44Robert Willis

“Red teamers aren’t out there to make the blue team look bad; everyone is on the same team, with the same goal of making an organization more secure.”

Closeup image of the security consultant at 1337 Inc "Robert Willis."

Twitter: @rej_ex

Robert Willis is a security consultant at 1337 Inc. with a BS in management and certifications in IT and security from Stanford University, USAF, DHS, CompTIA, EC-Council, ELS, and various other organizations. He began his journey into programming and hacking in the late ’90s on AOL. Robert is also currently enlisted in the Texas State Guard, working in cybersecurity at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.

How did you get your start on a red team?

After working in tech for many years, I decided to pursue my dream job of becoming an ethical hacker. Ethical hacking wasn’t really a known (mainstream) career field until recent times—in terms of companies actually hiring in-house employees or hiring third-party consultants to do red team activities to get an idea of how they appeared to a malicious actor or to meet/maintain required compliances (especially since many of the compliances we know today didn’t exist before). I mention this because for the most part, organizations seem to only have a third party test their networks and products annually after they have been breached, or if they are forced to under the threat of losing or halting business.

I was an AOL hacker in the mid-late ‘90s, and as I got ...

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