Keith Watson

Keith Watson

MBA, CISSP-ISSAP, CISA | Security Architect

West Lafayette, Indiana (Lafayette, Indiana Area)
Computer & Network Security

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Keith Watson's Overview

  • Security Architect at Purdue University

253 connections


Keith Watson's Summary

My information security career began with the release of the Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks (SATAN) in 1995. While I attended my co-op professional practice, I served as a UNIX systems administrator. After using SATAN and others to audit the systems for which I was responsible, I returned to Purdue Computer Science department and enrolled in an independent study course in which I extended SATAN's capabilities. After graduation, I went to Sun Microsystems and continued building tools.

At Sun, I moved through the company serving in several information security roles starting with research and advanced software development at Sun Labs and ending in product management with Sun Software group.

I returned to Purdue University in 2002 and served as a research engineer at the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) focused on a wide range of information security and assurance issues. Here my responsibilities expanded to encompass much more than research.

I am currently the Security Architect for Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) focused on the implementation of systems and programs that protect information and information systems within the university.

To help advance the knowledge and experience of our local professionals, students, and others interested in careers in information security, I am the Benevolent Dictator of the Greater Lafayette Security Professionals and the Faculty Advisor of the CERIAS Student Association.

In May 2014, I completed my MBA with an emphasis on Management and Strategy. The pursuit of this education allows me to communicate business risk, understand an organization's business processes, and gain the trust of business executives.

My career goal is to serve as a Chief Information Security Officer or Chief Security Officer for an online services company. To reach that goal, I have a plan with several objectives, educational goals, and milestones.


Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSP-ISSAP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), security consulting, data center assessment, physical security assessment, policy development and review, technical product marketing, information assurance and security research, software development, and project management

Keith Watson's Skills & Expertise

  1. Information Security
  2. Security
  3. Computer Security
  4. CISSP
  5. Information Assurance
  6. Risk Assessment
  7. Secure Network Architecture
  8. Unix
  9. Solaris
  10. Security Architecture Design
  11. Security Policy Development
  12. Public Speaking
  13. CISA
  14. Vulnerability Assessment
  15. Data Center
  16. Penetration Testing
  17. Information Technology
  18. ISSAP
  19. HIPAA
  20. Physical Security
  21. Cryptography
  22. Information Security Management
  23. Network Security
  24. Unix Security
  25. Unix Shell Scripting
  26. Linux System Administration
  27. FreeBSD
  28. Ubuntu
  29. Linux
  30. Ruby
  31. Project Management
  32. Information Security Awareness
  33. OpenSSH
  34. Technical Writing
  35. Writing

View All (35) Skills View Fewer Skills

Keith Watson's Certifications

  • Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSP-ISSAP)

    • (ISC)^2
    • License 27428
    • June 2012 to December 2016
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

    • International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)^2
    • License 27428
    • December 2010 to December 2016
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

    • ISACA
    • License 0759653
    • January 2007 to December 2016
  • INFOSEC Assessment Methodology (IAM)

    • Information Security Assurance Training and Rating Program (ISATRP)
    • October 2005
  • INFOSEC Evaluation Methodology (IEM)

    • Information Security Assurance Training and Rating Program (ISATRP)
    • October 2005

Keith Watson's Experience

Security Architect

Purdue University

Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry

June 2013Present (1 year 4 months) West Lafayette, Indiana

As the enterprise security architect for Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) in the IT Security and Policy group, I have a wide variety of responsibilities for the protection of information and information systems at Purdue. Currently, I drive the implementation of projects and security systems help the security team and other university entities discover and mitigate security vulnerabilities within the network. I work with the security project manager in defining and managing progress on the various projects in our portfolio. I work with our colleagues in the compliance arena to facilitate their technical needs. I consult with other IT groups at the university to address security questions and needs. To tackle these challenges, I lead and manage a great team of three security engineers.

