National Cyber Analyst Challenge As A Way Of Learning The Basics Of Cybersecurity

756 Words 4 Pages
During my sophomore year of college, I participated in the National Cyber Analyst Challenge as a way of learning the basics of cybersecurity. Much to the surprise of my team, this challenge was not an introductory competition, but a highly technical one. My teammates and I were soon overwhelmed by eighty gigabytes of forensics evidence data in unfamiliar file formats. We dug through the files, pieced together a story, researched, and applied unfamiliar security concepts. Despite our lack of prior experience, I led my team to qualify as one the few undergraduate programs for the final round. The following year, we won the top prize among the 20 participating schools within the first round.

My interest in cybersecurity came about as an inevitable infection from my black tech role-models (they were cyber-geeks). I pushed to learn more about this thrilling topic, taking night and weekend courses in addition to my undergraduate load, spending countless hours studying for a security certification, and roping fellow classmates into cyber competitions. This push landed me at the heart of cyber through an internship with the United States’ largest government contractor, Lockheed Martin, in their Computer Incident Response Team (LM-CIRT). At LM-CIRT, I came face to face with ominous forces on the internet that had previously been figments of over-dramatized television. From mountains of data logs, we carved out the schemes of petty thieves attempting to capture our networks for…

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