Speed Data: Tackling Federal Cybersecurity Challenges With AJ Forysiak

Building networks with military, civilian, and intelligence community leaders is just part of AJ’s day-to-day as the Business Development Executive for the Varonis Department of Defense team.
Megan Garza
2 min read
Last updated March 25, 2024
AJ Forysiak

Welcome to Speed Data: Quick Conversations With Cybersecurity Leaders. Like speed dating, our goal is to capture the hearts of CISOs with intriguing, unique insight in a rapid format for security professionals pressed for time.

This week, Content Editor Megan Garza spoke with Varonis’ own AJ Forysiak to glean insight into cybersecurity best practices in the federal sector. Building networks with military, civilian, and intelligence community leaders is just part of AJ’s day-to-day responsibilities as the Business Development Executive for the Varonis Department of Defense team. Read the full blog below to learn more about how AJ works with the government sector and his tips for understanding the most complex cybersecurity situations.

Fated for the federal sector

With a 20-year career in the United States Army, experience working in the Pentagon and for the Department of Defense, and previous roles in security military intelligence, AJ Forysiak is all about the federal sector. As the Business Development Executive for the Varonis FED team, AJ’s expertise and background in tactical missions serve him well in his day-to-day role.

“About 11 years ago, they were taking a lot of intelligence officers and transitioning them to cyber,” AJ said. “It was a natural fit; we do hunt-type missions in intel, and we’re just hunting in different ways in cyber.”

AJ showcases his vast knowledge of cybersecurity and government policies on his brand-new YouTube channel, AJ Talks Cyber. In his series, he discusses topics like safeguarding personal data, the risk of free-flowing information on social media, and how security policies can make the world a safer place.

“What got me excited about cyber was we could solve a lot of problems,” AJ said. “Take something like Zero Trust; there are plenty of ways to do that in the commercial space. Those are the things I talk about in my videos.”

The building blocks of cybersecurity

For someone as experienced and advanced in his field as AJ, you wouldn’t expect him to preach about the importance of fundamentals. But the complex nature of cybersecurity can seem daunting if you can’t simplify the problem into more manageable steps.

“I learned a valuable lesson early on in my career,” he said. “When you embark on something really challenging or very technical, you have to master the basics.

"Cybersecurity is a very technical and complex field, but when you start breaking down complex tasks into simple, bite-sized elements, it’s very easy to start tackling the problems we have in cyber. Master the basics, and then the bigger things will solve themselves."

With degrees and certifications from prestigious universities like Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth, AJ has always enjoyed the technical side of data security.

“Getting into cyber was something I really looked forward to doing,” he said. But if he didn’t go that route? He’d be following in his brother’s footsteps overseas.

“What would I be doing if I wasn’t in cyber? I’d probably be in banking,” AJ said. “My brother lives in Vietnam — he’s in a very highly-regulated industry. He’s involved in investing, something that’s a secondary passion of mine.”

Watch AJ's full episode above or on our YouTube channel

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