Childhood Imagination

Oluchi’s security career began by wondering if there was a tiny alien inside computers that made them so smart.

Q. Was the technology/security field on your radar early on?
At a young age, I always wondered if there was someone (perhaps a tiny alien) inside computers that made them so smart and quick. Now, I look back and laugh at my imagination as a young child. That enthusiasm let me pursue a degree in Software Information Technology.

Q. How did you get into it?
I began my IT career as an IT Support and Network Analyst, and eventually as a Network Security Analyst which became the start to my career in Security. I was introduced to Security in 2013 by my mentor from ISACA under their Young Professionals program. My mentor introduced the basic concepts of Security and inspired me to explore it as a profession. I was encouraged to read security blogs like Krebsonsecurity, which would get me familiar with Security trends, incidence as well as possible career prospects.

Q. What do you find most interesting about it?
The fact that is always something new to learn and discover every day. And my curiosity is piqued when it comes time to delve deeper into security issues.

Q. What do you find most challenging about security? How do you overcome it?
The constant pursuit to keep up with the changes in the Cyber Security industry can be a challenge. Sometimes, you learn something new today and might never get the chance to use it as you may have to move onto learning an entirely new concept or tool. To overcome this, I stay in touch with industry trends through webinars, newsletters, and conferences.

Q. It can be difficult to build up security skills and confidence. How did you learn/self-teach?
Having my background in IT has certainly helped me in building my Security skills, nonetheless, there are some concepts that are still new and require extra effort on my part. My desire to learn and develop has helped me over the years. When I come across a new concept, I research more about it, and depending on how intense it may be, I take up courses online or attend workshops. Also, my home lab is where I get to break and fix things, this way I build my knowledge.

Q. What do you like most about CTFs or CMD+CTRL cyber range (if applicable)?
The CMD+CTRL cyber range was eye-opening into the world of CTFs, I was able to have fun while learning. I liked that it was interactive and educative, there was at least one Security concept to test for every challenge. For the CMD+CTRL cyber range, the preparatory session, support from the team, and being able to ask for help on the Slack group was a plus. Generally, CTFs are great for testing knowledge and revealing areas where you need to improve, which is great.

Q. What recommendations would you have for others that are interested in learning more about security?
Professional networking, self-development, and volunteering. Joining security groups and organizations will keep you informed about events, training and workshops, and technologies. Research on topics that interest you, reach out to others in the field for advice, seek out mentors, join local groups, and learn from online resources. Being informed will also aid in finding your niche as you grow in Security. It is also important to explore and try things out on your own. Self-learning does payout in this field. And always believe in your self, we can do whatever we set our minds out to accomplish.