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‘Behind the Screens: The People of OIT’ is a series that features the people working hard behind the scenes to make OIT run.

Position: IT Security Office Security Operations Analyst

Time spent with OIT: Seven months

When you spend time with Sam Naim, you will quickly notice his friendly nature and willingness to go out of his way to help. Sam is a hardworking, valued member of the Duke IT Security Office, which helps to keep Duke members safe from security incidents and educates them on how to stay secure online.  

What he does for OIT:
Sam’s daily tasks include tracking security alerts, looking into notifications about malware on devices, assessing suspicious NetID logins, and triaging more complicated issues to the cybersecurity engineers.

As the Security Office’s awareness lead, Sam also enjoys personal interactions. 

“I’m looking at opportunities to educate our users—going out and giving presentations, tabling at events,” Sam said.

One of Sam’s priorities is educating the Duke community about the annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Each October, the Duke IT Security Office offers multiples activities that provide members of the community with opportunities to learn more about cybersecurity. Activities include a daily phishing challenge, a virtual scavenger hunt, lunch and learns, and keynote presentations from industry professionals.

Recently, Sam represented the Security Office at OIT’s inaugural Duke Tech Week. At his table, Sam demonstrated lock picking, illustrating the importance of having multiple layers of security.

Sam watches at two Duke community members attempt to pick locks at his lock picking table


What he enjoys about working at Duke:
“I don’t think I’ve met a single person who hasn’t been nice,” Sam said. “The culture here at Duke is super cool. Everyone is inherently looking out for each other and willing to mentor you.”

Sam said that when he has approached colleagues with more experience for advice, they have taken time out of their day to offer invest into his professional career.

What he hopes to accomplish at Duke:
Being in IT has always been part of Sam’s five-year plan, and his long-term goal is to land a role in cybersecurity engineering.

Advice for those new to OIT:
Although he’s still new to OIT, Sam encourages others to come in with an open mind and be willing to ask for help when needed.

“There are people that are willing to take time out of their day to help you just because they’re good people and happy to help you. If you are respectful and you’re not demanding anything, the people in OIT are some of the most helping people in the world.”

A fun fact about Sam:
Those who play fantasy football with him know that Sam is a die-hard New York Jets fan. Born in New York before moving to North Carolina at a young age, the Jets are one of his few attachments to the state.

What he’s doing when he’s not at work:

Sam loves to cook, and his pictures of his perfectly plated meals are evidence of it. While Italian food is his favorite, he recently prepared braised short ribs with a red wine sauce, a recipe he will be adding to his monthly menu. He’s an artist in the kitchen, and an artist on a canvas. Sam picked up oil painting during the pandemic and has been enjoying creating images of wildlife.  

a black, white, and gray painting of a cheetah stalking through the grass
a perfectly plated meal prepared by Sam


Know someone in OIT with a story worth sharing? Nominate them (or yourself!) by emailing