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Karl

Senior Information Security Engineer,
Customer Relations and Support Office

  1. Where are you from? Chicago
  2. What is your educational background? I have a B.A. in radio and television production, minoring in English/creative writing and computer information processing.
  3. When did you start at the Bank? 2017
  4. What do you do at the Bank?

    I started at the Fed in February of 2017, and I quickly obtained a security assurance certification. To do this, I drew upon prior experience in NIST/FISMA-based information system deployments. I am principally responsible for guiding information systems and their stakeholders, selecting appropriate security controls, implementing those controls, assessing how effective the implementation is, authorizing system operation based on that assessment, and monitoring operations afterward.

    Nothing is ever perfect, and I often get tasked with documenting exceptions from controls or rules; managing the awareness process around the security of our critical assets; and ensuring the proper compliance documentation is in place and kept current.

    Security assurance is an ever-evolving framework, adjusting to trends in security and changes in regulatory requirements. Once you think you’ve mastered it, something changes. The role I hold is comparable to a tug boat captain, assisting cargo ships in navigating unknown waters so that they can safely dock to deliver their wares. Following the analogy, this requires continuous awareness of technological currents, shifting vulnerabilities on the seabed, and standards/customs used by various ports to allow efficient and safe transactions. It also helps to know the relative strength of the cargo ship’s perimeter defenses (hull), and be aware of potential dangers for that.

  5. Why do you like working here? It feels like an extension of family. Everyone is a team player — and not just paying lip service to the concept. They live it here.
  6. Why would you recommend the Chicago Fed as a good place to work? It is an excellent environment in which to grow, no matter what stage of your career you are in, and the sense of ownership over the company mission is very strong.
  7. What do you do in your free time? I do a lot of autocross and road racing. I also read and write fantasy and science fiction, am on the board for two non-profits (Silver Pen and the High Tech Crime Investigation Association), and am on the advisory board for the College of Arts and Sciences at Governor’s State University. My wife and I have three daughters, all of whom are either in college or graduated and working full time. Empty nest activities, here we come!
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