Inside IT Security: Christopher Grossi
Q: You have recently assumed the role as Manager of Help Desk Level 2. Is HD Level 2 something new? What's its charge?
A: As part of the reorganization CIS conducted in the Fall, the CIS Help Desk was split into two tiers. The Help Desk Level 2 takes escalated tickets from the Level 1 Help Desk, manages the Help Desk Service-on-Site program, acts as point of communication to the DCC community, and provides service at the desktop level during the rollout of CIS projects.
Q: What are some of the challenges that you and your staff are likely to encounter in the coming months, particularly around issues of security?
A: We continually work at ensuring that desktop and laptop computers are configured securely as we troubleshoot and solve computing problems.
We're actively in communication with the IT Security group and are developing best practices for securing Vista and Office 2007. We're also continuing our work with the File Services project in rolling out secure Novell directory services to campus.
Q: You're a member of the CIS CIRT team. Could you give us an example of a CIRT incident and what your responsibilities are to give the readers a better sense of what the CIRT team does?
A: During a CIRT incident such as a virus outbreak or a denial-of-service attack, the Level 2 Help Desk acts as the center of communications between CIS Operations and Systems, the Level 1 Help Desk, and the DCC community.
Q: What's your typical day like (if there is such a thing as "typical")?
A:One of the fun things about working at the Help Desk is that you never know what's going to come at you on any given day. We deal with a mix of ticket escalation and consultation with the Level 1 Help Desk, service-on-site appointments, desktop streaming sessions, Blackberry support, VIP support, and emergency coordination, with a couple of trips to Starbucks to refuel.
Q: What's your background? Did you set out to work in IT, or hope to one day be supporting hundreds of computers users?
A: My degree is in Geology (Brown alum - Class of '92) - I spent 10 years working as an environmental consultant in a small-company atmosphere. In additional to my geologic work, I was our in-house IT consultant providing helpdesk services. Once I realized I really enjoyed IT work, I got my MCSE certification, and looked for a job in IT.
I've been back at Brown for almost 5 years now . I came here when the professional Help Desk was put together in the Fall of 2002. I spent 2 years at the Help Desk and as CIS DCC before moving into CIS' Desktop Services group. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd come back to Brown, but I'm sure glad I did. It's changed my life in ways I'd never imagined.
Q: What would be the most important piece of computing advice that you'd like to pass on to the average user?
A: Answers to many computing questions are available on the internet. Google is your friend.
Q: In case I've missed any ground you would have liked covered, is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: Since CIS' reorganization into Help Desk Levels 1 and 2, we've been able to improve our response time and efficiency of service. We're looking forward to continuing to grow and offer additional services to the Brown community.