A Cattle Call Approach to Recruitment

I Wish Employers Understood

A couple of months ago I heard about a company rebuilding their web presence and was in need of senior  Security Architect.  I called the CISO and left a voice mail  introducing myself and SecurityHeadhunter.com as a Security Search Firm. I indicated I would send my company Brochure and a link to the SecurityHeadhunter.com web site for their review. I was pleasantly surprised a few days later when I had a voice mail from the CISO (let’s call them John”) saying he would like to talk. When we spoke I had high hopes of picking up the search, which I hand already seen on their career page.

Well, I reach John and yes one of his managers was indeed still  looking for a security architect. They were frustrated in the fact this position had been open for over 7 weeks and the resumes from HR were not close to what was needed skills wise. I was sure my expertise could help identify quality talent, I told John. That’s when the shoe hit the ground. I was informed that all recruitment services must go through the HR department.  John had no control over that aspect of the process, but would  introduce me to the manager, which they connected me with while I was on the phone. Once John got off the call, the other shoe hit the ground. “I appreciate John introducing you, but we have a list of  approved vendors.  Please send your information and we’ll keep it on file” I was informed. I don’t go away that easy, so I let the HR manager know that I am not a general recruiter. I am president of SecurityHeadhunter.com and as the name implies we a  Security Search Firm. We have the ability and expertise to fill this job. Didn’t matter what I said. They had their vendors and they would let me know if I could help in the future. I let John know the outcome of the call.  He was also disappointed.

About 2 weeks ago I got a call from someone in HR (not the manager) asking if I could be available that afternoon for a conference call with the HR Manager and 2 Security managers to discuss the position since they were not getting the resumes they needed. Of course, I could and I was emailed the details to call for the CC.

At 2 pm I called in to enter the CC, but the code number to join the conference I was given was wrong.  I quickly reached the HR rep from earlier and was given the corrected code and called again. It was now 3 minutes after 2pm and when the automated system let me into the conference it announced to me “You are caller number 14  in the conference”.  You have to be kidding I thought. Am I just one of lots of recruiters on this call?  I must be part of a  “Recruiting Cattle Call”. What a waste of my time, but since I was already there I’ll listen.  The  HR Manager was already discussing  salary and other HR information before the  Security Managers detailed the job. It was good information, but nothing I didn’t already understand from a technical standpoint. The Security managers then asked for questions from those listening. I had a couple questions, but  I thought I would sit back and listen to what others asked. Like I suspected about 8 people (recruiters) asked question that made it so clear they had no idea what a security architect is and how to screen their skills.  At this, why would I want to spend valuable recruiting time on a search for an employer that utilizes the Cattle Call recruiting method. I did conduct a quick follow up call with the HR rep and was informed the others on the call were their approved vendors, the same ones that have not filled the job yet.

Time is money and the recruiting process is no different. Employers should try to fill their open jobs on their own if possible, but after 3 months of the efforts of the approved vendors with no success, perhaps it’s time to engage a “Security Headhunter” to fill the position.  In this case, it appears that the approved vendors just are not specialized in getting the correct talent  and I would not work on a search with 10 plus other firms. My time is to valuable to spend in a cattle call search process.

If you are not getting qualified resumes in your recruiting process, then you should change your process.

Moral of the story:  Make the decision to bring a “Security Search Firm” into your process at this point. You’ve given your other resources plenty of time with no success. Sometimes, as employers, you need to make an investment in your search with an exclusive search  that will actually results in a “search assignment” where candidates are recruited for your specific  job, not simply posting jobs to the Internet and see who replies.

I shared these thoughts with the HR manger and the CISO, but nothing yet. (the position is still open)  Perhaps next month the employer will decide to move forward on a real search assignment.

Have a great Monday!

Security Job: Web Application Security Engineer

Security Job: Web Application Security Engineer

Job Type: Full-time salaried position
Job Locations: If you are open to any of the following areas we should talk:  Illinois, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Connecticut
Compensation: $90,000 to $110,000 salary, maybe more
Telecommute: No
Education: BS strongly preferred, but not required.
Travel %: minimal
Relo Paid:  Possible assistance available on a case by case basis
Certifications Preferred: CISA, CISSP

SecurityHeadhunter.com is conducting a search for Web Application Security Engineers. Our client, a Fortune 500 organization, has engaged us to identify, recruit and prescreen candidates that have a passion for web security. These are full time positions working on site for the organization. The client is not a consulting firm.