My key contributions and achievements include: Improving project implementation success through better project management practices. Defining specific projects that improve security analyst capabilities. Working with other IT groups to acquire new data sources for the SIEM. Assisting IT groups in accessing and using our vulnerability discovery tools. Merging other IT department security systems into our own, reducing operational costs and centralizing security management. Training security analysts and engineers on the use security tools, data capture, and analysis. Completed a PMP Exam Preparation Course. Completed the Leadership Challenge for Emerging Leaders training and applying those concepts daily. Continue to bring local information security professionals together monthly for knowledge sharing, training, and networking through the Greater Lafayette Security Professionals group.

Information Assurance Research Engineer

Purdue University

Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry

August 2002June 2013 (10 years 11 months) West Lafayette, IN

As a research engineer at the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), my responsibilities progressively evolved over time. I was originally hired to manage security research projects. In that capacity I established several research projects with interested students and worked directly with faculty on objectives and directions. I embraced the educational focus of CERIAS and served as a teaching assistant to a graduate-level course, trained many IT professionals in a variety of subjects in security, worked one-on-one with students interested in careers in the security field, and worked with teams to organize training and awareness events. I was called upon to conduct risk assessments for groups at Purdue and at other universities.

My key contributions and achievements were: Acquired Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSP-ISSAP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Conducted HIPAA Security Rule risk assessments for Indiana-based hospitals and healthcare practices through Purdue Healthcare Advisors (an ARRA-funded Regional Extension Center). Consulted with various organizations on information protection involving restricted data. Conducted research in intrusion detection, digital forensics, and security architecture. Managed student research groups for the embedded sensors, Poly^2, and File Hound projects. Automated firewall rule management and developed remotely managed security servers. Managed portions of the Center's IT infrastructure. Served as T.A. for CS626, Advanced Information Assurance, Spring 2003 and taught four classes.

Senior Security Architect

Farallon Risk Group LLC

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Information Technology and Services industry

September 2009June 2011 (1 year 10 months) West Lafayette, IN

At Farallon Risk Group our mission was to assist clients with managing their information security breach response through risk assessment, mitigation, breach response playbook development, and staff augmentation services.

My key contributions and achievements were: Assisted healthcare and energy sector clients with regulatory compliance and breach notification. Conducted risk assessments and documentation review and created rating-based mitigation plans. Created consulting methodology for risk assessments and breach notification procedures. Trained ten developers in secure programming techniques and application threat modeling.

Product Manager

Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; ORCL; Information Technology and Services industry

January 2001March 2002 (1 year 3 months) Broomfield, CO

As the Product Manager for Solaris Network Security, I was responsible for determining customer network security needs and requirements, working with Solaris engineering teams on implementation of features, assisting customers with implementation of security configurations using technical documentation and tool development.

My key contributions and achievements were: Acquired Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Discussed needs with customers and researched market requirements for Sun product security. Negotiated and assisted in prioritization of Solaris OE software security engineering efforts. Wrote content for and managed internal contributions to the Sun global security web site. Presented the corporate vision and customer value proposition for Solaris software security. Developed security marketing collateral, presentations, and Solaris 9 product launch materials. Developed the Solaris Security Toolkit audit framework to test Solaris security configurations.

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; ORCL; Information Technology and Services industry

November 1998January 2001 (2 years 3 months) Mountain View, CA and Menlo Park, CA

As a Project Engineer for Sun Professional Services, I was involved in assisting the consultants in the development of technical documentation, service methodology development, and software tools to manage security for clients.

My key contributions and achievements were: Wrote four Sun BluePrints OnLine technical articles on Solaris system and network security. Created consulting methodology, tools, and training for building secure Solaris installations. Assisted in the development of the Solaris Security Toolkit, a tool for automating OS builds. Participated in consulting engagements, security projects, assessments, and internal training.

Member of Technical Staff

Sun Labs (Sun Microsystems, Inc.)

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; ORCL; Information Technology and Services industry

June 1997November 1998 (1 year 6 months) Palo Alto, CA

As a member of technical staff at Sun Labs, I focused on developing novel network security tools to solve real problems in system configuration management and assessment.

My key achievement was: Developed and released the Sun Enterprise Network Security Service (SENSS), an open source, Java-based, hierarchically organized, intranet security policy enforcement and assessment system in collaborations with a top-notch team of security engineers.

