#IRespond: Meet Michael Holburn

by Alexa Rzasa |
category: Security Analysts

Welcome to the first in a monthly series to highlight the interesting and remarkable individuals behind Respond Software.

Thank you for volunteering to be our first #IRespond profile!
Walk me through your experience and what do you at Respond.

I am a solutions architect and I do the technical side of the selling. I joined the team at the end of Q4 last year. As you can imagine, it’s been a difficult time trying to get customers during the pandemic. During my typical day, I am getting into the Respond Analyst to evaluate the best value for customers. We recently launched a new program to help our partners and potential customers to walk through how the Respond Analyst responds to an incident and I’ve been involved in that effort.

How did you find your way to the cybersecurity industry?

It’s been a journey for sure. I was a network administrator in the Army for eight years. This was back when they had token rings and were just adapting to cybersecurity protocols. I even supported NATO when Poland joined, and I was able to set up their network administration. It was a great experience. I got out of the military and didn’t know what to do next. My father said that I needed a good education. So, I went to UT Austin and majored in Corporate Communications. I wanted to be a brand manager. I admired how Starbucks built its brand around being the “third home.” All this happened at the beginning of the recession in 2008 so I had to fall back on my IT skills. I got a job at McAfee in support and moved up the ranks.

How did you end up at Respond?

I was a sales engineer at NetScout, and I worked at McAfee for a long time. There, I learned the role of the SIEM, and it really helped boost my career in cybersecurity. I spent a lot of time writing the scripts and I thought that SIEM was going to be the next-generation topic and technology for the field. I met another current Respond architect during my time at McAfee when we worked on Nitro SIEM and, the rest they say is history.

 What is the best movie or tv show you’ve seen in the last six months?

I really like Killing Eve. I think the actors are amazing. Especially the actors with Russian accents, being able to adapt to an accent really helps your way of thinking, which I find intriguing. I lived in the Netherlands for three years and their accents seem on point.

What is on your playlist? What is your favorite 90s song?

Everything from Wu-Tang to Pink Floyd. When I was growing up in the 90s, I went to all the lollapalooza’s in the Dallas area from 1992 to 1995. My favorite band is the Beastie Boys and I love REAL hip-hop. I also find passion in the older bands, Pink Floyd and alike, because that is what my older brother and father would listen to.

What is the most important thing that you’ve learned at Respond so far?

The most important thing I have learned from Respond is the culture of creating a tool that will help a SOC. Automation is something that will eventually happen in all security environments. With my background in networking, I know that EPP, SIEM and Data Loss Prevention all play a role. There is absolutely too much data to sift through and too many false positives. Understanding what a brute force is, and according to whom, like NIST or MITRE. By automating the decisions, we can save both time and money. Giving back SOC analyst time to hunt for what truly is important.

What do you want people to know about what we do at Respond?

I would really like people to know that we are automating decisions so that SOC analysts don’t have to spend hours doing the same operation that the Respond Analyst can do in seconds.