Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Ashish: I have worked on cyber security for more than a decade now. While working on the IBM products related to cyber security, we used to write many technical blogs explaining how intricately some features work or how different products can be integrated. Also, I have presented a lot of webinars on the IBM products. When Packt approached me for a book on QRadar, one of the IBM products, I was super thrilled as it gave me a platform to go full monty on how that product should be represented and used by everyone. My philosophy of making things easier to understand, grasp and then use fitted perfectly when this opportunity was presented to me.
Q: What is the name of your book?
Ashish: Building a Next-Gen SOC with IBM QRadar.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Ashish: As mentioned above, I had worked for over a decade on the product and I knew exactly what and how I wanted the book to be. I discussed a few finer points with the Packt team and we were ready within a months time with the outline of the book.
Q: Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Ashish: Yes, they can follow me on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashish-kothekar-977790b/.
Q: What key takeaways do you want readers to come away with from the book?
Ashish: The readers should be able to install, use and get maximum value out of QRadar after reading this book.
Q: Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Ashish: One of the excellent resource is IBM Security Community for QRadar – https://community.ibm.com/community/user/security/communities/community-home/recent-community-blogs?communitykey=f9ea5420-0984-4345-ba7a-d93b4e2d4864!.
Q. Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Ashish: Though I had written many blogs and red papers before, writing a book had different challenges. I wanted it to be precise but at same time, the information in the book should be clear enough for the new readers and users. So Packt team gave me a readers insight on how they would consume the material and so a few changes in approach were made to make the book reader friendly.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Ashish: Hundred percent! There are lot of things to learn. Packt being in this profession for so long, knows exactly how things will turn up in the book. Excellence personified!
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Ashish: There are hardly any books on QRadar in the market and if there are any, this book have a great overview on all aspects of QRadar right from planning, deployment, upgrades, scaling and numerous use cases.
Q. What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Ashish: My specialist tech area is Cyber Security.
Q. What advice would you give to readers jumping into this technology? Do you have any top tips?
Ashish: I would suggest to try out the Community Edition which is absolutely free to use. This community edition has a lot of features. After getting comfortable with community edition, if required readers can jump to enterprise version too.
Q. What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Ashish: IBM QRadar is the leader in the Threat Management segment. There are newer versions of QRadar Suite that are being introduced in the market and they should too be as good as QRadar.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Ashish: Yes, a lot of Cyber Security groups.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Ashish: I usually wrote on weekends. On weekdays, I used to plan the stuff and weekends was the time for execution.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Ashish: There are a lot of great resources on net which you can follow even for free. It completely depends on which tech path you want to take and how deep you want to go. It is always depth vs breadth. I try to read most of the things around security but the part that I like very much is around Threat management.
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, mention them below.
Ashish: Follow me on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashish-kothekar-977790b/.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Ashish: Follow the format. Use lot of images.
You can find Ashish’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here