Learn About Andrew’s Cybersecurity Journey

Do not try to be the wisest, most intelligent, most generous, or kindest; try to be the one that is the most willing to listen, learn, and be of service if requested.

Andrew Kosakowski is a passionate cybersecurity professional that has worked in the public sector helping education secure data. Andrew’s cybersecurity adventure started when he successfully completed training at New Horizon’s Computer Learning Center in Spokane, Washington where he achieved training in computer, network, Microsoft Windows desktop and server administration. Andrew successfully completed his first round of CompTIA and Microsoft certifications. Shortly after, Andrew enrolled in self-paced learning from InfoSec Institute where he was introduced to reverse engineering, digital forensics, ethical hacking, intrusion detection and prevention, as well as the CISSP. Upon completion of his self-paced training Andrew successfully completed multiple certification exams to include the CISSP exam and the CEH exam.

Andrew’s first resume worthy position began when he was hired by Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis Indiana as a Jr. Information Security engineer. While at Ivy Tech Community College Andrew worked with the enterprise IPS solution that had been sitting idle. He tuned the solution, upgraded the solution, reported bugs to the vendor, as well as resolved licensing issues that resulted in the expansion of capabilities of the IPS. Andrew also worked with the netflow solution to identify potential compromises from China and other countries, identify risky servers and vulnerabilities, and help to create plans to resolve issues. Andrew even completed a password audit against all connected surveillance cameras to identify which were operating insecurely and were exposed to remote attacks. Other security tasks and assignments were assigned and completed as requested and required. Ivy Tech Community College is where Andrew completed his first SANS GIAC exam and earned his GCIH.

After departing Ivy Tech Community College to expand his area of expertise, knowledge, skills, and abilities Andrew began working for CSRA in Washington DC in support of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). While working for CSRA Andrew was responsible for assessing the security controls in support of FISMA based assessments. Andrew was the sole security control assessor for the majority of his tenure at CSRA. Some of Andrew’s most notable contributions while supporting FERC at CSRA include assisting in updating the POAM process, ensuring NARA requirements were integrated into the records management process, integrating multiple offices into the assessment process, and providing metrics for executive dashboards and trend analysis.

During the acquisition of CSRA by GDIT there was corporate uncertainty and turbulence that went unexplained and created an atmosphere of low moral and unrest. This lead to Andrew being receptive to the idea of change in employer. Andrew accepted a position at Blue Canopy which was undergoing its own growth pains and acquisition by Jacobs. Andrew was selected to be a senior security control assessor in support of Federal Student Aid (FSA), a sub-department of the Department of Education. Andrew was initially tasked with leading individual security assessments of Guarantor Agencies (GAs) whom held federal education loan data that contained privacy information of students and parents. Shortly after receiving that assignment Andrew received a request to act as both a senior control assessor and the project manager for all of the GA assessment scheduled to be completed that year. Some of Andrew’s most notable contributions at Blue Canopy included interviewing candidates for hire, working with FSA managers in support of GA assessments, mentoring junior and senior assessors, assigning assessors to assessments, completing on-site security control assessments, resolving assessment conflicts between FSA, Blue Canopy, and/or security control assessments. Andrew even created a GA executive metrics dashboard for reporting to executive leadership. To perform trend analysis, dynamic dashboard capabilities, and deeper insight another resource was on-boarded to mature and style the dashboard. Once the GA security assessments were coming to a close for the fiscal year Andrew had a lull in work and wanted to do more. At this point there was a discussion between Andrew and Jacobs and it was relayed that Jacobs had no current contracts where Andrew believed be could be of value.

After departing Jacobs Andrew took the opportunity to relocate back to one of his favorite places in the continental United States, the Pacific Northwest. Andrew looked for positions where he believed he could provide a benefit and which provided social benefit to the community. Andrew identified a position at Portland Public Schools in Portland, Oregon. The interview process was a bit cumbersome but worth the effort. Andrew began working at Portland Public Schools with an eclectic group of personalities in a fairly small (but large for public education) Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS). Andrew was assigned to support the access and identity management administrator, support the IAM migration, manage the security help-desk tickets, create a three-year security roadmap and strategy, perform incident response and remediation activities, support email security and flow rules, identify vulnerabilities and gaps in security in all OTIS departments, host a weekly security meeting to review security tasks, projects, goals, and initiatives within OTIS, and other security tasks, projects, goals, and initiatives as assigned. Shortly prior the COVID-19 becoming a national issue Andrew experienced some external pressure from family to relocated to support familial responsibilities and concerns. Andrew provided a 30-day notice and explained leaving Portland Public Schools was not the preferable choice but was the required one.

Andrew’s Certifications:

Security Certifications

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
April 2020 to April 2023

CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
April 2020 to April 2023

Associate of (ISC)2 working toward CISSP
June 2015 to June 2020 (expired)

Giac Defending Advanced Threats (GDAT)
August 2019 to August 2023

CompTIA Security+
January 2015 to April 2023

Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)
August 2015 to August 2021

CompTIA PenTest+
May 2020 to May 2023

CompTIA Security Analytics Expert (CSAE)
April 2020 to April 2023

CompTIA Security Analytics Professional (CSAP)
April 2020 to April 2023

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
August 2015 to August 2021

CompTIA Network Security Professional (CNSP)
May 2020 to May 2023

CompTIA Secure Cloud Professional (CSCP)
May 2020 to April 2023

Giac Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
July 2016 to July 2020 (expired)

CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional (CNVP)
April 2020 to April 2023

Splunk Certified User
September 2017

Infrastructure Certifications

CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (CSIS)
April 2015 to April 2023

CompTIA Network Infrastructure Professional (CNIP)
May 2020 to April 2026

CompTIA Security Infrastructure Expert (CSIE)
May 2020 to April 2023

CompTIA Linux Network Professional (CLNP)
May 2020 to April 2023

CompTIA Network+
April 2015 to April 2023

CompTIA Server+
May 2020

Workstation Certifications

CompTIA Linux+
May 2020 to May 2023

MCSA: Windows 8
March 2015

CompTIA Systems Support Specialist (CSSS)
May 2020 to April 2026

CompTIA A+
December 2014 to April 2023

Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
February 2015

CompTIA IT Operations Specialist (CIOS)
April 2015 to April 2023

Cloud Certifications

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Aug 2020 to Aug 2022

CompTIA Cloud Admin Professional (CCAP)
May 2020 to April 2023

CompTIA Cloud+
May 2020 to May 2023