“What I do is the physical security inspection when there is a new installation of secret infrastructure. We check all the different types of zones in a building, the public zone, the reception zone, the operations zone, and the security zone. Then I analyze the emanation security, and what measures we can take to reduce the threat of attack.”
Basic trades can take you exciting places
I learned basic electronics in high school, so I decided on electronics as a trade. Then my first job in the military was as a Teletype Technician, fixing communications and cryptographic equipment, which meant learning about all the different equipment we would have to deal with. From day one I was learning about EMSEC, COMSEC, TEMPEST, and all that exciting stuff.
Protecting vital equipment and secrets from threats
After working in teletype I was able to move into a special area, technical information systems security, and be part of a “sweep team” to sweep for listening devices like bugs. For three years I travelled a lot, in Canada, Europe, anywhere there was a Canadian military base or presence I would sweep it for bugs. And when Canada was forwarding armoured vehicles to Afghanistan, I was able to travel to South Africa for over three months to install the communications equipment on them.
Security must be multi-pronged
You have to look at the whole spectrum of threats and vulnerabilities, from the firewall and the switches to the physical security and emanations, the part I deal with. If one part of a system is compromised you can compromise the whole system. Our job is critical in paying attention to all of the details, like ensuring sensitive equipment is installed correctly with the proper protection, or that everyone working nearby has the proper clearance.
My ADGA Mentor
Michel Auclair, COMSEC Specialist
I worked with Michel on the crypto modernization project for the Department of National Defence. We shared a similar background in the military, he’s a very knowledgeable person, always follows the guidelines for every secure installation, very easy to work with, and he led a great team.