Russ Taylor is a cyber security consultant. He tells us about his journey into the industry and the skills he thinks it takes to be successful in the industry.
My journey into the industry started with me working in IT support. Looking after servers, workstations and users. Even in the early days of IT, I had a ‘kink’ towards security. Always making sure that a network was using strong passwords and that Firewalls were free from ‘allow all’ rules.
My big security break came from Cyber Security Challenge UK. I progressed well through the challenges and finished favourably in the Masterclass. This lead to recognition from my employer; the Royal Air Force. As a junior rank it is usually expected that you go where you were told; however, I had cyber units contacting me to ask if I wanted to go to them!
If you want to get into the industry, start tinkering and playing with security tools and websites. If you want to be a ‘hacker’ then start by competing in capture the flag exercises where you can legally hone your skills. With many modern CTFs you can also take part in forensics/blue team exercises.
Top traits I would expect for someone in this industry would be; determination to discover the truth of the situation, a curious mind that always asks ‘why?’ and the drive to do what it takes to learn new skills.