What it's like to avoid Improvised Explosive Devices

In a military career that spanned almost two decades, Michael Smith worked in defense communications as a Russian linguist and was assigned to war-torn countries. He was in intelligence for several years, and after his active duty he joined the Army National Guard and was an Infantry Squad Leader for more than six years. While serving in the National Guard in 2004, he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and spent countless hours on patrol in treacherous parts of the country where locals weren't always friendly, and hidden bombs were a constant threat.

Smith is currently Akamai's security evangelist and helps customers understand both the internal security program and Akamai's product-security features. He believes his time in Afghanistan served as great training for his current infosec career.

"There's lots of relation to risk management. It was about understanding the threat: What the threat is doing, how it's changing and how you need to change what you are doing based on that," Smith says.

Smith shares some of the details of his time in Afghanistan, where he woke up each day knowing that danger--and even death--could be waiting around any corner.