Introducing Ali

I’m excited to join the growing Digital Interruption team as Head of Defensive Security! Part of what drew me to DI is the promise of doing security differently – from the transparent, clear pricing model to the focus on continuous security, baking it into the SDLC, supported by policy guidance.

My background is very much the attacking side of security – I’ve spoken at multiple conferences about tool development and finding vulnerabilities in obscure systems. When it comes to a legacy mainframe, an unusual embedded device, or really anything that remotely looks like a UNIX system, I usually have something up my sleeve. But for several years, I’ve also been interested in the defensive side of security; in fact, my first public conference talk was actually focused around a class of rootkits at the time that was cutting edge and detection methods. Keeping on-top of malware trends has been a significant passion of mine: you don’t know attacking until you study practical examples.

Joining DI allows me to marry these two elements of my career: I’m able to bring my experience finding vulnerabilities, attacking systems and traversing networks to the table when we advise our clients on how to better harden their systems and secure themselves. When you know what shapes attacks will take, what parts of the attack surface are going to come under the most fire, and how attackers think, you’re able to pro-actively work to fend them off. It also helps that I’ve got practical knowledge of everything from the average Windows network to specialized IBM z/OS setups: having a broad and deep knowledge of systems lets us offer bespoke defensive advice, and also bespoke penetration tests to ensure that things are being done correctly.