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Security and Network Engineering
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Alumni views

Marc Smeets

Prior Education: HBO Bachelor's degree in Network Infrastructure Design (Hogeschool Zuyd Heerlen)
Current position: IT security advisor at KPMG ITA Advisory N.V.

'I was - and am - especially interested in the area of security. This is actually what I work in now. That's why I really enjoyed  the course Security of Systems and Networks. It's really practical, while security issues tend to get quite theoretical. Because the teacher had a direct link to a leading security institute, we had the opportunity to investigate real and up to date case studies. Another course I liked was InterNetworking and Routing, because it was a great attribution to my prior education. At the HBO the study material was quite focussed on the leading software corporations Microsoft and Cisco. During InterNetworking and Routing, I got a chance to look at things from an academic and theoretical point of view.'

'I now work for KPMG, but I'm not an accountant as most people expect from KPMG. I'm basically a legal hacker. I break in computer networks of clients, to see where potential errors or weak points are located. Because of the scale of the company and its diversity in clients, my work is always challenging. And I'm not stuck in an office somewhere, I work directly with clients. Personally, I'm not really into creating networks or building websites. I like security, because it has interesting technical challenges and at the same time has a human-centred side. And hacking into systems is quite exciting stuff!'

'I became interested in KPMG because of a guest lecture by a former SNE student. He worked at KPMG and from what he told me I got excited about the opportunities there. I definitely experience that the things I've learned during the Master's help me do my job better and grow within the organisation at a faster pace. At this point I'm connected to the Master's programme as a guest lecturer as well. I talk about all kind of technical subjects, such as covert channels (secret communication channels) and other security issues. It's important for students to know what is going on in the professional field and for me it's nice to let them know that KPMG is not a boring accountants company, but an organisation that offers a lot of opportunities for future Security and Network Engineering.'