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Joël Stillhart, IT Security Consultant

Experis matches experienced professionals looking for a career move with leading employers. Joël Stillhart is an IT Security Consultant at InfoGuard, an innovative Swiss company specialising in networks and information security. He advises companies on information security and data privacy issues by designing security concepts, conducting regular audits and implementing security measures inline with current industry guidelines.

We sat down with Joël to find out what #experislife is like for him after moving from a large international consultancy to a local specialist company.

Experis: What is a typical day for you?
Joël: “Normally I start quite early, either at the office or working from home. At the moment I’m working more on security concepts so I will write papers, talk to the customers and conduct interviews. I also tend to have a lot of meetings with customers onsite so I visit their offices or when I’m doing security audits I will also go onsite.

There isn’t an average day because it depends on the projects I have. I love that everyday can be quite different. One of the reasons I moved to InfoGuard is actually because they are involved in a broad range of security topics which means I can get involved in everything.

Experis: What makes your job meaningful?
Joël: “IT Security has always been a very interesting topic for’s almost a little bit of a thrill being in contact with the ‘dark-side’ of the internet. It’s fascinating because it’s changing all the time..what’s secure now can be unsecure in a few hours as vulnerabilities are discovered and exploited.

I find my job meaningful because we’re there to protect something and to keep our customers’ businesses running. For example, a Denial of Service (DoS) attack could get very bad quickly which could then result in high losses for a bank. My job is to ensure that our customers’ systems are safe and secure from such attacks.

Experis: Why do you love your job?
Joël: “I love my job because it’s so diverse. I can meet customers and do the technical stuff, I can set up a system or a device but I can also create and design processes which will then be implemented on the customer’s side so my job is quite broad.

In the past, I mainly worked on security concepts, processes and technical audits but we also do penetration testing and social engineering campaigns. We also do phishing campaigns where we send out emails to get passwords from the customer’s employees. Interestingly, we saw a lot of employees who just typed in their credentials.

That’s what I like about small companies, at InfoGuard it’s easier to do different things which are related to IT security. In a big company it’s more complicated because they are more strict on what you can do and the topics you can work on.

Experis: What makes your colleagues/company great?
Joël: “I’ve been with the company now for 6 months and I love it because there’s less processes. In the past I worked for a big company with over 1000 employees and there you have a lot of processes which can sometimes stop you from working. Sometimes you get stuck on following processes but in a small company you can just focus on doing the work.

I am learning a lot from my colleagues because each one is an expert on a specific topic. IT security is quite diverse but each person is a specialist in one area which means I learn a lot when we’re working together on a project.

Experis: What makes your job engaging? Inspiring? Challenging?
Joël: “I have to keep myself up to date everyday on the newest threats and vulnerabilities which can be quite stressful from that perspective. IT security is not something you can just learn once so I have to educate myself all the time.

Risks and technologies are changing all the time so it could be quite stressful on the one side but it’s also very interesting on the other because there’s always something new. I go to networking events, conferences and do security-related certifications as well as reading books and articles from the internet so it can be quite challenging to keep myself up to date and to not miss something because there’s so much information out there.

Experis: IT security is obviously a big concern for companies these days, can you tell us a bit more about it?
Joël: “In general, IT security is changing. In the past it was more about prevention but now you need to analyse different sources, enrich this information with threat intelligence and create meaning out of it. So it’s moving away from prevention and more into monitoring and response because there’s so many new threats which are very hard to detect.
I think one of the weakest points for an organisation is the people as most attacks start with the employees. For example an attack can start with a PDF sent to an employee. It could be a CV that’s been manipulated to exploit a known vulnerability in the company’s operating system. So an important part of IT security is to roll out E-learning courses, training and awareness campaigns so employees know what’s going on and to be careful whenever they’re doing things like opening emails, etc.

We don’t just find jobs. We understand that it’s not just about what Joel can do that’s important, it’s about matching him with a job that inspires him and fits his career aspirations.

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