Trevor Smith

Lead Security Architect

About us


I’m presently a Lead Security Architect, I mainly support M365 and Azure-based security for an international power utility company.

After work, I’m an avid learner and hobbyist of cloud computing such as Hyper-V and VMware as well as cybersecurity with a recent exploration into OpenAI (ChatGPT), Protectli, Raspberry Pi clustering, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Defender for Identity, Microsoft Sentinel, and Microsoft Purview.

I’m frequently learning new technologies and love taking certification exams with my current pursuit being the SC-400 and SC-100 pursuits. 


I’m enjoying life as best as I can with my loving and amazing wife. I live in upstate NY and in my spare time, I’m an avid hiker, avid car enthusiast, bookworm, PC gamer, and lover of Star Trek/Star Wars.

Latest News Posts

2023 Oct 08 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Created: 7/1/23 Updated: 10/8/23 After several months of study, in the 11th hour, I finally achieved the goal. I was once told those that who do what is needed out of the spotlight and in their own time are those who will excel. Just know, I may not be posting on here often, but know I am pushing forward. These past 7 months I’ve had to read so much old M365 security while keeping pace with new M365 security. I think this is why the MS-500 is being retired. A lot of the content in the exam required me to…

2022 Dec 16 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Created: 12/16/22 Updated: 12/16/22 I did it, I got it. I passed the Microsoft Certified: Network Engineer Associate. Boy was this exam FUN! – networking has always been a passion of mine. I started out in IT doing Cisco and the CompTIA Network+; so being able to do networking and networking study for this pursuit was like a kid in a candy shop. We all learn new stuff in Azure all the time, but at its core the cloud that we know today is still driven by networking. Azure is nothing more they a highly refined Hyper-V platform that lives…

2022 Dec 07 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Created: 12-6-22 Updated: 12-6-22 Wow! – 2022 is nearly over and it’s been a fun ride. I passed the Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst (SC-200) at the end of Q1, and passed the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solution Architect Expert (AZ-305) shortly after renewing my Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate from AZ-103 to AZ-104 towards the end of Q2, renewed my Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert (MS-100/101) and Microsoft Certified: Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty (AZ-140) at the beginning of Q3, and now towards the end of Q4 I’ve recently passed the Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate (SC-300). I’m…

2022 Dec 07 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Created: 11-20-22 Updated: 12-6-22 Just passed the SC-300 exam, after nearly 5 months of reading so many ms-docs never thinking it would end, I figured I’d sit and take the exam. I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but I really got tired of reading ms doc “pane of glass” for all of the major sections of Azure Identity. I hoped it was for a worthy cause. Dam you Microsoft and having so many ms docs it makes my eye bleed. But I’m hoping with my future pursuits that these countless hours and probably several weeks totaled of reading ms…

2021 Apr 19 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Created: 01-26-21 Updated: 4-19-21 For the longest time, I’ve managed an Exchange server, I always wanted to really put my knowledge of the platform to the test and get the MCSE: Productivity. So after just passing the MCSE: Core Infrastructure/Security, I felt it was time to push to get this prestigious credential.  I will say after studying and passing this exam, I feel way more confident about managing Exchange Server 2016, and probably after my next certification, the MS-203, I’ll be even more confident.  I like that now I understand all of the permissions, setting up the DLP in Hybrid…

2020 Dec 06 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Created: 12-6-20 Updated: 12-6-20 Wow, so I did it. After a long time of dreaming for this day, looking at what other had done I never thought I’d be here too, that feeling when you completed a pinnacle of Microsoft Server Administration, and that boys and girls is the MCSE. I’ve spent countless hours, days, and weeks honing my skills over the past 8 months from year of old with previous versions of Windows Server, this time using more Powershell than I ever did before. In the end I’ve been making Powershell scripts all the time now and no longer…

2020 Jun 01 By Deathmage85 0 comment

VMware vExpert: Why you should apply? Created: 6/1/20 Hello folks! I was asked recently as how the VMware vExpert program has helped me and I had to only think for a little bit to come up with the the excerpt below: The VMware vExpert program has enabled me to connect with my peers which has foster relationships thru channels such as VMUG which in turn enables me to talk about ideas, trends and solutions from the VMware ecosystem. The many perks of the vExpert program such as VMware licensing and Freebies allows me to get creative with a complex home-lab…

2019 Nov 01 By Deathmage85 0 comment

11/1/19 Right now I’m studying for the Microsoft MCSA and will soon after that move into the 70-744 for the Security aspect of the MCSE. I think my goal for the coming months is to get the MCSE behind me and wait for the MCSE 2019 upgrade exam. But I think in 2020, I want to push for the VCAP6.7-DCA and DCD exams. I think after having done about 15+ green field VMware deployments under my belt that it’s time I move into a more advanced VMware certification. After reading over the VCAP6.7-DCD book (Big Thanks to Mike Martino @wildcard78…

2019 Oct 04 By Deathmage85 0 comment

10/4/19 After many, many months of studying, labbing, making a complete inside/outside zone network with OSSIM SIEM and OSSEC, deploying as many of the concept required in the lab I finally passed. My journey started after the CySA+ and after reaching out to Teresa Varela, (Director of IT Workforce Solutions/Skills Certification) about help with the CASP+, she put me in contact with Patrick Lane. Patrick Lane (Director of the cybersecurity program), he’s the creator of the cybersecurity program in recent years with the CySA+, PenTest+, and CASP+. He felt inspired by my drive and determination to pass the exam and…

