“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” - Edmund Hillary.
I got into cyber – when I joined a small boutique cyber company in 2006 that was developing a digital forensic analysis system in support of counterterrorism missions. Prior to joining that small cyber company, I had developed 8 years of experience as a software engineer for a large IT company, that (while I didn’t know it at the time), played a significant role in setting a strong foundation for my career in the cyber field.
For me, a positive cyber mindset is – to be curious about everything. Having a strong understanding of how technology works – from the fundamentals of operating systems and networks to advanced technology trends. Curiosity is a driving force in the cyber field to promote continuous learning, innovative problem-solving, and proactive defense measures to protect organizations and data against evolving threats.
My top tip to those interested in transitioning to a career in cybersecurity is – While I don’t have a single “top tip” to follow for transitioning into cyber, I do believe there are a few essential disciplines that lead to success:
- Develop a solid foundation in computer science, networking, and information technology (IT) fundamentals.
- “Cyber” is a tremendously broad field. I recommend choosing a specialization that aligns with your passion, whether it is security research, network or cloud security, or policy/governance.
- Stay informed and up to date: Whether it is through blogs, websites, or podcasts; find trusted sources of up-to-date technology and security news. Share with others – develop your own research and point of view and pay it forward.
- Grow your professional network within the cybersecurity community through local clubs, conferences, meet-ups, and aligned interests within LinkedIn.
The quote I live by is – “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary. The best goals are achieved when we have the discipline to maintain a resilient and persistent mindset.
A favorite place of mine is – any trout stream. I grew up fishing with a basic spin rod as a kid and over the last few years, I have progressed to fly fishing. While I am still on the quest to perfect my fly cast technique, I enjoy the tranquility and returning to my youth with each cast. About 8 years ago, my parents, who both share my love of fishing, bought me a lifetime fishing license – it is the BEST gift I have ever received.