A pertinent question I’ve asked myself for the last 12 months.

It’s quite the cliché thing to say that 2020 isn’t quite what anyone expected. And for someone who was already half-off the boat about Information Security, graduating in it was (and still is) daunting, especially considering the times.

For someone doing a Cyber, Computing & DFIR University degree, I sure have invested a lot of time and effort into very different avenues of things non-IT focused.

I’ve been involved in healthcare from a very young age with family, spending a vast majority of my Primary and Secondary School years growing up and living on hospital wards with my twin brother, And i tell you, if there’s something that runs through my blood it’s that.

1. So why Information Security?

I, like many other people I know of “in the industry”, just simply picked up computers pretty well. Two weeks after my last GCSE exam in 2015, i landed on my feet as an Apprentice Sysadmin for two years before heading into University. I was hosting infrastructure as a side-gig at the age of 15, and getting to work with Cisco Meraki & Hyper-V in quite a large place. After being told that they’d keep me on after my apprenticeship but essentially doing the exact same thing, after two years in a programme where it’s entire purpose is to get your foot into a career - it seemed like Uni was the natural progression.

But me, a simple guy with only two A-Level equivalents, had no chance of getting into University, right? I was shocked to be snatched up because of my resume I had at the age of 17. Not many people can claim to have 2 years of 3rd-line support under their belt before they turn 18.

2. How do You Feel About Your Degree now That it’s Over With?

Considering I tried to jump ship almost three times, in all honestly, I’m very glad it’s finished with. I’ll be the absolute first to admit I very much struggled with the academic mindset / aptitude of assessment and the whole “study mode” for the first year, then, in honestly, I’ve never had a more detrimental mental health problem throughout my 2nd year - essentially put me on pause.

Although, anyone who knows me will understand just how much of the harshest critic I am against myself, it really feels uplifting to of actually finished something. First in the family to go to University.

With that being said, it was the opportunities I was pursued outside of my studies that kept me going with my Degree. Coming down from a cohort of 110+ people in 1st year, to graduating with only about 20 in your class. That isn’t a humble brag it literally is, but for someone who suffers very much with imposter syndrome, that’s something I look up to quite a lot.

I’ll be honest, I whole heartedly never liked the whole “hax0r” pentesting mindset, nor ever had the…persuasion to stick with it. Which is why any modules that wasn’t specifically pentesting I steered away from, and kept solely to DFIR.

3. More Healthcare, More DFIR, More TryHackMe and More AWS/Azure…Systems Architect later.

I don’t think there’s a better sentence to sum me up at the moment. In between the incredible hours that I - and many others in the healthcare industry have been working, I spend a lot of time creating and testing content and moderating/mentoring the TryHackMe community.

Often to my detriment at times, where I overwhelm myself with everything all at once. It’s something I genuinely love doing. However, my involvements and plans re. TryHackMe are best placed for another blog post, detailing how I got started, why I stuck around, and hopefully - being able to bring some good news.

The best thing about running a blog is the brain-dumps you can have at 05:51AM.

4. FAO: TryHackMe

To everyone at TryHackMe, the fellow Mods, the Mentors and incredibly hard working admins, with such a fantastic community of content creators and conversation carriers: Thank you for making me stick around.

The comments I receive about my work fill a lot more then just what might be seen as filling an ego. Discussions about the work I’ve created always reinforce to me that I’m on the right track of things negative feedback and positive alike, I take it on the chest.

So long and thanks for all the fish ~CMNatic