2019 Apr 04 By Deathmage85 0 comment

4/4/19 Finding that using these commands on a daily basis help me troubleshoot issues and just wanted to share:   netstat -f = this command tried to resolve every connection to their FQDN netstat -r = this command show the local routing tables on the PC netstat -a = show all active TCP/IP connections on the PC netstat -e = this shows any errors on the network adapters or lost packets ping -t = this allows for a constant ping of an address ipconfig = this show basic network configuration of the local adapter ipconfig /all = this shows every…

2019 Feb 05 By Deathmage85 0 comment

2/5/19 SIEM systems are something more and more people are adopting to use with defense-in-depth and its a good move. The company I work for partners with a SIEM solution provider called SocSoter and they have these affordable units that you deploy on a network and it has an interface in every network device you desire. These device come in a few flavors, a VMS and SMA to name a couple. The SMA proactively monitors the network that it’s mirroring and allows for syslog monitoring of switches and storage appliances including taking Windows Server Event logs. On the flip side…

2019 Feb 05 By Deathmage85 0 comment

2/5/19 I’d like to discuss a few things around the classification of data types coming thru a firewall or security device. I think pretty much even know the slang of false positives, but there is in-fact 4 types. True Positive – means an action was taken, that was true and accurate True Negative – means it has not acted, because there was no activity False Positive – means a security control acted based on a threat but it was a error False Negative – means the security control didn’t act even though there was a threat

2018 Nov 28 By Deathmage85 0 comment

11/28/18 As a form of motivation and because I’m finding with work being so crazy busy I’m having less and less time to devote to studies. But I’ve made a plan for me (been working this plan for about a month now) to read 2 hours every day either in the morning or at night (considering most nights I don’t go to bed til 11 pm for either work projects or reading) and then wking up at 4 to 6 am to study takes it’s toll on me. But I’m on the last 5 chapters of review with the CompTIA…

2018 Oct 24 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Hey peeps, So just want to share some things for you to make sure you have enabled to ensure the best possible security posture on your network, just a few tidbits. 1.  Ensure in Windows Server DNS under Zone Transfers that you define your DNS Name Server that are allowed to make transfers and set it to allow only those servers. This way rogue attackers can’t seize your DNS records. Once you do with open up a Linux machine and type “dig afxr [your DNS server].yourdomain.com yourdomain.com” and see if you can or can’t get a zone transfer, the goal…

2018 Aug 11 By Deathmage85 0 comment

8/11/18 So I did it, I stopped procrastinating the reading and I hunkered down for two month and passed the exam. I even cancelled my World of Warcraft Subscription that I reactivated for some reason for a month??? O.o .. maybe I was bit nostalgic of years past… 😛 — But I wanted to focus so I didn’t renew it, glad I did! 🙂 Honestly going into the exam I thought I flunked it. But after just 40 minutes I got done with all of the questions, I had all of the simulation in the beginning and from past experience…

2018 Jun 26 By Deathmage85 0 comment

6/26/18 Hey all, So with me taking the CySA+ exam in a little over 2 weeks after many months now of studying and bringing myself up to speed with Kali Linux, I feel the need to make a new title for upcoming pages. All pages that are Cyber Security oriented will start with the tag “Cyber Security:”. I feel that in order for me to really stay relevant in the cloud that I really needed an intermediate to advanced knowledge of “Defense in Layers” and then how to penetrate those “Layers of Defense” so that I can provide defense from…

2018 Mar 25 By Deathmage85 0 comment

3/25/18 Well I did it, passed the VCP6-NV exam. it’s been an adventure and a journey. After failing the exam in January I was to be honest very disheartened by that loss and I was slow to get back on the bandwagon. Took me nearly 3 weeks to pony up the energy to study again. But study I did, from 2 am til 7 am every morning for 2 months after working out on the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE I would study: labs, watch Pluralsight, read VMware press micro-books on NSX, and the official VCP6-NV book over and over again….

2018 Mar 13 By Deathmage85 0 comment

3/13/18 Decided to apply an SSL certificate, get premium DNS, and Mcafee Secure virus protection (you’ll see it in the bottom right of the page). Wanted to increase the blog security and sustainability and provide some reassurance to viewers that this site is protected. 🙂   -Trevor

2018 Feb 18 By Deathmage85 0 comment

2/18/18 So my goals for 2018 are smaller that 2017 but none the less intense. I currently working on the VCP6-NV study, after failing the exam last month by about 20 points. So I’m working very hard at studying to pass the exam in a litter over 5 weeks. After that I’ll be studying for the CompTIA CSA+ and MCSE: SI 2016, if I have time the AWS:SA. That’s my goal for 2018. it’s a smaller list than last year but no less focused. Once I get those 3 exams after NSX I’ll decide the path I’ll take next. I…

2017 Aug 30 By Deathmage85 0 comment

Hey peeps, so wanted to update the blog. Passed the 70-410 and 411 recently and onward to 412, then 413 and 414 for MCSE 2012. I felt it was needed for me to get a MCSE since I’m a VCP and they go hand-n-hand. Plus I wanted to have the credential to back me up so I can no longer have people judge me by what I say. 😛 So take that judgemental fellow IT people, take that and shove it up you a**! 😉      

2017 Jun 27 By Deathmage85 0 comment

I know I’m kind of late with this, but better late than never. Been really busy with work, but I wanted to put this up on the blog. 🙂  

2017 May 03 By Deathmage85 0 comment

So today I got a nice email: So now I can start using the VMUG NSX training and I’m stoked! – going to get deep into the books now and study even harder. Want to take exam in two weeks now that I got some ICM love and official training on-top of the Synex book I’ve read over and the labbing in the home-lab. This is just more icing on the cake! Lets get this party started! Check back soon in a few weeks to see this: