With an expected percentage change of nearly 40 percent through 2022, the information security sector in San Francisco commands some of the nation’s highest average salaries. But with the growing demand amongst businesses for the best available talent, competition is so fierce that even an initial interview is considered a victory for job seekers. One leading Bay Area executive who agrees it’s an exciting time to be involved in the local information security scene is Idan Tendler, CEO of Fortscale. With a wealth of international experience, he spent a few moments to provide career advice to local information security students.

(Photo Courtesy of Idan Tendler)

(Photo Courtesy of Idan Tendler)

What is your background and education?

“Originally from Israel, I’m an entrepreneur and an expert in threat intelligence and cybersecurity. I possess a B.S. in industrial and management engineering from Tel Aviv University, and served as an agent of the cyber warfare division of the Israeli Defense Forces, before embarking on a career in cybersecurity in the private sector. Before founding Fortscale, I created and led Israel’s top defense integrator at Elbit Systems’ Cyber Security Business Group. Prior to that, I served as a business analysis manager at Elron, one of Israel’s leading technology investment firms.”

What type of services does Fortscale provide?

“Fortscale provides big data analytics-driven security for Fortune 1000 companies. We specialize in mitigating insider threats – hackers in company networks or rogue employees stealing sensitive data – by analyzing the behavior of users and detecting suspicious behavior before a data breach can occur.”

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

“Compliment your classwork with more hands-on learning. Right now is an exciting time for cybersecurity professionals in the Bay Area. There are currently several outstanding startups as well as high-profile security vendors. An internship in the industry will prove to be an invaluable experience. Additionally, be involved with the security information community of experts and network as much as possible. Information students should attend meet-ups, industry conferences and other related events. The relationships you build can be a tremendous advantage in landing your ideal job. Excel in a specified practice related to security, such as data mining or developing algorithms. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, keep up on news of the latest breaches and cyberattacks and think critically about what methods could discover and mitigate them based upon your studies.”

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 Examiner.com Examiner.com.