Technology Officer, gave advice that impacted me when she answered a question about knowing when it’s time to move to another position. If you are moving to a role where you aren’t challenged and moving because it’s not scary, perhaps it isn’t the right move. My leaders have encouraged me to pursue growth and new roles. We as employees must be proactive and make things happen, but there is no shortage of resources available if career growth is what you seek.

I would also say that Key has helped me develop more personally. There is a high degree of focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Key has been sponsoring open discussions about racial unrest issues, and we have committees coming up with ways to attract diverse talent and match people with opportunities.

What skills are you looking for on your team?

Analytical skills! Learning the software is easy, but critical thinking plays a significant role in someone’s success in Info Sec. We have a program called Tech Ready which is designed for people who aren’t in a tech role today but want to move to the tech side of the house. This is another great example of how Key is empowering people to grow.

What would you say if a job candidate asked you about Key’s culture and what it’s like to work on your team?

Teamwork is one of the core values that guides who we are as Key. I can genuinely say that the people at Key—both on my team and across other teams we interact with—play a significant role in my satisfaction as an employee. My teammates certainly make my work life more manageable. I’m the only team member in CT, but I still feel like I’m a part of a family. Regarding the teams we interact with, we have a large footprint, and communicating and connecting are essential. It’s rewarding to reach out to someone, and they reach back out, ready to remediate issues. There’s a level of camaraderie that’s very gratifying.

Key is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.