September 14, 2023 By Mark Stone 3 min read

In today’s increasingly cloud-focused business environment, cloud security engineers are pivotal in protecting an organization’s critical data and infrastructure. As experts in cloud security, they leverage their expertise to ensure that the ever-expanding amount of cloud data is safe from emerging threats and vulnerabilities. Cloud security professionals combine their passion for technology with a deep understanding of security principles to design and implement robust cloud security strategies.

What experience do these security experts have, and what led them to the field? What advice do they have for individuals looking for a career in cloud security?

In this exclusive Q&A, we spoke with Dave Hatter, a cloud security expert with 30 years of experience in IT as a software engineer, cybersecurity consultant and small business owner. He has 18 years of experience as an educator teaching college-level programming and technology-related courses, primarily at Cincinnati State Community and Technical College. He currently serves as the Director of Business Growth at Intrust IT but is still actively engaged in cloud security functions for the company and its clients.

Did you go to college? What did you go to school for? What certifications did you obtain?

I went to Northern Kentucky University with a BS in Information Systems. I also have several certs including:

(ISC)² CISSP, 721411

(ISC)² CCSP, 721411

(ISC)² CSSLP, 721411

ISACA CISA, 232060690

ISACA CISM, 232156841

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Network+

CompTIA i-Net+

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900)

Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator

EXIN; ITIL® Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management, 5347245.20393622

Project Management Institute; Project Management Professional (PMP), 1725230

Project Management Institute; Professional in Business Analysis (PBA), 1884913

Project Management Institute; Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), 1914263

Project Management Institute; Disciplined Agilist; Professional Scrum Master 1 (PSM); Professional Scrum Developer 1 (PSD)

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt (LSSYB): GreyCampus, 481211858122

CompTIA e-Biz+

CompTIA Project+

What was your first role in IT?


If it wasn’t in security, what pushed you to pursue security?

Seeing that our society is increasingly dependent on digital technology, evermore devices are now “smart” (and most are a privacy and security dumpster fire), software security is not taught in college and that people and businesses are increasingly impacted by devastating cyberattacks. I wanted to help defend against this onslaught.

What is the most valuable skill you learned in your role?

Active listening and communications. In particular, how to speak to business people about technology in language they can understand and act on.

What soft skills do you think make a person successful in cybersecurity?

Communication – Being able [to] understand business concepts and explain technology concepts to business people is critical to help them understand the risks and take action.

Active listening – You must be able to listen carefully and demonstrate understanding of what you’re being told.

Empathy – You need to be able to put yourself in your client’s and (in some cases) the victim’s shoes.

Critical thinking – You need to be able to think logically about threats, risks and solutions.

Attention to detail – A small mistake can have devastating consequences.

Curiosity – A natural curiosity will go a long way in a field that is rapidly and constantly changing. There are always new technologies, tools and threats.

Continuous improvement – This is a field that is constantly changing, and as society increasingly depends on technology, it will become increasingly important to secure it.

Lifelong learning –  You will need to learn new things constantly as the threat landscape changes.

Any parting thoughts or final piece of advice to someone looking into your type of role?

There is an amazing amount of opportunity to make an impact protecting society from increasingly dangerous cyberattacks. Learn as much as you can about (computer) networking and take advantage of the plethora of free and low-cost resources available to get the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in cybersecurity. Certifications can be helpful, both to build knowledge and gain credibility. Entry-level folks should check out the CompTIA Security+ and/or the (ISC)2 Certified In Cybersecurity (CC) certifications.

Free training for security persons

More from Cloud Security

The compelling need for cloud-native data protection

4 min read - Cloud environments were frequent targets for cyber attackers in 2023. Eighty-two percent of breaches that involved data stored in the cloud were in public, private or multi-cloud environments. Attackers gained the most access to multi-cloud environments, with 39% of breaches spanning multi-cloud environments because of the more complicated security issues. The cost of these cloud breaches totaled $4.75 million, higher than the average cost of $4.45 million for all data breaches.The reason for this high cost is not only the…

Accelerating security outcomes with a cloud-native SIEM

5 min read - As organizations modernize their IT infrastructure and increase adoption of cloud services, security teams face new challenges in terms of staffing, budgets and technologies. To keep pace, security programs must evolve to secure modern IT environments against fast-evolving threats with constrained resources. This will require rethinking traditional security strategies and focusing investments on capabilities like cloud security, AI-powered defense and skills development. The path forward calls on security teams to be agile, innovative and strategic amidst the changes in technology…

Best practices for cloud configuration security

5 min read - Cloud computing has become an integral part of IT infrastructure for businesses of all sizes, providing on-demand access to a wide range of services and resources. The evolution of cloud computing has been driven by the need for more efficient, scalable and cost-effective ways to deliver computing resources.Cloud computing enables on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) over the internet. Instead of owning and maintaining physical hardware and infrastructure, users…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today