Michel’s interest in information technology began around the age of 12 when a neighbor taught him how to build a website using HTML. By 16 he had taken the opportunity to take IT course and continued straight through to earning his Master of Science in Digital Investigations and Forensic Computing from University College Dublin.
Landing his first IT job as a network and security engineer, Michel was managing system administration, but also installing firewalls and anti-spam solutions, while securing the network, which would eventually expand his passion for information security. He quickly expanded from trying to break applications in his current role to becoming a senior security consultant for Deloitte in Belgium. There he focused on architecture penetration testing and doing security assessment on large complex networks. Widening that focus, he began catching attackers by doing digital forensics, incident response and threat intelligence.
With SANS, Michel brings his background in penetration testing and having a good view on how attacks work, but more interestingly, his incident response background, as he’s seen pretty much all of these attacks executed in actual environments as well. Linking together his background as a penetration tester and his current role as incident responder has given him a unique view on both sides of the attack chain.
Michel is now the incident response lead at NVISO, where he manages a team of incident responders and forensic analysts that respond to cyber incidents worldwide. Michel specializes in incident response, digital forensics and threat hunting himself as well, where he uses his pragmatic and analytical skills to assist clients in solving security issues. He holds the GCFE, GCFA, GDAT, and GCTI certifications.
In his spare time, Michel likes to wind down by building stuff. He considers himself an amateur woodworker and welder, however he’s skilled enough to produce quite useful items for his home, like custom cabinets and a BBQ smoker.
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY MICHEL COENE: