Scott N. Schober is a cyber security expert and President and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. The company has been in business for 40-years and provides advanced wireless RF test and security solutions for their customers. As a supervisor, Scott has worked on the development of numerous cell phone detection tools used to implement a ‘no cell phone policy’ in correctional, law enforcement, corporate, university, military and secured government institutions.

What kind of degree is needed to secure a job in your field?

“To effectively understand the field of cyber security, a degree in computer science information security is essential. Coursework in criminal justice, cyber crime investigation and forensics can be valuable also. Having an understanding in cybercrime law and investigation is beneficial as well. Psychology is important since many hackers effectively use social engineering techniques to fool individuals into divulging information. People are often the weakest link in cybersecurity compromises, so understand what makes them tick is vital. Beyond the degree, a solid mathematical and science background is important. Cyber security professionals should have at least five plus years of practical hands-on use of computer networks. Good understanding of wireless networks is a must as many breaches are initiated through wireless vulnerabilities.”

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

“The most challenging aspect of my job is staying on top of the latest vulnerabilities and one step ahead of the hackers. Disseminating the headlines as to what really happened and how individuals and corporations can protect themselves is paramount. I strive to educate in non-tech jargon so people can be proactive and protect themselves and not live in fear of being the next victim of a hack. Constantly engrossing myself in a wide variety of books, articles, video, conferences has provided a wealth of constantly changing knowledge.”

After graduation, how hard was it to transition into the working world?

“From a very young age, I was surrounded by electronics and the early computers such as Apple and Atari. I was fascinated with pirating games and hacking networks for fun. My father Gary Schober founded Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. 42 + years ago and got me involved in the business when I was in 6th grade and worked with computers all my life. I was asked to be the president of the computer club in seventh grade and loved teaching others how to use computers. To succeed in cyber security, you need a life long passion for technology, computers and helping people. I always think like a hacker but stay on the good side of the law. When you are on the edge, you can spot vulnerabilities faster and are more employable.“

What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in cyber security?

“Our data has become our lives. We carry it in our mobile phones and on our tablets, and when I protect people’s data, I am protecting their lives and livelihood. Beyond that, you need an incredible passion for constant learning and sharing security information. If an individual feels they have this mix, they should go for it 100%.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at http://firstsendmedia.com/