UNIX Systems Administator (Co-Op student)

Northern Telecom and Bell-Northern Research (formerly Nortel Networks)

January 1995August 1995 (8 months) Research Triangle Park, NC

As Co-Op student and UNIX systems administrator for UNIX systems group at Northern Telecom and Bell-Northern Research, I focused on delivering timely solutions and quality work for the customers that I served.

My key contributions and achievements were: Diagnosed and corrected level 2 customer support issues with UNIX systems and applications. Managed user accounts on more than 4,000 workstations and servers for all of North Carolina. Served as after-hours technical support. Provided technical assistance to senior administrators for project work. Automated some routine daily processes to save manual effort and to reduce errors. Used security tools to assess the security configuration of the systems.

Keith Watson's Honors and Awards

  • Pillar of CERIAS

    Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, Purdue University
    • April 2011
  • Professional Achievement Award

    College of Science, Purdue University
    • February 2008
  • Leadership Award

    College of Science, Purdue University
    • February 2013
  • Example of Excellence

    Western Governors University (WGU)
    • May 2014

    I received this award for work I submitted for the Strategic Management course during my MBA program.

    The evaluator's comments were:

    "The submission does an exemplary job of providing strategy analysis, value chain analysis, and identifying competitors' strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. The discussion is very thorough with relevant supporting data."

Keith Watson's Organizations

  • Greater Lafayette Security Professionals

    Benevolent Dictator
    • January 2009 to Present

    The Greater Lafayette Security Professionals group is an informal association of information security professionals in the Greater Lafayette, Indiana area. We meeting monthly to discuss current issues, conduct hands-on workshops, review the latest trends, and learn about tools, techniques, and regulations that impact the information security community. The price of membership is active participation.

    As the Benevolent Dictator of GLSP, it is my responsibility to organize our monthly meetings, encourage and cajole my fellow security professionals into presenting interesting work, keep our wiki up to date, and occasionally present.

  • CERIAS Student Association

    Faculty Advisor
    • May 2009 to Present

    The CERIAS Student Association is university-recognized, student-led organization for undergraduate and graduate students that are affiliated with CERIAS. The association is interested in advancing the state of information assurance, security, and privacy through innovative research and education.

    As one of the faculty advisors, I assist the student leadership, answer questions, and assist in acquiring resources.

Keith Watson's Publications

  • Own Your Space: A Guide to Facebook Security

    • Own Your Space
    • August 18, 2011

    This guide describes the threats unique to Facebook users and the security features available on Facebook.

  • A Novel Skin Tone Detection Algorithm for Contraband Image Analysis

    • Proceedings of the Third International workshop on Systematic Approaches to Digital Evidence Engineering
    • May 2008

    This paper examines skin tone detection algorithms used by first responder forensic tools such as File Hound. File Hound is a "field analysis" software application that is currently being used by over 100 law enforcement agencies, both internationally and domestically. It is mainly used in forensic investigations to search and identify pornographic images from a hard drive. Since the conception of File Hound, several steps have been taken to improve its performance and expand its features. One such feature is a skin tone detection filter that can identify images with a large skin color count from the aggregate image results found by File Hound. This filter is based on the idea that there is a positive correlation between images with a large skin color count and images that are pornographic in nature. A novel skin tone detection filter was developed and this filter was tested against random images obtained from the Compaq Image database for skin tone detection.

  • Poly^2 Paradigm: A Secure Network Service Architecture

    • Proceedings of the 19th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference
    • December 2003

    General-purpose operating systems provide a rich computing environment both to the user and the attacker. The declining cost of hardware and the growing security concerns of software necessitate a revalidation of the many assumptions made in network service architectures. Enforcing sound design principles while retaining usability and flexibility is key to practical security. Poly^2 is an approach to build a hardened framework for network services from commodity hardware and software. Guided by well-known security design principles such as least common mechanism and economy of mechanism, and driven by goals such as psychological acceptability and immediate usability, Poly^2 provides a secure platform for network services. It also serves as a testbed for several security-related research areas such as intrusion detection, forensics, and high availability. This paper discusses the overall design and philosophy of Poly^2, presents an initial implementation, and outlines future work.

