I loathe writing about myself but here goes…

DoNotEmailI am an attorney and consultant that specializes in CyberSecurity issues. I speak at conferences once or twice a year. Most recently I gave a talk on data breach notification laws around the U.S. with special emphasis on Texas.

For most of my career I made my living as a consultant on information security and data communication issues.  I’ve designed and implemented private networks spanning the globe and you won’t ever hear me call it a “private cloud”–what a stupid name! I have also built and installed firewalls and intrusion prevention systems that monitor Internet connections–also around the globe.  I rolled my own Unix firewalls back in the days when you couldn’t get anything from vendors worth buying.  For those in the know, I built them using custom code and the TIS firewall toolkit back around 1992. I built UUCP networks before the Internet was available outside of universities.  I once owned a 110 baud acoustic modem where you plug the telephone handset into the cradle of the foam-lined box. I know the difference between baud and bps but who cares anymore besides me…  I’m not ancient though.  I just started working early in life.

While I’ve been a consultant for more than 20 years, I did take a 4 year break and worked for just one company–a nice big law firm.  I was Security & Communications Manager.  We moved all of their U.S. operations into data centers.  In addition to managing firm-wide security issues my team designed and built the local networks and WANs servicing the data centers and created automatic fail-over systems for MPLS WANs and dual data centers. Plus, there was all the fun that ensued trying to secure data connections in China, the Mid-East, and Russia.  If the bits were moving my group was in charge of them.  I also managed all the data circuit budgets, negotiated contracts with the various telcos and ISPs, and had weekly meetings with an especially problematic telco during roll-out just to beat them up and keep some semblance of a schedule.  I left that gig to go add a law degree and pass the Texas bar. Studying for the bar is lonely demoralizing process. I don’t recommend it.

While I am a network geek at heart, I love learning even if it has nothing to do with technology. I acquired a bachelor degree from the University of Houston in political science with a minor in philosophy. I have a law degree from South Texas College of Law.

I am a mediator and meet the requirements for an Impartial Third Party according to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §154.052. I’ve seen quite a few mediators claim they are a “certified” mediator.  There is no such thing. You take a class that meets the state requirements and bing! you are a mediator. (By the way, that was definitely NOT a Microsoft Bing!) I have helped settle legal disputes ranging from evictions, real estate deals gone bad, traffic accidents and personal injury lawsuits.

I’m also a flight instructor and used to regularly teach aerobatics.  And at least once a week I blow my brains out–I play the saxophone in a couple of bands.

It’s all true. I promise. I can’t stand how much people exaggerate on their CVs. Please contact me if you need anything like what I just described or if you want proof…


Joel B. Colvin