Sophos Community: Partner Spotlight - Kyle Parrish

Get to know , Gold Sophos Partner

Hi Kyle!Wave

A bit of background...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional background? 

Hi! My name is Kyle Parrish, I am a Cyber Security Engineer in The Villages, Fl where I have been diving into a little bit of everything security-related for the past three years. Endpoint and perimeter defense, identity and access management, and security automation (SOAR) have been on the top of my list. Some of my favorite things to do are to automate tasks (usually with PowerShell or Python), CI/CD, improve/secure processes, cyber deception, OSINT, CTFs, and contributing to Open-Source projects that have helped me in some way. I attribute a ton of what I know today to the contributions others have made to Open-Source projects as it provided a way for me to try many new things as well as understand how/why it was developed the way it was. I hope I am able to contribute back and help someone else along the way. Prior to that, I was Server Operations Engineer where I worked with our team to build and maintain the server infrastructure spread across multiple in-house datacenters and our customers. This is where I gained a deeper understanding of just how everything worked together and started seeking ways to make processes/tasks more efficient via scripting and automation. In the earlier days of my career, I was the “one-man-shop” guy who did everything from running CAT-5, troubleshooting phone lines with my butt-set, desktop support, network support, web support, graphic design, [you name it] support, etc.

What inspired you to work in IT?

From a very young age I found myself enjoying the challenge of figuring out how things worked. Taking toys apart simply to see how everything went together and [attempt] to put them back together. This love of a good technical challenge has followed me through the years and is what led me into the career path I am on. Always finding new things to learn, figuring out how they work, and trying to improve upon those things. The entry-point in IT was when I was an intern doing some Graphic Design and each time an IT issue came up, I would happily volunteer to troubleshoot, etc. That turned into “hey, you know what you are doing…we should hire you to do IT.” And here I am…

Tell us about your company (and your partnership with Sophos)?

The Villages Technology Solutions Group, a Gold Sophos Partner, is a creative, business communication provider specializing in designing, implementing, and maintaining efficient and cost-effective converged communication networks for small and mid-sized clients in and around The Villages, FL (one of the largest and fastest growing retirement communities in the country). We partnered with Sophos several years ago and have really enjoyed the experience. There have been vast improvements in the products, and they have greatly increased the overall security of our environment.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy that there is always something new to learn. The Cyber Security ecosystem is not something that just stays the same. It is a constantly changing, evolving, and requires constant adaptation. This helps prevent the feeling of a monotonous/repetitive job and allows for the contestant learning of new things. This may be researching the latest malware strains, preparing for the latest phishing campaign, or hunting around the environment for the latest IOC (Indicators of Compromise).

If you weren’t currently working in the field of IT, what would you be doing?

That is a good question. I jumped into the IT field straight out of High School, so I didn’t really have time to think about other fields. If I had to guess, I would likely be doing something out of the ordinary. Like, changing the lightbulbs on the top of those 2000 ft towers.

Have you taken any Sophos training courses?

Yes, I have completed multiple Sophos Certified Engineer certifications and the Sophos Certified Architect certification.

On the Sophos Community...

Where did you first learn about the Sophos Community? 

I have been a part of the community for several years now. I likely discovered the community while troubleshooting an issue.

What brings you to the Sophos Community?

Joining the community allows me to stay up to date with what others are doing in the environment, how they are using the Sophos products, and how my processes can be improved. Like I said, I am always looking for ways to improve upon what is already in place. Through discussion with other people one can learn a great deal about a product/process. I also know how much it helps to have someone share their thoughts on something I don’t quite understand. It is a great feeling to return the favor.

A few more things...

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned (in your career or in life)? 

Never stop learning! There is so much knowledge to be gained in life, I never want to settle for what I know now. I always try to ask questions about how things work, why they work that way, and what can be done differently. Read books, watch documentaries, ask a coworker about past experiences (who knew I worked with a guy that worked in a nuclear reactor!). There is always new information all around you, you just have to want to know about it.

What are your hobbies outside of work? 

Lately, it has been renovating my house. That’s a hobby, right? I enjoy anything outdoors, mountain biking, camping, hiking, sports, etc. Juggling and riding a unicycle is always fun too. Though, I still haven’t managed to master them both at the same time.

Do you have a personal motto or mantra?

Never settle. Always be willing to learn. Ask questions. Try something new.

What three words best describe you?

Quiet. Adventurous. Loyal.

If you won the lottery, what would be your first purchase?

A large plot of land to start a family farm.

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