Graduated from UTM: November 1999
Degree: Honours Bachelor of Arts
Program(s): Crime and Deviance major, Sociology major, Anthropology (Arts) minor
Current Role: Partner at RSM Canada, specializing in Cybersecurity, Cyber Incident Response, and Privacy Matters
What have you been doing since graduating from UTM?
Ryan: After leaving UTM, I worked for a short period of time with Child Find Ontario developing a program for run-away teens, before joining Peel Regional Police Service as a constable. During my time at PRP, I worked in many areas including the Youth Education Unit, the Forensic Identification Bureau, the Fraud Bureau and spending the majority of my career within the Technological Crimes Unit where I conducted digital forensics analysis on criminal cases. I left Law Enforcement in 2014, and worked for a few other organizations before starting my own Cyber Security and Digital Forensic Company, Hexigent Consulting.
Tell us about your current role!
Ryan: In May of 2019, I joined RSM Canada as a Partner and lead the Security and Privacy Risk Consulting Practice for Canada. We assist our clients with proactive cyber security risk mitigation strategies, and also with responding to cyber-attacks. I focus on litigation support, cyber incident response, privacy and cyber technology risks, digital forensics, and cyber fraud matters. I work closely with clients involved in workplace investigations and civil litigation matters including intellectual property theft, HR investigations and data breaches.
What was your favourite Sociology course taken at UTM?
Ryan: I do not recall the actual course, but one of my most memorable moments was during a Sociology course on group behaviour. The professor normally showed up right on time for lectures and one day he was late. We all waited around but as time progressed, various informal groups were formed and discussions occurred about what we should do. Some people left, others thought we should go check on the professor, while others thought we should just wait. He showed up 20 minutes late and we learned that this was all done by design to illustrate group behaviour during times of uncertainty, and how social groups will automatically form. I found this style of teaching quite amazing as it truly illustrated the concepts of the course.
What did you enjoy most about your time at UTM (or the SOC/CRIM program specifically)?
Ryan: I was a TA during my 3rd and 4th year at UTM, which I greatly enjoyed. It allowed me to practice my presentation skills, interact with other students and professors, and generally get more involved in UTM.
What tip or suggestion would you like to pass along to current students?
Ryan: My tip is to not worry if you feel you haven’t figured out what it is you want to do after university. One’s career path is often not a straight line. Sometimes life throws you curve balls, and you end up somewhere you never thought you would be. I loved music in high school and originally went to university to study it. My goals were to be a music teacher and a jazz trumpet player. For many unforeseen circumstances, I did not do well in my first few years and failed out of university. I was lost and didn’t know what to do and took a year off and worked. I went back to school (UTM), volunteered as an auxiliary police officer, then after school ended transitioned to becoming a constable. Many years later, I now work in the cyber security and digital investigation industry. Jazz musician to cyber security. Quite the change!
The path in life is never straight. Embrace this and enjoy the journey.
Focus on where you can go....not where you've been.
Focus on what you have...not what you don't have.
What’s next for you?
Ryan: My goal is always to continue to educate people from falling victim to frauds, cybercrime, and on ways to protect their privacy. I hope to continue to do this while also assisting clients with their cybersecurity strategies. Beyond that…I am not sure where life will take me. Only thing I know is that the journey will be fun.
Thanks Ryan, we wish you all the best!