John Siceloff joined Johnson County Library in March, in a new position created for a vital purpose.
His job is to help the Library system guard against hackers, malware attacks and other cybersecurity threats that are becoming more prevalent every day. He’s part of a larger team protecting data and beefing up cybersecurity in the parks department, law enforcement agencies, the courts and other Johnson County departments.
“The idea was to create a bigger cybersecurity footprint for the County as a whole,” Siceloff said. “The threat landscape continues to get worse and worse.”
He is dedicated to preventing and detecting unwanted intrusions and, if necessary, remediation and recovery. That means protecting confidentiality and integrity while maintaining availability of Library data for employees and patrons.
“Let the people safely access the information they need and keep the bad guys away,” he explained.
Siceloff brings a wealth of information technology experience to the job. Most recently, he had been working as a Johnson County government network supervisor for more than a year when he saw the Library posting.
“I thought that the job and the cultural environment of the Library looked fascinating,” he said. “It was an opportunity for me to get into the security field more deeply. In all of my other previous roles I dealt with IT security but it was not my primary focus.”
Plus, Siceloff has always loved Libraries. “My family goes to the Library all the time. I’m an avid reader and I’m a big believer in the Library mission.”
Siceloff’s career path includes other fascinating jobs in far-flung places. He grew up near Wichita, graduated from KU and did GIS work in Florida. Then he took a break from computers for a few years to run a scuba diving shop, providing master scuba diving training in Panama City Beach, Florida. He met people from all over the globe and shared with them the wonders of the underwater world.
He and his wife and growing family then traded the Gulf Coast for the wilds of Alaska, where he worked on the 911 system in Soldotna. Later, he worked at the University of Wyoming, first helping to modernize the technology for massive athletic facility upgrades, then becoming a system administrator for the whole university.
Wanting a more urban environment for their three children, Siceloff and his wife relocated to Johnson County, where they live in Lenexa. His oldest daughter recently got her pharmacy tech license and works in the area.
His son will be a junior at Shawnee Mission Northwest and is active in cross country, track and choir, including recently singing with a school choral group at Carnegie Hall.
Siceloff’s youngest daughter will be a freshman at Shawnee Mission Northwest and is a competitive figure skater.
“They’ve actually loved the move,” Siceloff said of his family, noting that they are taking full advantage of the area’s cultural, sports and educational opportunities. They are also big Library users and frequent the Central branch, which is close to their home.
So far, Siceloff is thriving in his new job.
“In my opinion it’s going outstanding so far,” he said. “I think the biggest reason is the attitude of the staff and the management.” He said the Library’s top administrators are big believers in what he does and the importance of the work. “That makes my job very easy.”