Overcoming Challenges Cybersecurity Transformation
Overcoming Challenges: 3 Steps To My Cybersecurity Analyst CySA+ Transformation
So, what has been your toughest challenge in your career or personal life so far, & how were you able to overcome it?
For some of us this might include overseeing massively complex projects, handling difficult people, or competing in seemingly impossible fitness races/challenges.
We could try to avoid challenges like these, but that would limit our opportunities for growth. And actively seeking challenges can help us break through our comfort zone as long as we have the right strategy & focus.
I'm no stranger to setting big goals to achieve. I've competed in fitness challenges, raced in marathons, triathlons, & even obstacle races like ninja warrior.
Having done this enough, I noticed patterns for what worked. It was a simple 3-step process that anyone could use. So if I know I need to change to grow professionally, then where should I start?
A great quote by Lao Tzu says that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So we can start with:
1. Identify the problem/opportunity
Admitting there was a problem was a great start. It was time for me to grow professionally. COVID-19 forced many organizations to digitally transform if they wanted to stay competitive. I knew growing my technical skills would help, especially in developing areas like cloud computing & data analytics. I had also heard about the growing threat of cyberwarfare, but it wasn't until it affected me that I was really driven to keep going.
Earlier in the year I was having trouble finding cream cheese, & I found out it was due to cyberattacks https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/18/business/cream-cheese-cyberattack-schreiber-foods/index.html. Then came a more personal attack - a hacker purchased an Oculus VR headset using our unprotected PayPal account.
It was clear that I needed to learn ways to protect against these issues, so I signed up for a great program Cyber Defense Fundamentals (New Skills for a New Fight CyberWorks Program).
2. Implement a plan
This was my first formal school program in 15 years, so I found out quickly that I'd have a lot of work on my hands. I worked the program into my schedule. This helped me learn a lot of the tools & terminology involved. It was a lot of work, but I learned a lot in the process. It gave me a new perspective on the importance of cybersecurity, & the opportunities to help. I even discovered a vulnerability in a popular cloud suite's mobile apps, & reported it under their bug bounty program (yes, some get paid a lot of money for helping with the fight). I also supplemented my class work with other resources. I took a lot of notes while studying from a variety of courses, books, labs, & practice tests.
And I finally started making the changes I should have made many years ago. I enabled multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all important accounts. And I started using a password manager to use unique long passwords.
3. Team up as a community
At some point we hit a "wall" where we seem stuck. So most importantly, having a community to turn to can help with the final push that is needed. So I attended events & talked with the experts. I had to keep going & break through the plateau I was at.
During my search for the tips/tricks that I needed, I also got a book recommendation. Normally I would have added the book to my queue of other books, but a gut feeling told me I needed it right then. And that was the exact push I needed. I'm proud to share that I passed my cybersecurity test (CySA+: CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+) & celebrated with uncorking a tasty Belgian Tripel craft beer "La Fin Du Monde."
The book I'm wrapping up now is "This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race," & I've already added it to my favorite books of all-time https://destroyobstacles.com/books.
Achieving this goal is just one part of a bigger plan, & it is an exciting to see they opportunities that lie ahead.
So, what has been your toughest challenge in your career or personal life so far, & how were you able to overcome it? Let us know on Twitter https://twitter.com/Digitalbeyond https://twitter.com/Digitalbeyond/status/1543978499035250691