Shaun Henderson

Information Systems & Cybersecurity, Senior Manager

Years with MIL: 2

What were you doing before joining MIL?

I had been providing penetration testing and red teaming support. Prior to that, I had gone to school for System/Network Administration, and detoured through a career doing software development.

Why did you decide to join MIL?

MIL was recommended to me by a few of my colleagues. MIL provided me with an opportunity to test some unique systems that I would not have otherwise.

What are you working on now?

Currently I am providing System Security Engineering support. As a System Security Engineer, we provide architectural solutions to help non-standard IT systems defend against cyberattacks.  Additionally, I am a Division Head, overseeing multiple teams including System Security Engineering, Software Assurance, Cyber Test and Evaluation.

What is important about your work?

I get to help find solutions to protecting systems that were initially built when cybersecurity was virtually non-existent.

What are the best aspects about your current job?

It is an opportunity to use my penetration testing and red teaming experience to identify weaknesses in a system design and build solutions that can detect, delay, and disrupt the adversary. Anything I can do to make life miserable for the adversary makes me feel good. I also get help developers, engineers, and cybersecurity professionals develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and that alone is very rewarding.

Why do you enjoy working at MIL?

My leadership have been very supportive, and so has my team. I have been fortunate to help with some of the proposal work. That experience helped provide some additional insight into how defense contracting works outside of what we normally see as employees supporting a customer.

What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on at MIL?

I would say most of the projects are about equally challenging, although in different ways. Sometimes the problem is a tight budget, tight schedule, or tight requirements. Other times it is simply working through the natural, human resistance to change.

What is the best piece of career advice you can offer someone in your field who is either applying to or beginning a career at MIL?

To be successful in Cybersecurity you must continuously work to improve your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Get involved in the various communities, build something, have a project that you are excited about involving technology or security, do some bug bounties, and don’t forget to include it on your resume. It is all experience that shows that you are passionate about your work.