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People of SGCI: Andrew Adams

Andrew Adams

Senior Information Security Analyst, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
Carnegie Mellon University


What is your role within SGCI and what do you do?

As part of SGCI’s Incubator services, my role is to provide cybersecurity guidance and advice to science gateways that SGCI engages with. This encompasses anything from comparing system configurations to best practices, to assisting a client in writing policy in order to build a security program.

How did you come to be a part of SGCI, and why were you intrigued by the opportunity?

Having participated in several engagements within Trusted CI, I grew to enjoy the experience of adopting a new project, learning what risks it is most concerned with and helping that project not only mitigate those risks but to walk away with a better understanding of the security process. SGCI’s Incubator service provides different opportunities than Trusted CI, thus, it allows me to experience a broader range of engagements.

What is the most challenging part of your work for SGCI?

Projects that seek the Incubator services for cybersecurity aid usually are not familiar with the concepts and processes within information security. Hence, I have to find ways, many times new, to relate these concepts and processes into terms that clients can more readily understand.

How else are you involved in the technology or gateway community?

Although I work for the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, nearly all of my time is devoted to information security within Trusted CI. This not only allows me to further both my skills and the security posture of projects that we engage with, but I am additionally afforded the opportunity to pursue other responsibilities, including vulnerability reporting for R&E cyberinfrastructure (, being a member of the REN-ISAC community (, and exploring ways to improve tools for cybersecurity programs.

What do you most like to do in your free time?

Free time? Alas, I have children. Hence, when I’m not working as a security consultant, I’m moonlighting as a chauffeur, driving my two teenagers to soccer, robotics, ice hockey, piano, art, SAT prep classes, band, etc. When my kids are in college and I actually have free time once again, I will indulge in scale modeling and playing my guitars.

If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?

Oh, that’s easy, the (mutant) power of “bit manipulation.” Thus, I could purge all the bugs and malicious content lurking in the network and our computers, which would then allow me to retire from my day job and excel at being a chauffeur.