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Being a network engineer in Belgium

Meet Marcos, a cyber-enthusiast specialized in network security.

 Why did you choose a career in cybersecurity?

I have chosen a career in cybersecurity because it is a growth area. Cybersecurity has become a critical aspect in any company. Also, when we talk about cybersecurity, we are opening up to a world of options, like application security, risk assessment, investigation compliance, etc. This is certainly not a boring career!

Your career path is centered around networks. Why?

I started working in the networks field in 2005, and since then, I have never stopped. There is always something to learn. Every day is a different day. Those new puzzles and access to a diverse set of backgrounds help me to become a better professional.

Today, what are your missions at Orange Cyberdefense?

My main mission consists of working with the customers and together evaluate, plan, and implement the security systems that protect their IT infrastructure and data.

What is your daily life like?

Since the pandemic, our lives have changed a bit. I start working around 8 am: I read my emails, check tickets, I have videoconferences with my teammates, and spend the rest of the day focusing on our customers. I normally leave work at around 5:30 pm. This gives me time to cook, to do some CrossFit, or to ride my bicycle around the city, which I love.

You left Portugal to live in Belgium to work for Orange Cyberdefense. What do you like most about Belgium today?

It is easy to say that this is the land of the best waffles and chocolate. There are beers for all tastes too. But what I like the most is the architecture. It is so pleasant to ride my bike and see breathtaking architecture wherever you look.

How do you see your future at Orange Cyberdefense? What would be the career developments that would make you flourish?

Being part of a big company like Orange is already a big development of my career in itself. In my opinion, to continue to evolve, training, coaching, mentoring, and leadership programs are necessary. I do not doubt that the company should be able to create opportunities for promotions and internal career advancements.

What advice would you give to someone who, like you, is moving abroad for work?

My advice is “Come abroad! Leave your comfort zone behind!” It is a unique opportunity to make friends and discover a new culture and different ways of working. It is the best opportunity to grow professionally and as a person.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to do the same job as you?

What we usually see in movies are a lot of numbers on big screens, the good guys catching the hackers with a level of brilliance and sophistication beyond compare… but this is not true in the real world. Sometimes, you have to spend a lot of hours or even days, analyzing logs, applying patches, attending training, and reading security advisories, trying to figure out an issue that has been reported. I do not want to discourage anyone, but to let them know that if we have an exciting career, at the same time, we are not Hollywood movie stars. I may also insist on the fact that the pleasure of fixing an issue or resolving a problem is always absolutely worth the effort.

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