Employee Spotlight: David Torgerson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Question

What do you do at the Church?

Answer

I am a security engineer for the Family History department, working on the new FamilySearch site. I spend most of my time making sure that our layered approach to security is functioning correctly, and looking for ways to improve our site security.

David

Question

What role do you think Web site security plays in the Church organization and to the public?

Answer

Working for the Church has been interesting. Instead of working on protecting trade secrets or financial information, I focus on protecting sacred ordinance information and user information while providing a way to make most data public. I have been involved in an initiative to collaborate and share data with external organizations. We have many affiliates, and even more in the approval process. Working with affiliates has introduced many exciting and interesting security challenges, but we try to adhere to as many industry security standards as possible.

Question

How important do you feel it is for Church Web sites and applications to adhere to security standards?

Answer

Outside of Church employment, if protected data is stolen or misused it usually results in a fine. Due to the nature of the data the Church is protecting, stolen or misused data could result in not just a fine, but it could also mean that an individual searching for the truth may turn away because of bad publicity. We have security standards and policies to make sure we are protecting the data with which we have been entrusted and to protect the reputation of the Church.

Question

How do you think security is different for Church Web sites?

Answer

I think that we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. The new.familysearch.org application is designed to help families take their ancestors names through the temple. There must be user collaboration to do this. Most sites that allow users to work together either ignore or quickly remove offensive data. The reputation of the Church could be damaged by a derogatory contribution. This makes finding a good balance between allowing collaboration and limiting user input a challenge.

Question

What is your educational background and/or work experience?

Answer

I started playing around with computers in 1986 when I was 5. At age 12 I started attending a computer training school, American Schools Inc., and at age 15 I passed the CNE (Certified Novel Engineer) exams. I have worked as an instructor teaching networking at Information Technology Education Center, as a server admin, a network admin, and as a security architect. I am now working as a security engineer and will be taking the CISSP exam this month.

Question

What or who has been an inspiration to you in your work?

Answer

The environment that we work in has been the simplest and biggest, inspiration to my work. There language is clean and most meetings start with a prayer. I cannot think of anywhere else where the work environment is focused on living the gospel and fulfilling the missions of the Church.

Question

What is one spiritual experience you have had working for the Church?

Answer

The first spiritual experience I had working for the Church was actually before I started working for the Church. My wife and I are both from Arkansas and were happy there. When we got married we talked about places that we would want to live and Utah was at the bottom of our list. My uncle was looking for a job and came across a job on the LDS employment site. He applied for the job but he was interviewed for the wrong position (my position today). When asked for referrals he gave them my name. I got a call out of the blue for the position that I have now. From a very young age I wanted to work for the Church, but never thought that I actually would. The only part that I did not enjoy was telling my wife that we were moving to Utah, but being here has been such a wonderful blessing to us and our family.

Question

What kind of challenges do you face making FamilySearch Web sites and applications secure? How have you overcome those challenges?

Answer

The data that we work with is sacred, not secret. This poses challenges because we want to make sure that it is not available to those who would misuse it while simultaneously making it available to the appropriate individuals online. There is much prayer and consideration that goes into finding the right balance. We have to work with security regulatory requirements and lawyers to make sure that we are staying within legal bounds while not jeopardizing the reputation of the Church. Ultimately, we do the best that we know how to do and have faith that we will be prompted if we need to change directions.

David Torgerson align= Add Comment

 

 

Search

LDSTech Conference

Schedule and the Sessions Streams are online. Thank you to all that attended!

LDSTech Chapters

Sign up for an LDSTech Chapter in your area.

LDS Connected

Subscribe

RSS RSS
Email Email
Twitter Twitter