Member Spotlight: Joshua Santos

Joshua Santos shares how being an RH-ISAC member has helped develop his passion for cybersecurity.
Member Spotlight: Joshua Santos

Joshua Santos, compliance coordinator at Skechers, earned the top spot on the RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit Leaderboard this year, so we decided to make him this month’s Member Spotlight to learn more about him and his engagement with the RH-ISAC.

Though Joshua is new to the cybersecurity field, compliance is something he is all too familiar with, having stumbled upon cybersecurity after working as a compliance officer for a dental office. Growing up in the Philippines, his family wanted him to be a doctor, so he earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Santo Tomas. Two days before his board exam, however, he became sick and was in the hospital for two weeks, nearly losing his life. After this traumatic experience, he decided to move to the United States, joining family members who had moved here when he was a child.

It was here that he got the job working as a compliance officer at a dental office ensuring the facility was in line with HIPAA, PCI DSS, and OSHA requirements. Through that work, Joshua discovered an interest in cybersecurity and is currently pursuing his second bachelor’s degree, this time majoring in cybersecurity and information assurance at Western Governors University.

Earlier this year, while pursuing his degree, he became an intern at Skechers as their GRC analyst, which has led to his current full-time position as compliance coordinator. Joshua is always eager to learn anything and everything he can about his new field and has been actively participating in various seminars and trainings. Through Skechers, he was able to get involved in the RH-ISAC and attend the Cyber Intelligence Summit in September of 2021.

Skechers has been a member of RH-ISAC since 2018 and is a frequent contributor on the many sharing platforms, such a Member Exchange and Slack. Joshua tells us that having this network of fellow analysts sharing threats in real-time has helped Skechers be proactive in mitigating risk and improving their security policies. In the event of a crisis, having the peer relationships he’s built in the RH-ISAC community will be extremely valuable.

For him, the value really comes from the volume of information being shared. He says, “The more information we have from our members about threats that they’re seeing and the vulnerabilities that may have been affecting their organizations, the better we are to help everyone in the retail and hospitality industries. Organizations who are still developing their security programs can also benefit by having more than just another set of eyes and having a community that they can trust and reach out to when seeking expertise on how to best address common security challenges.”

Being able to collaborate and ask questions has been an important part of Joshua’s career development. While working at the dentist’s office, he found himself a mentor who taught him the value of meeting people in your industry. He took that advice and began reaching out to experienced cybersecurity professionals on LinkedIn as a student. As a result, Joshua found a community more than willing to help. Similarly, at Skechers, he has found an environment where he is able to comfortably ask his teammates for help, which has helped cultivate his passion for the cybersecurity field.

Though he is still new to the field, Joshua has completely immersed himself in it. In addition to being an active member of RH-ISAC, he is also involved with other cyber-focused groups, including ISACA, International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and the cybersecurity club at his university.

With the shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals, we need people like Joshua. When asked if he would agree to be profiled, Joshua said, “Absolutely! I hope my story inspires other people, especially those who are aspiring to become cybersecurity professionals. Considering the series of major digital security breaches we’ve all seen over the past year, we need all the help we can get to work as one!”.

Thank you to Joshua and all the other RH-ISAC members out there sharing their knowledge and passion for the cybersecurity field!

If you’re interested in learning more about RH-ISAC membership, email [email protected].

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