NCC Alumnus Excels in Cybersecurity Career
“Nash Community College gave me the foundation I needed to jumpstart my career, and I reflect on many things I have learned to this day,” Brad Proctor said.
Proctor is a Nash County native living in Huntsville, AL, leading a team of cybersecurity consultants for Department of Defense contractors. In his role, he helps the contractors navigate complicated cybersecurity regulatory requirements necessary to secure the defense industrial base.
Brad Proctor attended Northern Nash High School. During his senior year, he enrolled in an electrical engineering class at NCC. “The convenient location, variety of classes offered, low cost and available campus resources made the community college a natural first choice,” he said. “I fell in love with the campus and the staff.”
Proctor is a senior cybersecurity consultant with MADSecurity, a company that safeguards client business operations through strategic security services and technology solutions. His cyber risk and compliance team performs compliance gap assessments and risk mediation and cyber security consulting for Department of Defense contractors.
“From an early age, I wanted to be a meteorologist,” he said. “But taking IT-related classes in high school changed my career trajectory. Between the early vocational opportunities offered in high school and the option to take classes at NCC, my decision to pursue the technology field was set.”
At Nash, Proctor received the GlaxoSmithKline scholarship. He took classes on circuitry, fabrication, microprocessing, linear applications, electronics, local area networking, physics, robotics, data communication, visual basic programming and more. “I even met my wife at NCC,” he said.
“My electrical engineering at NCC was probably my most memorable class. Not only did the instructor teach the course material, but I also learned life lessons related to empathy towards those using the technology that IT supports. My instructor stressed that while technology is fun, people must come first.”
Proctor graduated with an associate degree in Computer Engineering and began his career in 2005 at the Rocky Mount Telegram as an information systems manager. He later worked for the Telegram’s parent company, Cox North Carolina Publications, as a junior technician and analyst. Proctor’s resume also includes roles as Director of Social Marketing, IT manager and Vice President.
“Community colleges offer a great way to begin your college career. Or, for those like me who focus on taking the knowledge gained and entering the field right away, community colleges are an affordable way to do just that.”
Proctor says that in the field of IT security one never stops learning. “I consider myself a lifelong learner and someone who pursues new interests.” This was evident when he decided to transition his 18-year IT career to focus specifically on cyber security. The change in direction required his successful completion of industry certifications including CMMC-AB RP, CySA+, Security+, Network+, A+, Project+ and ITIL Foundations before attaining the CISSP, which is considered to be the gold standard of cybersecurity certifications. Proctor is also an Apple Certified Support Professional, Apple Certified Macintosh Technician and Apple Certified iOS Technician.“My motivation to keep moving forward is my desire to help others by sharing knowledge,” he said. “I live by the idea that knowledge is useless if not shared.”
“There are no shortcuts in this field,” he said. “While degrees and certifications are necessary, the willingness to learn new things, admit what you don’t know and learn from mistakes is crucial.”
“I had a great experience at NCC. From interactions with employees, to the classes offered, I felt like my advisor and professors truly cared about my success. I was not just a number to them but seen as a student pursuing a career.”
For more information about NCC’s IT program offerings, visit nashcc.edu or call 252-451-8299.