Jerry Gamblin is a network security specialist who works for the Missouri House of Representatives and gives presentations around the world on Internet security. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Jerry for several years, as OpenDNS is one of the cornerstones of his network security strategy.
OpenDNS: You have a real passion for security. What is it about security that gets you so excited?
Gamblin: Security is all about good guys vs. bad guys. It’s cops vs. robbers, Cardinals vs Cubs, Lakers vs. Heat, peanut butter vs. Nutella. Security gives me a chance to be one of the good guys while working out complex problems. It’s my passion for this kind of problem solving that makes me good at what I do.
OpenDNS: Managing network security for the Missouri Capitol is a big job. What’s a typical day like?
Gamblin: Security changes fast, so the only thing typical about my day is waking up at 0500 and being in bed somewhere around 2200. The work in between is constantly changing, and that’s what makes me love my job. One day I might be working on securing a webserver, the next I might be talking to people about how to secure their Facebook accounts.
OpenDNS: What do you see as the biggest threat to an organization’s security today?
Gamblin: Carelessness. Many incidents of hacking could be stopped by integrating a company’s security team into the IT decision making process, giving end users good security-awareness training and preforming routine penetration tests on the network.
OpenDNS: If you could give businesses just one piece of advice for improving security, what would it be?
Gamblin: I would tell them to implement a real security-awareness program. A security-awareness program that belittles the intelligence of employees, ignores personal computing or pretends security awareness training is a one-time thing just doesn’t cut it. A successful program will treat employees as an integral part of the security team and will be an ongoing process.
OpenDNS: You’ve been an incredible evangelist for OpenDNS over the years. What is it about our service that’s worth sharing?
Gamblin: The Internet is like a scary movie. If the monster can’t get into your cabin in the woods it can’t hurt you. OpenDNS helps make sure that all the windows and doors are locked. : ) It has become a must-have for our network. I consider the service more important for end-user security than our AV program. If it doesn’t get to your PC it can’t hurt you. We use OpenDNS on our internal network to protect the House of Representatives network and to help keep our legislative process moving smoothly. OpenDNS is also used on the Capitol’s public Wi-Fi to provide guests a layer of security and safety for their devices without them even knowing it.
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