As Matt Cohee graduated from Trine University in 2008 with his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering, one professor told students that everything they learned as an undergraduate would be obsolete, the minute they walked out the door.
After 14 years of working as an information technology professional, Matt acknowledges his professor was 100% right. “With the explosive pace at which technology is changing, IT professionals must always be learning,” Matt said.
He adds that it wasn’t just the knowledge he gained at Trine that has served him well into the future. “It was learning how to learn.”
When he’s not taking classes, Matt is consuming books, content, and podcasts. He holds 20 professional certifications, including the world’s premier cybersecurity certification, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
His most prized certification is that of Certified Ethical Hacker—training that required him to think like a cybercriminal. This was hard for him since he had spent his entire IT career in a defender role. “The Certified Ethical Hacker certification really challenged me,” he said, “but it has helped me to grow and to become better at what I do.”
Today, Matt manages information security at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He also serves on Trine’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Professional Advisory Board. Matt’s primary role at Brotherhood Mutual involves securing the company’s data against theft and malware. In addition to providing physical data security, Matt’s team also trains employees how to resist social engineering – the tactics hackers use to gain information by tricking people. Throughout the year, Matt’s team tests employees’ ability to resist hackers’ ploys by sending one or two fake phishing emails and evaluating their collective response.
“Cybercrime is not going away,” he said. “Our adversaries are always looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities.”
The company, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, insures more than 65,000 Christian churches, schools, colleges, camps, and mission organizations. It’s a growing company that employs nearly 600 people.
Matt says the field of IT security is expanding rapidly, but it’s just one of the opportunities that Brotherhood Mutual offers in the field of technology.
The company’s IT department employs more than 100 people in various roles, including programmers, developers, back-end operations, and more, he says. Plus, it operates computer networks, servers, storage, and applications that require support. “We’re moving Brotherhood Mutual into the next phase, technologically speaking,” he said. “As we continue to grow, we are in need of people with a lot of new skills.”
One thing Matt appreciates about IT is how universal its application can be. Before coming to Brotherhood Mutual, Cohee worked as an IT professional in three different fields: hospitality, manufacturing, and healthcare. His career began at General Electric, where he worked as a network administrator for the global manufacturer. Then, he spent five years as an IT security engineer and network engineer at Churchill Downs. Then, he worked at Parkview Health in Fort Wayne as an information security manager before accepting his current position.
“Whether you work at GE or Parkview or Brotherhood Mutual, the back-end technology is exactly the same,” said Matt. “The skills I used at GE are the same as the ones I use at Brotherhood Mutual.”
Matt enjoys the work-life balance he has found at Brotherhood Mutual. During the day, he defends computer networks, servers, and data. Evenings, he spends time with his wife and two daughters. “It’s amazing,” Cohee said. “I don’t have to sacrifice my home life for my work life. The concept of work-life balance is rare in IT security, because hackers work on days, nights and weekends.”
He also appreciates the company’s mission: Advancing the Kingdom by Serving the Church. “I’m doing what I like for a purpose I love,” Matt said. “Brotherhood Mutual is just a wonderful place to work.”
About Brotherhood Mutual®
Celebrating more than 100 years in business, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company is one of the nation’s leading property and casualty insurers of Christian ministries. The company serves more than 65,000 churches, schools, colleges, camps, and related ministries in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Brotherhood Mutual is staffed by 500+ employees and works with 476 independent agents in 111 agencies nationwide. www.brotherhoodmutual.com
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