Jean-François Maes

Jean-François is based in Belgium where he is part of TrustedSec’s technical security team. As a senior security consultant, he provides cyber resiliency services with a focus on infrastructure-based assessments, red teaming, and social engineering.

Next to offensive assessments, he also performs R&D to come up with new tactics or improve NVISO’s current processes, bringing them up to date or improving efficiency. Furthermore, he is a strong believer in open source and regularly contributes to the offensive security community. Jean-François is currently teaching SANS course SEC699: Purple Team Tactics - Adversary Emulation for Breach Prevention & Detection.

More About Jean-François


Starting out in IT, Jean-François always thought that being a hacker was out of reach. He was under the all-too-common preconceived notion that a hacker had to be fluent in assembly and was constantly writing 0days. He says, “From the moment one of my old bosses showed me Metasploit and popped that first reverse shell, I knew in that very moment that this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

While he started out as member of a security operations team, Jean-François quickly shifted his focus towards infrastructure penetration testing and network security. Coupled with his strong background in networking topics, such as network architecture, routing switching, network segmentation/segregation, and network devices (Cisco, Check Point, Fortinet, Palo Alto, etc.), this quickly lead to him becoming one of the core consultants for red teaming within NVISO.

As part of the red teaming and infrastructure pentesting team, Jean-François is one of the driving forces behind NVISO’s red teaming approach. He has performed several red team exercises for our team including, but not limited to, large financial and insurance companies, and he acts as a mentor to other colleagues executing red team engagements.

As a key contributor to NVISO's core red team has solidified his red teaming expertise and, through countless post-engagement client meetings and consultations, he has come to understand the "blue" aspect security. With NVISO’s transition into purple teaming, Jean-François is often called upon to give pure purple assessments in addition to his red team work. This has all made him well suited and even ideal for teaching SEC699: Purple Team Tactics - Adversary Emulation for Breach Prevention & Detection. “You need expertise in both red and blue in order to achieve success in purple team operations and there aren't that many of us out there yet. I strive to make students that sign up for the SEC699 purple experts when they walk out.”

In his spare time, Jean-François enjoys reading research available to the cyber security community and watching talks about other superstar researchers. In addition to infosec he is also an avid #redteamfit supporter and even, on occasion, can be seen acting and singing.

Here is a SANS presentation with Jean-François Maes:

So, you want to be a red teamer? | SANS Webcast