"If you're not moving forward, you're falling back."
I got into cyber – When I joined the Navy, they asked me to pick a job, and I chose a Cryptologic Technician (CT). When I started in this field, we were the cybersecurity protection for the Navy. After five years in the Navy, I went to work for several cybersecurity agencies, including the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command and several other agencies. Supporting computer network defense activities and forensics and malware efforts has always been a passion of mine.
A positive cyber mindset is –
- Cyber literacy. If you can’t understand cyber, you are constantly anxious, but if you understand it and are comfortable working within, you can use it to impact the world.
- Openness to knowledge. Be willing to learn new things about the cyber environment and continuously find ways to overcome challenges. Learn to grow your skills and abilities, be self-driven, and advocate for yourself.
- “Challenge what challenges you” – Dr. Nosiri. Don’t be intimated by the cyber environment. Instead, run towards it and embrace it.
My top tips for those interested in transitioning to a career in cybersecurity are –
- Dive into it. Seek after it. Cybersecurity is becoming a part of the fabric of our world. If we are not sewing a quilt to protect our community and country, we are vulnerable and unprotected. It is a fundamental knowledge that needs to be acquired by everyone.
- Create a network of people in the field so you are continuously updated on what’s happening within the field.
- Research cybersecurity topics and utilize social media apps like YouTube to learn more about cybersecurity.
- The cybersecurity community needs passionate people, you must live and breathe it, and you can become an expert in it.
The quote I live by is – “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back.” Cybersecurity is a fast-moving field. Our ability to proactively enhance our skills is profoundly important. My advice for anyone looking to grow their career in this space and discipline is to join an atmosphere that allows them to grow – a company that provides opportunities and resources to help advance skills and address gaps in areas including computer network attack, defense, and exploitation.
The skills that set me up for success –
- An optimistic view sets me up for success.
- Passion allows you to have anything you want, and it is an essential part of all the characteristics of success.
- Our technical skills are profoundly important, but soft skills also play a key role in continued success.