This is the third post in our 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Month series. To catch up on the previous posts in this series, check out What's It Mean to Be Cyber Smart? in which we explore some simple steps anyone can take to #becybersmart, and What does it mean to “Phight the Phish?” where we suggest ways to improve your #cybersecurityawareness.
The overarching theme of Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the US is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” while for the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM) it’s “#ThinkB4UClick.” Both are focused on what we can do to help protect ourselves, our family, our work and even our country from cyberattacks.
For some of us, cybersecurity has become a career, and in this post we’ll hear from some colleagues about why they got into this field, what they love about it, and why you might want to consider following in their footsteps.
We come from all walks of life, and have all taken different paths to get to this point. Some of us have been in the industry for a long time, others for just a year or two. These are some of our stories.
Why Cybersecurity Matters
Along with all the benefits of the digital age that we’ve come to enjoy, there are the downsides to technology which we must guard against. That’s why cybersecurity matters for everyone, even if you don't think you rely on technology very much – because almost every aspect of modern life involves sharing digital information.
So we asked: why get into cybersecurity?
For Tyler Oliver, our XDR Product Manager and a respected voice in the cybersecurity community, it’s about the big picture:
“One of the things that has driven me over the last decade in cybersecurity is the constant reminder that the security community as a whole is responsible for defending one of the largest battlefields ever to exist.”
Cody Barrow, our Director of Threat Intelligence, echoes this view:
“Cybersecurity excites me because it is one of the most pressing, globally relevant concrete issues to work and affects every aspect of all our livelihoods. Every business today must concern itself with protecting its most valuable assets besides its people: its information. This is the place to be for anyone drawn to solving the most challenging problems.”
But for others, it’s more personal. Another one of our other colleagues reveals that:
“Back in the early days of the internet, when the first weblogs were being published and Google came into being, my then GF’s dad had his identity stolen. No one – not the police, not his mom, not his wife – believed him and the stress led to him almost losing his life. Ever since, I’ve been acutely aware of the personal and societal toll cyber crime can have.”
What Do You Do?
As with any endeavor, it takes a lot of different types of people and skills to build something new and meaningful. It’s no different in cybersecurity. There are folks on the technology side – architects, developers, engineers, and product managers, for instance – and on the business side – from sales and marketing to human resources and finance. As you can imagine, everyone’s day-to-day is very different.
So we asked: what does your job entail?
Aukjan van Belkum, Product Manager for the Intelligence Center and another cybersecurity veteran, explains that he spends his time focused on solving customer challenges by:
“Going out to meet with different customers and prospects, learning something new on every occasion about how they are looking to protect their organisation, internalizing those insights, and then working on solutions to those challenges with the team at EclecticIQ - enabling our customers and prospects to be as good as possible in protecting their organization.”
For Brenda Szongoth, our Talent Management Partner, it’s about building a team and a culture that enables everyone to be the best version of themselves:
“I aim to understand our people before we hire them, and continue exploring their aspirations and strengths afterwards: aligning the human capital with the business needs. I believe that building an organizational structure that enables all of us to feel and perform well is our best interest.”
Meanwhile, Shamit Patel, an Inside Sales Representative whose 18 months at EclecticIQ and in the cybersecurity space almost qualifies him as an industry veteran, tells us that:
“I am often the first point of contact for prospective customers who wish to understand more about us and how we can help them improve their cyberdefenses. I spend my time working to understand their needs and wants, making sure we able to support them, and of course supporting our Sales Directors.”
Should you consider getting into a cybersecurity career? Yes!! Here’s why…
First, it takes all types – even though lots of us work on bleeding-edge technology, you don’t _have_ to have deep technical chops honed since you were first able to type Hello World on your parents’ computer. What is most important is an interest in technology, the inquisitiveness to grow & learn, and the sense of purpose to protect our modern life.
Second, the talent crunch is huge – some estimates put the cybersecurity labour shortage at 3.5M jobs in 2021, and it spans every sector. To quote Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO at Herjavec Group (and famous for the US version of Shark Tank): “There is a zero-percent unemployment rate in cybersecurity and the opportunities in this field are endless.”
And third, it pays well – for instance, take a look at this interactive career pathway mapping from CyberSeek, or dig into this recently updated WGU post on cybersecurity salaries – both are interesting and useful, even if you don’t reside in the US.
But enough with the right brain view – what makes our jobs so much *fun*?
For Megan Gooch, who recently transitioned into cybersecurity as one of our managers who leads our threat research, it’s that:
“Cyber is changing and advancing all the time, so it's great for people who love to learn, and who love challenges and problem solving. I never thought I would work in cyber – coding wasn't offered in school when I was a kid, and sometimes cyber feels out of reach if you don't get into it early. But here I am! So I'd tell anybody who's interested in giving it a go – do it, it's not beyond your grasp!”
And Lulu Lin from our marketing team adds that:
“You will never get bored and there’s always more to learn. It seems every moment something is happening or is about to happen. People in this industry are in a relentless quest of finding new tactics and techniques to counter the next challenges, which I find inspiring.”
For Jasper Prawijaya, who joined us as an intern and is now a marketing specialist, suggests some more practical reasons for enjoying this profession:
“I like the flexibility of working in a scale up company. I get to experience all parts of marketing and jump from one task to another depending on what skills I feel like learning. Also, the office is so much better than my university library, so sometimes I come here to study and grab too much of their free soda. ;-)”
This induced Shamit to confess there’s another pragmatic reason that he relishes his job – I get free beer in our shared offices in London! [Privately, your faithful scribe will admit it’s a somewhat common practice in our industry.]
But perhaps Yvette de Mes, our consulting marketing communications manager, puts it the most succinctly:
“Cybersecurity touches everyone’s life, not just that of big corporations. Who wouldn’t want to be part of such an important industry, where any of your daily activities contributes to a safer cyber world?”
If you’re interested in a career in cybersecurity, we encourage you to pursue it regardless of your background. There’s a lot of information on cybersecurity careers out there, including at EclecticIQ. If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to check out the open positions on our Careers page.