Success Story: Elizabeth Kolade

Predisposed to Security

Q: How did you get into security?

Elizabeth: I like to think that Security happened to me because I have always been science inclined. I wanted to study Engineering at the university but I was offered a cybersecurity program instead. It took a lot of research and convincing because it was the first time I had heard of “cybersecurity” – but I took the offer and since then it has been an interesting journey.

Q: What do you find most interesting about security?

Elizabeth: in cybersecurity, the mode of operation is not the same every day. There is always something new to consider.

Q: What do you find most challenging about security? How do you overcome it?

Elizabeth: the constant evolvement of technology contributes to how complex and dynamic the cybersecurity industry becomes. To overcome this, I try to stay current with developments in emerging technology, security threats, and solutions. Engaging and following up with global conversations is also another way to stay informed.

Q: It can be difficult to build up security skills. How did you learn/self -teach)

Elizabeth: for me, it was more of an on-the-job approach. I had learned some basic skills as an undergraduate in school but most of my major skills are from what I have learned on the job and in my personal development effort. You have to be dedicated to self-improvement to be relevant in this industry. Also, you can help your learning by finding a tribe or small community committed to helping its members develop relevant skills. Also, formal training can be expensive so you can take advantage of online free courses and pay for formal courses when you can afford one.

Q: What do you like most about CMD + CTRL cyber range?

Elizabeth: cyber ranges, CTFs, and other hands-on platforms are a good place to practice your skills and learn. You might never know how to respond to an incident until you are faced with one.  It also reveals areas where you need to improve your skills.

Q: What recommendations would you have for others that are interested in learning more about security and hacking?

Elizabeth: you have to be dedicated to your personal growth. In this industry, there is a lot of value and opportunity that the community gives you; find a community, leverage on the opportunities and contribute your quota to the community.  It’s important to believe in yourself and remember that whatever you set your heart to do is achievable.  Lastly, never be afraid to ask questions – nobody knows everything and we are all a work in progress.

Q: Other than CTFs and cyber ranges like CMD+CTRL, what tools or resources would you recommend to others looking to extend their skillsets?

Elizabeth:  Twitter is great but you have to know how to leverage it beyond just a social media platform. It gives you access to people. The InfoSec community on Twitter is a good place to meet and learn from people.  Also, cybersecurity blogs and forums like Peerlyst are fantastic.