Our client really wants to see candidates that have at least 3-5 years of software / application development and /or web development skills in Java OR .NET environment and has moved over to the Security side for at least the last 2-3 years.

Having a software or Web Development background prior to Web Application Security is NOT a must have, but is a big plus for the positions.

The selected candidate(s) will be working on new web application security as well as legacy systems from time to time. Selected candidate(s) must be very knowledgeable of OWASP TOP 10.


  • Conducting web application security assessments on both new and existing web applications.
  • These assessments involve manual testing and analysis as well as the use of automated web application vulnerability scanning and testing tools to include but not limited to Fortify, IBM App Scan, HP Web Inspector, Hail Storm testing tools.
  • Utilizing company standard reporting format to prepare formal security assessment reports for each application, using our standard reporting format.
  • Participate and lead when necessary conference calls with internal business customers to review security assessment results.
  • Consult with these internal business customers on remediation options and the retesting of security vulnerabilities that have been fixed and republishing your report to indicate the results.
  • Participate and lead when necessary conference calls with potential internal business customers to review newly requested security assessments and estimate the amount of time required to complete the assessment.
  • Ability to assist in the deployment and/or support of web application firewalls.
  • Experience working with static code analysis tools
  • Ability to communicate complex security subjects in easy-to-understand terms.
  • Desire to stay current with emerging technologies and industry trends.
  • Solid understanding of OWASP along with the ability to apply the application those security concepts.
  • Thorough understanding of both TCP/IP and HTTP.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, challenging and sometimes stressful environment while keeping a cool head.
  • Ability to look at the big picture and help in finding acceptable solutions and remedies.
  • Strong focus and ability to dealing with internal users and customers
  • Solid written and verbal communication skills.

For information on this or other Security related positions, please contact:

Wils Bell
SecurityHeadHunter.com, Inc.
POB 620298 * Oviedo, FL 32762
Direct: 407-365-2404
Bell@SecurityHeadhunter.comSecurityHeadhunter.com * www.Linkedin.com/in/wilsbell

Top 10 Cyber Crime Jobs

The  Cyber Crime Organization

This morning while reading my daily dose of security breaches to post to my Twitter account I came across a great article from an FBI study that discusses the make up of a Cyber Crime organization. The Top 10 Positions, if you will.

It really made me think back to the days that hackers where young kids, bored, sitting at a computer seeing what mischief they could cause. Oh, how things have changed.

As I talk to clients daily and discuss the issues of Cyber security it makes me really wonder how many firms really think about hackers being in a “Cyber Crime Organization”. Clients have their internal IT and Security departments with a variety of talent who create applications and those that protect the applications, and data and networks and so forth. Well, so do Cyber Criminals.

As I tell my clients, Cyber Criminals are very smart and sophisticated. You need to be smarter and more sophisticated. These criminal enterprises are run like a business. They are staffed with top talent that are dedicated to the job, yes their criminal job! By having these enterprises setup and running, they can and do strike within hours of an opportunity making itself available.

Here is a look at how the” Top 10″ positions within a Cyber Criminal Organizations according to the FBI.

1. Coders/programmers, who write the exploits and malware used by the criminal enterprise.

2. Distributors, who trade and sell stolen data and act as vouchers for the goods provided by other specialists.

3. Tech experts, who maintain the criminal enterprise’s IT infrastructure, including servers, encryption technologies, databases, and the like.

4. Hackers, who search for and exploit applications, systems and network vulnerabilities.

5. Fraudsters, who create and deploy various social engineering schemes, such as phishing and spam.

6. Hosted systems providers, who offer safe hosting of illicit content servers and sites.

7. Cashiers, who control drop accounts and provide names and accounts to other criminals for a fee.

8. Money mules, who complete wire transfers between bank accounts. The money mules may use student and work visas to travel to the U.S. to open bank accounts.

9. Tellers, who are charged with transferring and laundering illicitly gained proceeds through digital currency services and different world currencies.

10. Organization Leaders, often “people persons” without technical skills. The leaders assemble the team and choose the targets.

As I said earlier, this is no longer a bored teenager looking for mischief.

