Speaker Interview: Nathan Chan


Nathan Chan took some time with the SCALE Team to talk about his SCALE 12X presentation, “Introduction to Kali tools: nmap and OpenVAS.”

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: My name is Nathan Chan, and I currently live in southern California. I have also lived the DC area, Houston and Seattle. My background is in software, most recently testing. I've spent most of my working life in defense and aerospace, with a 4 year stint in commercial software.

I moved over to security a couple of years ago on the advice of a friend who has been in security for over 20 years.

Currently I work for a company that provides vulnerability assessments and pen testing for healthcare, financial, and other institutions in support of their internal audit departments.

Q: You're giving a talk on “Introduction to Kali tools: nmap and OpenVAS.” Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: The purpose of this talk is to introduce some Kali tools to sysadmins so they can start assessing possible vulnerabilities in their networks. Nmap is an outstanding tool for port scanning, while OpenVAS is a vulnerability scanner. Penetration testers are familiar with these tools but I think sysadmins can benefit from them too. Best of all, Kali Linux is free!

Kali is just a small part of the much greater field of IT security.  With events like the recent Target breach, IT security is a must.

Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: I have been to SCALE the past two years, helping Orv Beach in his Beginning Linux class. I really enjoy wandering around the exhibition hall to see what products and services are available, along with who's hiring.

Q: What is the coolest thing you've ever done?

A: http://www.j-archive.com/showplayer.php?player_id=3532 --  I'm living proof that knowing facts does not equal intelligence.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: My main hope is that I can help someone get interested in Kali tools, or even IT security. It's a big subject and there will be a need for more and more IT security practitioners.

[SCALE Team interview by Hannah Anderson]