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Sunday, Jul 21, 2013

Meet the New Researchers: Alexander Watson Joins Websense Security Labs

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Alex WatsonAs the new director of threat research at Websense, I'm thrilled to join and lead a world-class talented team of security researchers.

I believe strongly that it's not enough to just identify and block cyber-attacks. The future of the industry is in discovering new threats, understanding the scope behind them, protecting against them, and providing contextually relevant information to the customer - in real time.  

I wanted to use this blog as a way to introduce myself. Right out of college I spent nearly a decade in the US intelligence community and unfortunately have a total of about two approved sentences that I can say about those years. I started as a global network exploitation analyst, employing "Red Team and Blue Team" techniques against Department of Defense information systems to determine vulnerabilities to foreign attack. I spent the next five years on the other side of the house as a field operations officer. I can also say that I had an opportunity to work with some of the brightest people I have ever met and technology that still blows my mind.

In 2009, I left the government to co-found BTS, where we had (at the time) the radical idea of using 3G and 4G cellular for military communications. We spent the next two years shrinking, hardening and building enough security around our cellular core network and commercial mobile devices such as iPhone and Android to get approval from NSA to deploy the US Army's first 3G network to Afghanistan. It's hard to believe that the 3G network has been up and running in Afghanistan for two years now.

I had an incredible experience working in the US intelligence community and as CTO of BTS.  I'm looking forward to applying my knowledge of the latest threats and mobile security to Websense Security Labs and the company's robust security solution set.

Next generation cyber security doesn't start with building a better anti-virus or a better sandbox. It starts with building intelligent systems to find nation-state and organized hacker groups in the billions of events that Websense processes, analyzes and protects against each day. I'll be blogging and creating in-depth reports and videos along with my research team about the state of global security through Websense's eye, which processes up to five billion events per day from mobile devices, web and social networks from more than 900 million endpoints across the globe.

Have any questions for me? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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