Alan Hajek- Security Vendor Series - Episode 28

Alan Hajek

By Alan Hajek

On this episode of The Route to Networking Podcast, our host Josh Snook chats with Alan Hajek, a Cybersecurity Specialist with over 28 years of experience in the industry. Join them as they dive into Alan’s thoughts on certifications, the future of cybersecurity and the importance of keeping things simple. 

Alan’s journey into cybersecurity began with him working in computer-aided drafting (CAD) and as a land surveyor. At the time he was starting in the industry, most organisations had less need for a full-scale IT team making it more difficult to secure a role however after realising a career in the outdoors was not suited to his lifestyle, he made the pivot into IT full time. Alan’s commitment to learning is apparent. Despite initially not having any professional qualifications, he went back to school and acquired an associate degree in Microcomputer technology, followed by a bachelor's degree in IT Operations Management, and finally, a master’s degree in Cybersecurity. When it comes to certifications, he shares how his eldest daughter has recently graduated with a master's in cybersecurity and his advice to her was to get a Security+ accreditation as soon as possible. He also recommends the ISC2 CC as a good first step to take now as he predicts it will be just as important as the C+ soon. In his personal experience as a hiring manager, he looks out for any certifications from ISC2, as a great organisation to learn from. 

When it comes to discussing the latest technology, Alan champions a straightforward approach. His strategy? Keep it simple. He’s a firm believer in harnessing the power of a quick Google search and a select few trusted email newsletters that go straight into his daily inbox. Alan goes on to point out the wealth of expertise available within his organisation, he readily turns to the specialised skills of his colleagues, making the most of their insights and guidance. 


Looking to the future, Alan expresses how critical AI will be in the future of cybersecurity. For him, it’s crystal clear: to remain relevant and effective security professionals must embrace AI as a fundamental component of their toolkit. AI's ability to analyse vast amounts of data and identify patterns holds immense potential for proactive threat detection and prevention. Getting ahead of the curve is not just advisable, it’s essential, especially for security professionals.  Alan doesn't just dream big, he acts on it. His sights are set on the pinnacle of information security leadership: the role of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). With his impressive track record, qualifications, and forward-thinking mindset, he's well-positioned to make this aspiration a reality. But he's not one to settle. Always on the lookout for new challenges, he even entertains the idea of pursuing a PhD down the line. Plus, he's eager to sharpen his mentoring skills and assemble a top-notch team, showing his commitment to both personal and professional growth.


Listen to more of Alan’s insights on this week’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast!