Employee Spotlight: Kelby Hinson
The 4th of July is a favorite holiday for many Americans – a day of festive parties and fireworks. Kelby Hinson proudly celebrates every year. In 2021 he added another reason to celebrate it: his wedding anniversary. The benefits to getting married on July 4th, he says, include a guaranteed day off and a date you never forget!
2021 Marks Year of New Beginnings
Kelby, originally from Arizona, made a lot of changes in 2021. First, he separated from the U.S. Air Force after twelve years of service. He got married the love of his life, joined NetCentrics, and began work on a contract with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).
At the USCG Kelby works on a team of three, shoulder to shoulder with Coasties, to defend the network systems that secure our nation. He is a Cyber Security Master Analyst working on the USCG’s digital infrastructure, and he specializes in ethical hacking and computer and network forensics.
Kelby and his co-worker Jesse Hernandez received kudos from the USCG recently for their work developing and deploying the latest and most modern hunt kits.
Hunt kits observe network traffic and computer mission operations. They look for behavioral anomalies and root out custom scripts and other fingerprints of malicious intent. Data security is job one, and Kelby continues his ongoing, self-driven education to stay on top of threats.
Cybersecurity Skills Thanks to the U.S. Air Force
Kelby didn’t start his career in cybersecurity. He spent his first six years in the U.S. Air Force as a medic. This demanding role revealed an aptitude for level-headed thinking in stressful situations. This characteristic is beneficial in medical contexts but also when addressing cyber threats and attacks that have the potential to escalate quickly.
When he was ready to make a career change, he knew he could continue to serve the Air Force in the cyber realm. Tinkering with computers and networks was what he did in his spare time for fun, so it was a natural choice. “I’m a big ’ole nerd,” he says with a chuckle, “and when I took the aptitude tests, it made sense to make the move.”
The Air Force was eager to put Kelby on a cybersecurity track. The demand for cyber skills far outstrips the need in military and civilian life. In fact, it’s an area of concern documented recently by the DOD and IBM in the private sector.
Kelby began with an assignment as a student in cyber warfare operations in Biloxi, Mississippi. From there he became a Cyber Warfare Operator, moving up to Cyber Weapons Operations Supervisor in San Antonio, Texas. He moved up again to Offensive Cyber Operations Crew Supervisor, and finally, onto Cyber Liaison Officer over the course of his military career.
Kelby says he accepted every new post and its training with enthusiasm. He says he’s grateful the Air Force invested in his learning because cybersecurity is intellectually and personally satisfying. He’s proud of the time he served and eager to put these skills to use at NetCentrics serving the U.S. Coast Guard.
When Kelby’s not busy working he is enjoying life in Alexandria, Virginia. He and his wife regularly explore Old Town’s many restaurants. He is open to trying most any kind of cuisine, but points to “tacos and anything Asian” as his absolute favorites. As a new resident to the National Capital Region he has plenty more to explore, and he’s sure to do that with enthusiasm, too.