Wils Bell

Information Security Recruiter
SecurityHeadhunter.com, Inc.
POB 620298
Oviedo, FL 32762
Desk: 407-365-2404

Security Job: Compliance Manager

Position Summary for

Compliance Manager

Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: New York / Manhattan
Compensation: $120,000 plus bonus
Telecommute: No
Education: BS Required, Masters a plus
Travel %: Minimal
Relo Paid: No


  • Manage and lead an array of Compliance Programs to include but not limited to Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Continuous & Ad hoc internal audit  programs, Technology Audits, Controlled Access to Production Systems (CAPS) exercises, Internal Audit Issues, and others
  • Work with fellow team members, Technologists and Vendors to ensure that all the program deliverables are responded to the Enterprise-level Program teams in a timely fashion.
  • Ensure that the most efficient governance process in place for the Compliance Programs
  • Interface with Senior management including C-level Technology Executives  (by providing them continuous status updates on all Compliance Programs), as well as the technology managers and their team members to ensure that the program goals and objectives are addressed and executed on a day-to-day basis to achieve the overall goals
  • Interface with the Central Operation Risk Management team of Global Markets Technology, infrastructure groups, and the Global Auditors (internal and external) for the department
  • Stay abreast of the upcoming audit schedule and  requirements for the GRCT team and track any open audit items across the department to remediation and closure

Required: Required for being successful

  • Seven (7+) years experience in either a Program Management Office (PMO) or Business Management Office (BMO) in a compliance-based role
  • Excellent inter-personal, negotiation and influencing skills
  • Strong problem solving and analytical skills
  • Excellent organizational, planning, writing and communication skills
  • Self-starter with a proven track record of taking initiative
  • Persistency, poise and perseverance to get things accomplished under pressure and within the set timelines
  • Interest and track record of ensuring accuracy, clarity and quality of work with attention to detail
  • Past experience of working with senior management
  • Excellent MS-Office skills (including PowerPoint (for presentations) and Excel ( for manipulating large amounts of data)

Preferred:  Not mandatory but preferred –

  • Project Management Certification  – PMI or PRINCE 2, etc.

For additional information on this or other Security Jobs, please contact:

Wils Bell

Information Security Recruiter

SecurityHeadhunter.com, Inc.

POB 620298

Oviedo, FL 32762

Desk: 407-365-2404

Cell: 407-718-7764

Email: Bell@SecurityHeadhunter.com

Security Breaches on the iPhone – By Trevor Hawthorn

A friend of mine recently spoke at the Schmoocon conference in Washington on the New World of Smartphone Security.

I thank him for allowing us share the article. You may reach him

Trevor Hawthorn, CISSP

Managing Principal

Stratum Security, Inc.

Trevor has thirteen years of information security experience in various roles.  Trevor specializes in risk management, application and infrastructure vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, wireless security and incident response.  He is also a regular instructor of the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) training course.  Previously he was a Senior Security Consultant with Cybertrust (Formerly TruSecure) where he performed information security assessments.

Click Here to Read Article:


Wils Bell
Information Security Recruiter
SecurityHeadhunter.com, Inc.
POB 620298
Oviedo, FL 32762
Desk: 407-365-2404
Cell: 407-718-7764
Twitter: security_REC

Millions of MA Residents Exposed to Cyber Breaches

Todays Cyber Breach

From the Boston Globe:


Wils Bell
Information Security Recruiter
SecurityHeadhunter.com, Inc.
POB 620298
Oviedo, FL 32762
Desk: 407-365-2404
Cell: 407-718-7764
Twitter: security_REC

Security Breach Compromises Information

Security Recruiter – Daily Security Breach Report from the Web

Security breach compromises information on 1,400 District 86 grads

December 4, 2009
By SANDY ILLIAN BOSCH sbosch@pioneerlocal.com

A security breach discovered last month at the University of Nebraska involved the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of 1,400 Hinsdale High School District 86 graduates.

The breach involved a computer in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the Lincoln campus. The university’s investigation revealed the computer had not been adequately secured, allowing unauthorized external access to the computer and its information.

Associate Dean Deb Mullen said the information about students who graduated between 2002 and 2005 was used in a study intended to analyze the practices of school districts and what could be done to improve test performance.

“The district was doing it for school improvement,” Mullen said.

