Employee Spotlight:
Justin Montalbano

Justin Montalbano | Senior Security Consultant

At Digital Silence, our team was brought together by people who approach cybersecurity from diverse perspectives, industries, and backgrounds. United in the belief that there was a better way to help clients achieve their security goals. In this spotlight, we are introducing our Senior Security Consultant, Justin Montalbano. Justin’s experience allows the Digital Silence team the ability to expand our penetration testing services beyond smart medical devices, entertainment devices, and web applications to other automotive and critical system testing. Justin’s level of depth and uniqueness he brings to the cybersecurity community is highlighted in his spotlight:

How did you originally become interested in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity wasn’t really an industry or topic I understood until college when I joined a student club and began volunteering for GrrCON (an information security and hacking conference operated by MidWest InfoSec LLC). Although I’d always been interested in how technology works and how I could leverage applications to my advantage, it wasn’t until college that I understood there’s an industry out there for these kinds of “shenanigans”.

What part of your job sparks the most joy for you?

Some of the most joy I get from my job is when I’m able to make an application or device perform actions it wasn’t originally intended to do, for instance, renaming a ticket for a flight once it’s already purchased. I also get a lot of excitement in physical assessments and bypassing “secured” facilities.

What would you consider your biggest professional achievement to be?

One of my biggest professional achievements to date would have to be the 8,500 sq-ft faraday cage I built for testing vehicles and automotive systems (i.e., autonomous, ECUs, gateways, infotainment, clusters, cloud, and wireless). For those not familiar with a faraday cage, this building had the capability to be completely silent, digitally. The purpose of the faraday cage was to test the wireless components of vehicles within a clean environment (i.e., absent of any RF noise, unwanted radio frequency electric signals – otherwise known as Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)).

What did you do before you came to work at Digital Silence?

Prior to working for Digital Silence, I was working in the automotive industry for the past 10+ years. My previous job was as a Product Security Engineer at Argo AI and before that, I was the Cybersecurity Technical Manager for Aptiv (previously Delphi Automotive). Coming from Detroit, MI, I have a bit of experience in automotive! 🙂

What is your biggest pet peeve that corporations do or forget to do when it comes to cybersecurity/protecting their information from threat actors?

Lock the front door…and what I mean by this is both in a literal sense and in a digital sense. There are too many times default credentials are left on critical systems which can then lead to further access to the network or system.

What is something you wish everyone knew about cybersecurity?

One thing I wish more people know about cybersecurity is that it’s not about how much security you have, but how much security you can do without, while keeping your system protected.

When you’re not in cyberspace, what are you typically doing?

Outside of cyberspace, I’m typically out in nature or traveling to visit and explore other cultures. I still believe there is a lot we can learn from nature, and I’d like to apply that thought to technology as well. In what ways can we incorporate nature’s functions and security into modern technology?

Who is your favorite movie or TV show that has a cybersecurity theme?

Maybe not a movie favorite, but I definitely enjoyed a scene from the movie that I could see happening. The movie is part of the Fast and the Furious saga, The Fate of the Furious, and the scene is when they use a tablet to remotely control a large selection of vehicles within a city limit to cause havoc upon the city. Just search for “Swarm of Car Scene” on YouTube!

Fun fact about yourself?

I can walk on my hands almost as well as I can walk on my feet.

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