Get to Know 3 New Associates With a Quick Q&A

November 16, 2021 |

BARR Advisory continues to grow with the addition of Jim Dever, account executive, business development, Daniel Flores Herrera, senior consultant, cyber risk advisory, and Jeff Hoskins, senior consultant, CISO advisory.

Let’s take a minute to get to know a bit about each of them.

Jim with his girlfriend Karice repelling a waterfall in Costa Rica.

Jim Dever, Account Executive, Business Development

As account executive, Jim cultivates and maintains client relationships and researches industry trends to identify the needs of BARR’s clients and partners. He also supports growth strategies and efforts across multiple departments. Prior to joining BARR, Jim worked for JP Morgan Chase & Co. in various client facing and operational capacities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and public policy from the University of Delaware.

Q: What are you reading or listening to these days to stay on top of industry trends?

A: Tough to choose, but here are three resources I’d put at the top of my list:

  • Cyber Security Today podcast: I would recommend this podcast due to the brief and concise updates. It provides a daily overview on the headlines around the cybersecurity industry.
  • Lex Friedman podcast: This podcast offers interesting conversations with intellectuals around many different industries and expertise. Lex is an AI engineer and is very good at breaking down difficult topics for your average listener. 
  • Krebs on Security: I highly recommend Brian Krebs’ news and investigation website. He is a cybersecurity journalist I have just started following for assistance in understanding the industry. Since I have made my industry switch, this website has helped me identify some of the important headlines that are not always addressed in mainstream news.

Q: Favorite vacation spot?

A: Costa Rica. I went on a waterfall tour there that I will never forget. In a close second comes Amalfi Coast in Italy. Waking up and having a coffee on a cliffside overlooking the water and lemon trees providing you shade is something you must experience. 

Q: What inspires you?

A: The success of others. I love seeing people do well, especially my peers. I believe in the saying that  “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Q: In true BARR fashion, we must ask if you have any pets?

A: Yes! One dog named Cali. She is a lab mix that we rescued and is two years old now. She is playful and very loving. 

Q: What excites you most about BARR’s future?

A: Building out our brand! I believe we have a great culture that would be beneficial to share with everyone. Our people-first approach is one I hope more companies focus on. The more we succeed, the more opportunities we will have to spread our culture. 

Daniel (bottom left) with his gym friends at a CrossFit event in Houston, Texas.

Daniel Flores Herrera, Senior Consultant, Cyber Risk Advisory

As a senior consultant in BARR’s cyber risk advisory practice, Daniel plans and executes various information technology risk assessments and audits for clients with high-value data. He has extensive audit experience, and has previously worked as an information security consultant with BDO and a senior consultant with EY. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts in business with a focus in MIS and supply chain management from the University of Houston. Daniel is multilingual, and can communicate in four languages.

Q: What is the most important personal attribute you bring to your job? 

A: Resilience! I adapt well to challenging situations, and that definitely comes in handy in the workplace. No matter what the issue is, I will always find a way to deliver. It is a skill I have been able to develop throughout my professional career and something that I am proud to bring to the table. 

Q: What gets you up in the morning?

A: My 5 a.m. alarm! I try to live an active lifestyle and working out in the mornings is part of my daily routine. It is important to me to have a balance between work and lifestyle, and I find that making time for my morning workouts and my morning routine helps me not only live a healthier, more fulfilling life but also be more productive at work. 

Q: Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?

A: Tough one. I would say the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited is Jericoacoara, in Ceara, Brazil. It’s a small village in the Northeastern coast of Brazil. There are no streets! Just sandy paths. Getting there is challenging but definitely worth it, as Jericoacoara beach is considered one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.

Q: Favorite food?

A: Fried sweet plantains and acai bowls!

Q: Why should clients choose BARR? What’s different about our approach?

A: Our clients should choose BARR because we don’t use a standard checklist approach—we add real value. We are relentless in our pursuit to add more value for our clients. We want to understand your pain points and your organizational goals and be your trusted partner in your path to security and compliance. 

Jeff at Spartan Race in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Jeff Hoskins, Senior Consultant, CISO Advisory

As a senior consultant in BARR Advisory’s CISO advisory practice, Jeff supports all CISO service offerings, supporting small-to-medium sized businesses with developing, managing, and maintaining a cybersecurity program. He also plans and executes various engagements, prepares vendor risk management assessments and policy documentation, and provides external audit assistance.

Jeff has extensive experience in information security, and prior to joining BARR, he was an information security manager with Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Winthrop University, and has earned his CISSP, CISM, and MBA from the University of South Carolina.

Q: What podcasts are you listening to on the regular?

A: I love podcasts and used to listen to them during my two hour per day drive. Now that I work remotely at BARR, I still try to make time for them. The audio format makes them great for when I take a walk. Here are three I highly recommend:

  • Smashing Security: Great for current events and recognizing everything comes back to fundamentals.
  • Unsecurity: Talks about security as a way of life, but also puts emphasis on work-life balance and mental health.
  • Security Now: A great one for when you want to hear things getting a little more technical.

Q: What advice would you give to someone starting a career in cybersecurity?

A: Here are five quick tips I’d share:

  • There is no one clear cut path. Don’t think of a four-year degree as the first requirement—maybe that comes into play but don’t go looking for a cybersecurity degree to get started. If you are starting with college, I recommend doing something on your own as well. 
  • Determine if you want to be on the technical side or the governance side. 
  • Find people in the industry and talk through the differences. 
  • Consider getting a job at a help desk or in application development if you want to pursue the technical side. Then, on your own time, work through a site like TryHackMe or HackTheBox.
  • If you want to pursue the governance side, consider an internship helping a company to update their policies or working with an audit firm.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment?

A: My 21-year marriage (still going)!

Q: What is your favorite outdoor activity? 

A: Obstacle races like Spartan and Tough Mudder.

Q: What excites you about where the industry is going? 

A: There is opportunity everywhere. Sadly much of the opportunity is a response to various attacks that keep growing. With the speed of technology advancements and businesses always pushing the limits,  security will never catch up. We are never going to be done or reach equilibrium.  

Interested in joining the BARR team? Explore our open positions

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