Fariz, Information Security Analyst
Meet Fariz: an Information Security Analyst with a love of learning, passion for protecting networks, and a talent for trivia. He starts his Town Hall presentations with, “Hi everyone, my name is Fariz and I’m an InfoSec Analyst,” but it’s far from where he started his journey to Bold.
Keep reading to find out what a day-in-the-life looks like as an Information Security Analyst, and how Fariz came to call Winnipeg, and Bold, home
What was your journey like to get to Bold?
My family and I moved to Canada two years ago; it wasn’t an easy decision. We had successful careers, were financially stable, and had a large family and circle of friends. For us, the main motivation behind the move was the opportunity to create a better future for our kids and that’s how we landed on moving to Canada.
Someone once compared immigrating to being born and it’s true in a way; disembarking from the plane we had no jobs, no friends, no professional network, and no financial fall-back plan. We had to rebuild everything practically from zero. Spoiler alert — we managed to do it, and my work at Bold Commerce played a significant role in helping my family get to where we are today.
Professionally speaking, I have been in IT for 30 years, and for the last 17 years, I’ve worked in the information security field. I’ve worked in various roles, from an administrator and programmer to a database admin, but information security is what I love to do the most.
I am a certified CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional), CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control), and CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker). Being certified is good for my career, but the main reason for doing it is to learn. In the modern, super-dynamic world of information security, learning is vital to being successful.
What attracted you to Bold?
At the start of the pandemic it was impossible to find a job, but then I came across Bold’s InfoSec Analyst posting. It immediately caught my attention as it required a candidate who was ready to get shit done; I mean, what kind of company uses this language in an official job posting?
I started digging for information and was immediately hooked when I read the BUILDERS Code. Corporate culture is vitally important, and almost every company tries to get there, but few do it right. Bold nailed it with the BUILDERS Code attributes: Belong to the team, Understand the need, Innovate or die, Learn forever, Deliver results, Elevate each other, Respect people, and Serve others first.
Unlike many other companies who claim to live by a set of core values, the BUILDERS Code is not just a bunch of statements; it’s something Bold was built on and remains a core part of the company to this day.
How long have you been with Bold and what do you do?
I celebrated my first year at Bold just a few months ago! My role here is to protect the company from modern cyber threats. My main responsibilities include security assessments, network security, application security, cloud security, laws and regulations, audits, and creating processes and procedures. I also evaluate security applications, and help to maintain and build a culture of security awareness within the organization.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day I have to make sure that everything is not only working as it should be, but working securely and safely. What I love about my job is that no two days are the same; there’s always something new, interesting, and exciting to learn. I often wake up smiling thinking that I have another interesting workday ahead.
A typical day starts with an analysis of our systems to see if anything requires immediate attention, and then we head into a team meeting to discuss plans or any issues that require a team effort. The rest of my day is spent working on audits, tickets, security vettings, risk assessments, incidents, documentation, proof of concepts, vulnerability management, monitoring, and alert handling. My work requires a lot of communication with other Builders and people outside of Bold, so a significant part of my day is being in meetings, sending emails, and responding to messages.
Bold expects me to work hard and deliver results, but I’m also trusted to do my job and supported by my team. There is no micro-managing; it’s not how Bold operates.
It’s also not just about the work; Bold is fun, friendly, and exciting. There are a lot of events, clubs, and Slack channels for everyone to participate in. There are book clubs, photo clubs, cooking events, RPG events, and a Toastmasters Club to name a few. I enjoy the trivia events as I used to be heavily involved in the international trivia world.
What’s something that helps you grow in your position?
Our Security Team has a lot of seasoned and experienced people that I enjoy learning from. Bold overall has a great work ethic and culture that is very supportive and growth-oriented. My curiosity is also a big factor of my growth as I love to understand how things work.
Putting things in perspective, Bold played an important role in my fast adaptation in Canada. Working here has helped me to grow both professionally and personally, it has given me financial stability, boosted my confidence, and generally made me happier. Bold is like a family to me.
What do you love most about working at Bold?
If anyone asks me what Bold is all about, I say that it is about work, fun, respect, learning, and growth. But most importantly, Bold is about people. Bold is about all of us.
Lastly, what’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
The more we sacrifice for something, the less freedom we have in our choices. At one point I invested a lot of my time and efforts in my education and career, but I also had another great opportunity in a totally different area that was really interesting for me. Advice I got from a friend was: "Never let the 'Our Boys Didn't Die in Vain' syndrome stop you from chasing your dreams."
Rapid fire time! What is the Boldest thing you’ve ever done?
In the great final monologue in "Scent of a Woman" Al Pacino's character says: "I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard." It’s always a risk, right? To take the easy path and stay in your comfort zone. The Boldest thing I've done is not something at a point in time. It’s an everyday battle with my limitations, my fears, and my procrastination.
What event has been your favorite to join so far?
I love Bold's trivia nights, and am always happy to participate. Trivia is quite language and culturally related, so I would consider myself just average at trivia in English, but I still enjoy joining as they are always friendly and super fun to be part of!
If you weren’t an InfoSec Analyst, what would you be doing?
I graduated from a medical university, and specialized in psychiatry. At some point in my life I had a hard choice between IT and medicine, as I enjoyed both. If I wasn’t in IT security, I would probably work in the psychiatry field to help protect people and their minds.