Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the job outlook for information security analysts is expected to grow 37 percent through 2012. But with companies more reliant than ever to protect their intellectual property, the potential growth of new jobs may exceed those estimates. It’s no secret that information security experts are in great demand, particularly in San Francisco. With multiple candidates vying for the same position, it helps to receive tips from experts in the field, such as Alan Kessler, the president and CEO of Vormetric.

(Photo Courtesy of Alan Kessler)

(Photo Courtesy of Alan Kessler)

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What is your background and education?

“My current role as CEO involves all aspects of strategic and day-to-day business direction as we secure customers’ data. I hold a bachelor’s degree in business from San Jose State University and an M.B.A. from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining Vormetric, I served as VP of Worldwide Sales for HP’s Enterprise Security Products, where I was responsible for the success of customers and partners. Before that, I was the CEO of TippingPoint, where I led the business through a stage of unprecedented growth, increasing market share at a rate of four times the industry average.”

What type of services does Vormetric provide?

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“Not so long ago, it was much easier to protect data. Data came from IT-approved, enterprise-controlled devices and applications. Now, more data than ever is collected from applications, users, devices, and connected hardware, with dwindling amounts of it under enterprise control. As a result, Vormetric created a data security solution that protects data-at-rest across physical, big data and cloud environments to meet compliance requirements and protect sensitive data from both internal and external threats. By securing data infrastructures, Vormetric can protect any file, any database and any application’s data.”

What career advice can you offer to students interested in a career in information security?

“Take classes in software development to provide a base understanding of how things operate and allows for focus in one specific area. Research and understand the difference between malware and vulnerabilities. Follow security experts and information security companies on Twitter for insight on current events. If students don’t like researching or writing code, they might be interested in information assurance, which requires an understanding of policies that organizations need to follow. Alternatively, take business classes and have an understanding of security to become a product manager for a security company.”

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on