Boon’s software engineering career began with LucasFilms. He enjoyed solving extremely complex problems to produce the special effects seen in the movies, which led him to dive deeper into the world of DevOps. He began exploring building infrastructures in the cloud using code, and like many, discovered that working in a cloud environment – supported by healthy code - opens up a whole new world of ways to provision infrastructures and automations. While in the DevOps world, he worked more closely with the security team, realizing the importance of securing cloud infrastructure in order to protect entrusted customer data.
Because of the lack of formal education and work experiences in cybersecurity, Boon created a journey for himself to learn about the industry. SANS courses were highly recommended by his security team, so he signed up for the workstudy program. His first SANS course was SEC560: Enterprise Penetration Testing taught by Jeff McJunkin. It was an unforgettable week for Boon, who was completely blown away by the quality and professionalism on how the course was delivered. Boon continued taking more SANS courses and eventually earned a spot on the cloud cybersecurity team at his organization, which was then led by fellow SANS instructor, Kenneth G. Hartman.
Boon understands he will not know everything and will not always be correct when teaching. He believes he is there to share his experiences and knowledge of what is important while delivering the materials in an inspirational manner so students desire to continue learning after class is over. He enjoys teaching cloud security due to the fluid and ever-changing nature of the industry. Couple that with new perspectives from students in every classroom, it keeps him on his toes! Given his consulting experience, he has seen many different types of infrastructure environments, working cultures, and maturity levels for adopting cloud, which provides him many great stories and deep experiences to share with students.
Due to constant changes from CSPs, updates often break other parts of the infrastructure which requires nimble thinking and adoption. The speed of cloud and the vast number of different services available are not always easy for companies to manage. Boon enjoys the constant upgrading required of his skillset and knowledge base to understand the new services that will be used by the business and how to secure them. He strives to help others understand both the security and cloud technologies to continually increase the number of skilled cloud security professionals.
Boon has a master’s degree in computer engineering, holds a half dozen GIAC certifications, several AWS and Kubernetes certifications, the CISSP, and the HCISSP. He was on the award-winning team for Best Visual Effects for Avatar in 2010, as well as additional film industry awards for Best Special Effects for Interstellar in 2015.
While taking breaks from his cloud security journey, Boon can be found watching movies, exploring good food with family and friends, investigating new tech concepts such as machine Learning, blockchains, and crypto mining. He enjoys building and reassembling PCs, as well as taking motorcycle road trips across borders.