The information was provided to the university by the ACT organization, with permission from District 86, according to Mullen. She said it is not uncommon for researchers to obtain student information from school districts. The difference, she said, is that these days the students are identified by randomly assigned student identification numbers.

“Back in those days Social Security numbers were used as ID numbers,” she said.

Letters were sent to all 4,000 students whose information was made accessible through the security breach. Although no one has reported the misuse of information involved in the security breach, Mullen said she has fielded many calls from former students who did not understand how the University of Nebraska had their information. She said many people involved also have accepted the university’s offer to pay for a year of LifeLock identity protection.

Also included among the 4,000 names involved in the security breach were students from Glenbard District 87 and students from schools in South Sioux City, Neb. Mullen said all of the information has been purged from the university’s records.

Representatives from District 86 could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Source: http://www.pioneerlocal.com/clarendonhills/news/1921349,hi-d86security-120409-s1.article

Presented by:

Wils Bell – Security Recruiter



Bell (at) SecurityHeadhunter.com

Web: SecurityHeadhunter.com

LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/wilsbell

“Why work with a generalized recruiter when you could work with a specialized Security Recruiter!!”

Why I Don’t Share Client Name

Why I Don’t Share the Name of Client on First Recruiting Call

When I am recruiting for an open Security Job that is not a retained search, I usually do not share the name of my client with a cold called candidate for several reason,  until we have talked in detail.

First, I interview many candidates daily, and unfortunately I must tell several that they are not a match for “this job”.  Perhaps future jobs, but not this one. It does not mean that are not a good security candidate, just not a good match for this job. Sometimes, they on the other hand, feel that they are a great fit and want to proceed with the interview process. When I explain that the client wants and expects me  to pre-screen heavily so as only to present dead on matches, they get upset.  I have had these people try to go directly to the client themselves or call other recruiters and ask them to present them. If the company name has not been discussed, it protects me.

Also, I have had some very good intentioned people that knew my client name simply mention  to a friend or co-worker that I called and discussed a great opportunity with them at XYZ company and the friend or co-worker simply goes directly to the company without thinking about me. They did not mean to cut me out, they just did not realize they should call me to present them. After all, I am dealing directly with the hiring authority and can make things happen.

Please be aware that I do share the client name as soon as we (you and I) determine that it is a good match and worth proceeding forward with the process.

Since this is how I earn a living for me and my family please don’t be insulted by the process and my guarding my client name until we agree it’s a match.


Happy Holidays,


Wils Bell – Security Recruiter

Bell (at) SecurityHeadhunter.com

SecurityHeadhunter.com, Inc.



Desk: 407-365-2404

Security Breach Leaves 45,000 Exposed

Another University Security Breach

On Tuesday of this week, Cornell University notified 45,000 current and former members of the University community that their names and social security numbers had been exposed.

How: A university owed laptop was stolen earlier in the month.

A member of the University’s “Technical Staff” had access to the laptop which contained the sensitive data. They had the laptop for the purpose of correcting file processing transmission errors.

The files on the computer containing the names and social security numbers were not encrypted and the laptop was left in a physically unsecured environment, which violates University policy.

Even though the data on the laptop contained “no other sensitive data ” besides the names and social security numbers it is unbelievable that the data was not encrypted.

The university has stated that they feel they have identified all affected individuals and will provide protective services to those affected, including free credit reporting, credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services to those affected by the security breach.

As I have written before in this BLOG, Data Breach Can Cost You Millions of dollars and this does not include your brand reputation.

Individuals affected by this security breach include 22,546 students (10,597 of whom are alumni) and 22,731 faculty and staff members (of whom 4,284 are retirees or other separated employees.

University officials indicated that thus far non of the exposed data has been abused, however once again this data breach draws attention to the far boarder issue of the security of private information in this digital age.

The university also indicated that last June another Cornell computer used for administration purposes was hacked and the university notified 2,500 students of the incident and that person information may have been breached.

As noted in other postings, it appears that many times when a Data or Security Breach is brought to light, the affected organization also indicates that this is not their first incident.

Wils Bell – President
SecurityHeadhunter.com, Inc.
POB 620298
Oviedo, FL 32762
PH: 407-365-2404
Fax: 407-956-4976
Email: Bell@SecurityHeadHunter.com

Web: SecurityHeadhunter.com

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/wilsbell

Twitter: Security_REC