By Bret Piatt
Jul 24, 2018
This past Saturday, July 21, episode 95 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Red Thomas, CEO of RedKnight, to discuss Security Operations for the Department of Defense
We start off the first segment discussing RedKnight, a tech and intelligence solutions firm for the U.S. Department of Defense. Red was an army transplant stationed in 2004 who started it as a consultancy firm in 2011, as experts in IT and security. How has Red found recruits in San Antonio and how does hiring work? Are there security clearances? Top secret clearances take from six months to two years to obtain. Military service gets you a great foot in the door with security clearances. Recent security restrictions have made it more difficult to hire contractors, so already having one gives you a huge advantage. In the U.S. government and military, having a shortage of both computers and people can make it difficult. Red then gives us a bit of background about how he moves from the U.S. army to starting a one-person startup. How’d he come up with the name RedKnight? In army intelligence, “black knight” was a common term. Since red and black are interchangeable in chess and knights are known for attacking, the name made sense because the firm “attacks” problems. Also, he started a foundation for helping the military transition after service. Another thing he does is help fit guys with specific skills and find the right jobs for them. Similarly, in a previous episode with Chris Cortez of Microsoft Software & Systems Academy, we discuss acquiring private-sector recognized credentials for ex-military. Chris was one of the first people in his town to have a personal computer and played video games, which got him interested in studying engineering. He then worked in labs, built control systems and went into the military doing intelligence, a similar job to a systems administrator, learned coding and how to solve tech problems.
In the next half of the show, we talk more in depth about how to smartly play video games and use them to develop problem-solving skills. Red and I discuss how high school students can learn how to embrace and understand failure from video games, which is a very valuable lesson for professional roles. People who play sports and video games work more productively, are more adaptable, get along better working in teams. Check out CyberPatriot, a cybersecurity team sport available in schools around the nation. Red is also involved in SAMSOC (San Antonio Multidiscipline Security Operations Center.) Foundation which is a virtual collaboration and innovation space to test technology prototypes. Red discusses a cybersecurity breach in Ukraine from an attacking team causing a power outage and the impressive response measures that they took. There is a growing need for people to learn a new set of “cyber battlefield” rules, similar to the Geneva Convention, to reduce harm to civilians. To listen to the episode replay, go here or watch below.**
Looking for more? The best of the best, perhaps? Here’s a best of Cyber Talk Radio 2017.
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