I have been a full-time professional computer security specialist since 1991. From 1983 to 1991, I worked in Europe as an independent computer, management, and security problem-solver for corporate and government clients. For a short period of time, I was a Senior Consultant in the computer area with Price Waterhouse in Portugal. In 1995, I returned to my native Canada, but not to the jungle part.
I have authored more than 200 articles on computer security and management for such publications as PC Magazine, Vida Informatica, and Vida Economica and a wide range of English language publications and web sites, including SecurityFocus.com, TechRepublic.com, Information Security, Monitor Magazine and Virus Bulletin. While in Portugal, I founded and edited a monthly computer analysis newsletter called the RSVP Computer Report for several years.
Virus News, a monthly newsletter which I launched in 1995 and edited until mid-1999 (sometimes without mention on the masthead), was the only publication of its kind in Canada and was read each month by more than 1000 security professionals.
I was fortunate to be the first contributor from Portugal (and then the first from Canada) to the WildList, a cooperative listing of computer viruses found in the wild used as the sole internationally recognized benchmark by all independent Anti-Virus testing organizations. I continue as a WildList reporter, even though most of my time in the wild these days involves taking photos.
In the role of entrepreneur, I founded two organizations, one in Europe (RSVP-Consultores Associados Lda., started in 1985) and one in Canada when I moved back (SSS-Sensible Security Solutions Inc., 1995), to sell and support Anti-Virus software as part of comprehensive solutions to government departments and large private sector clients.
Both organizations were very successful, selling anti-virus software to government departments and agencies, banks, insurance companies and multi-nationals. In both countries, the firms
- established a new brand of anti-virus software to the marketplace and elevated it to a leading position (first in market share in Portugal and third most popular in Canada)
- established Virus Labs, where suspect files are examined for viruses
- conducted a series of anti-virus prevention awareness seminars
- trained numerous organizations in anti-virus topics – deployment, policy creation, virus incident response, etc..
My involvement with the activities of RSVP ended in 1998 and with SSS in mid-1999, when I withdrew from the area of sales of anti-virus software and took a six-month sabbatical. The reason for leaving both companies was simple – after spending more than 15 years of 70-hour weeks dedicated to these companies, it was time to recharge my batteries and to spend more time with my family. I was also interested in returning to my roots as an independent problem-solver and writer, with no involvement in the sale of software.
Another reason for the exit from both companies was the need to return to a structure with more opportunities to be in direct contact with customers. As each company grew, more and more of my time was taken up with the internal management side of the business and less was available for being involved in the problem-solving part of the Anti-Virus puzzle, which is what attracted me to the Anti-Virus field in the first place.
I have no business, financial, or other connections to either firm, and no involvement in any of their business activities. In fact, both have been re-sold by the people I sold them to. So, if you are unhappy about the service you get from either, don’t call me. But, if you are thrilled about it, then I’ll think of it as a tribute to the way things were founded. (amazing the things one can say on your own site…)
In February 2000, seeing as how the world had not gone up in smoke with the Y2K bug and I no longer had any more excuses for not doing something in the security arena, I activated Segura Solutions. But really, I spent the first half of 2000 writing The Enterprise Anti-Virus Book.
My specialization has been the Anti-Virus field since 1992 and I still occasionally present workshops and seminars on Virus Prevention, Anti-Virus Policies, and Live Virus Workshops. I’ve been a speaker four times at the prestigious annual Virus Bulletin conference, the last time (2002) on the topic “AVIEN-What a trip” presenting the Anti-Virus Information Exchange Network, which I administered. I’ve also spoken at other conferences.
The Canadian and American press contact me regularly for commentary on Virus and Security issues. I’ve been quoted or interviewed by such publications as PC World, Time Magazine, The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and TV, CJAD Radio, CHML Radio, and Computing Canada. A full-page profile about my entrepreneur activities was published in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper in the fall of 1998.