Interview with Joseph MacMillan

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Joseph MacMillan is the author of Infosec Strategies and Best Practices, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Joseph: Information Security

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Joseph: I was reading a Packt book in order to prepare for an upcoming exam, and near the final page there was a call-to-action to write for Packt. I wrote to the email, and was subsequently contacted by members of Packt with a lot of encouragement and excitement over what I could bring to a title.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Joseph: A lot of my research has occurred in my daily work, as well as my preparations for certification exams. The timeline for completing this book was much shorter than I was expecting, and so I’m glad I was already well-versed in the high-level topics I cover in the book.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Joseph: I experienced imposter syndrome and time-related challenges continually whilst working through the book. It was a large commitment of time, and there were moments when I felt as though I had made a huge mistake… but now that I’ve completed the book, I’m hopeful for the future, and see that I’ve achieved something many people strive to achieve in their lives.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Joseph: Information Security is more relevant than ever before, but as we progress towards a more digital reality, and the natural world is interwoven with new technology, our society’s structures are going to present an unprecedented attack surface for exploitation and outages. As a result, it’s increasingly important for everybody, not just specialists, to have a basic understanding of how to reduce their information security risk.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Joseph: The book is unique in the way it captures an overview of information security best practices, offering a holistic approach which is digestible and understandable. Additionally, I didn’t want to create a book which took itself too seriously, and I believe I’ve managed to achieve the goal of writing an entertaining book with risk management as a core theme.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Joseph: I want the readers to understand the key principles behind reducing Information Security risk at their organization, across several disciplines and industries. A reader of this book will feel empowered and inspired to make a positive impact, and make the world a safer place.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Joseph: In order to keep up with a constantly-changing field, it’s important to have an inquisitive mind which has committed to continual learning.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Joseph: I’m active on LinkedIn, which can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josephmacmillan/

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Joseph: Krebs on Security: krebsonsecurity.com/

Wired: www.wired.com/category/security/

The documentary series CyberWar from Vice: www.vicetv.com/en_us/show/cyberwar

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Joseph: The Packt team has been a great resource. I couldn’t have completed this book without them, and I highly recommend working with them.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Joseph: I’m active on LinkedIn, which can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josephmacmillan/

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Joseph: Krebs on Security: https://krebsonsecurity.com/

Wired: https://www.wired.com/category/security/

The documentary series CyberWar from Vice: https://www.vicetv.com/en_us/show/cyberwar

Computerphile on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9-y-6csu5WGm29I7JiwpnA

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Joseph: Packt provided a very tight timeline, with detailed information on what was required at each date. I put aside a lot of spare time, and committed each weekend to writing in my office. Considering the past year has comprised of the COVID-19 lockdowns, it wasn’t as difficult as it would have been otherwise.

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Joseph: Plug away at it. Every great achievement in your life has begun the same way: You took the first step.

You can find Joseph’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

 

Infosec Strategies and Best Practices available on Amazon.com