Recent iSchool graduate Anthony Kwok (BS/IS '21) is an aspiring computerphile who now has a full-time position at Accenture LLC in Houston. Kwok's interest in cybersecurity consulting stemmed from his curiosity about information technology and passion for helping others, which includes fixing computers and devices for people alongside ensuring that their technology is safe from cyberattacks.
As technologies continue to evolve, the need for cybersecurity to adapt is increasingly important. In a society where everyone relies on technology, Kwok emphasizes how crucial it is to ensure that these technologies are not at risk for potential malicious activity and to react accordingly when cyber incidents do occur.
"We have smart devices for everything from pacemakers to adult diapers, thermal sensors to pressure controllers, and heartrate monitors to toasters," he said. "These devices need to operate securely because many people will leverage and use them for malicious purposes, which can range from injury to stolen information. Therefore, cybersecurity and privacy are essential to maintaining order and stability in our daily lives."
Kwok's desire to help others and his inquisitive nature helped him obtain a position at Accenture, a multinational company that specializes in information technology services and consulting. He credits his success to the many people who helped him get to where he is and his desire to learn new things, both in the classroom and in his internship at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). During his time at NCSA, Kwok made cybersecurity data-driven decisions from analyzing firewalls, system logs, and scripts. He also performed security audits, investigated network traffic, and documented security best practices. By putting his knowledge and experience to use, Kwok contributed to the security and efficiency of the technologies on which we all depend.
"I spent a lot of my time asking questions, searching for the answers I wanted. I knew that I didn't need to follow anyone else's path and had to carve my own, but I needed the advice of others to make an informed decision," Kwok said of his transfer to the iSchool from another unit on campus. "There's no such thing as a self-made person. You need a team that has your back while you face life's ups and downs together, and the iSchool was that team for me."
Kwok was able to take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of the BS/IS program and tailor an academic path that would lead him to his new career. His advice to prospective students is to set their own expectations, be decisive, and pursue the topics that interest them.
Now a cyber security consulting analyst at Accenture, Kwok offers the warning, "It's not a matter of if your organization will face a cyber attack but when."