  • Building and Deploying OpenSSH for the Solaris™ Operating Environment

    • Sun BluePrints™ OnLine
    • July 2001

    This article describes the method to compile and install the OpenSSH client and server for Solaris OE 2.6, 7, and 8.

  • Solaris™ Operating Environment Security

    • Sun BluePrints™ OnLine
    • January 2000

    This article describes the various security-relevant configuration options for the Solaris™ Operating Environment. The settings described apply to Solaris OE 2.5.1, 2.6, 7, and 8.

  • Solaris™ Operating Environment Network Settings for Security

    • Sun BluePrints™ OnLine
    • December 1999

    This article provides security-relevant configuration details for the network devices and services available on the Solaris™ Operating Environment. It is applicable to Solaris OE 2.5, 2.6, and 7.

  • Solaris™ Operating Environment Minimization for Security: A Simple, Reproducible and Secure Application Installation Methodology

    • Sun BluePrints™ OnLine
    • December 1999

    This article describes a method to reduce the the number of software components installed for a server running the Solaris™ Operating Environment. It is applicable to Solaris OE 2.5, 2.6, and 7.

Keith Watson's Projects

  • Poly^2 (Poly-computer, Poly-network)

    • August 2002 to May 2009

    The project included the creation of a network service platform using commodity hardware and customized software to deliver critical network services. The emphasis for the implementation was primarily on security, though high availability and reliability were also addressed.

  • Embedded Sensors Project

    • August 2002 to May 2004

    This project explores novel techniques for performing intrusion detection by using low-level components that are called internal sensors and embedded detectors. An internal sensor is a piece of code built into a program that monitors a specific variable or condition of that program. The program in question could be the Unix kernel, a system utility, or a high-level application. By being built into the program that it is monitoring, an internal sensor can perform direct monitoring on the system, which allows it to obtain information that is reliable (very difficult to modify, either by accident or by a malicious attack) and near real-time (obtained almost at the moment it is generated). An embedded detector is a piece of code built into a program that looks for specific signs of specific attacks or intrusions. An embedded detector bases its decisions on an internal sensor, either explicitly (when the sensor is clearly differentiable from the detector) or implicitly (when the sensor is part of the detector, this is usually the case when the checks are very simple).

  • File Hound

    • January 2007 to May 2012

    File Hound is a software package that helps law enforcement first responders deal with crimes involving digital pictures. File Hound was developed by an undergraduate student during the summer of 2004. Originally introduced to the law enforcement community at a 2004 National White Collar Crime Center training course held at Purdue University for LE first responders, File Hound has grown to incorporate most of the features requested by the LE community.

  • BioAPI Java

    • August 2005 to May 2009

    This project defines a native java version of the BioAPI 2.0 specification. This project was coordinated as an ANSI INCITS M1 project.

Keith Watson's Education

WGU Indiana

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Management and Strategy


Purdue University

Bachelor's degree, Computer Science


Dean's List (Fall 1992, Spring 1993), Semester Honors (Fall 1992, Spring 1993, Fall 1993)

Activities and Societies: Member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma (scholastic honoraries), Purdue Student Chapter of the ACM, the Offramp group, Purdue Daemons, independent security research, independent network experimentation

Keith Watson's Courses

  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Management and Strategy

    WGU Indiana

    • E-Business (QRT2)
    • Supply Chain (JCT2)
    • Human Resources (JDT2)
    • Social Responsibility (JJT2)
    • Financial Analysis (JET2)
    • Leadership (SAT2)
    • Decision Analysis (JGT2)
    • Organizational Management (JFT2)
    • Risk Management (JIT2)
    • Strategic Management (JHT2)
  • Bachelor's degree, Computer Science

    Purdue University

    • Network Security Tools (independent study) (CS 490)
    • Penetration Analysis (CS 590T)
    • Security Assurance (independent study) (CS 490)
    • Science and Engineering of the WWW (CS490W)
  • Security Architect

    Purdue University

    • PMP Exam Preparation
  • Information Assurance Research Engineer

    Purdue University

    • Ruby on Rails, The Pragmatic Studio

Keith Watson's Languages

  • English

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)

Keith Watson's Volunteer Experience & Causes

  • Volunteer Interests

    • Causes I care about:

      • Education
      • Science and Technology

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