Identity theft is no joke, especially in today’s world. There’s a lot to lose, not just for yourself but even the workplace. The 90s Sandra Bullock film, The Net was ahead of its time, and should be viewed at as a good example of the worst that can happen when one’s identity is stolen. In the Film, Sandra’s character fought back with a vengeance, much like our current guest, Bryant.
Bryant was a victim of such, but now he’s fighting against it, along with other types of cybercrime as an ethical hacker. Considering his circumstances, it’s almost super-heroic with a vibe that involves dark cowls, capes, and spandex. His roots even match his glorious purpose. Let’s hear Bryant’s story.
Hi Bryant, first tell us more about yourself.
Well first off, my name is Bryant and I don’t have a cool nickname yet LOL. But I guess my turning point that got me into cyber security was when I had my identity stolen not only once but twice. I was mad, but then again, I was curious, asking myself how? Having my Identity stolen twice, along with my passion for IT and building computers I was guided into the cybersecurity realm.
I am currently in school going to graduate with my degree in Information technology with a concentration in Ethical Hacking…which I will follow with my master’s degree in information assurance and cybersecurity. I am currently serving in the United State Air Force where I hope I can become a Cyberwarfare Officer.
I started my own IT business in 2014 where I build and repair computers. I now use my business platform to share and inform people about cybersecurity, especially in this day in age where everything is connected to some type of network in some shape, way, and form. I love showing people how vulnerable they truly are, but I love it even more showing them how to protect themselves online.
I have a great appreciation for knowledge. Because the more one knows the more dangerous, they are. Growing up in the foster care system, I did not feel like I belong to anything or anyone. But once I got into IT and cybersecurity, I felt like I was a part of something great. I spend most of my time in my home lab learning, building, and testing my skills.
When did you first become interested in hacking?
I first became interested in hacking when my identity was stolen for the second time. Of course, I was mad and frustrated but the frustration sparks an interest that led me to studying ethical hacking.
Upon studying cyber security, I quickly realized how I allowed myself to get hacked and vowed to never allow myself to be so open and vulnerable to an attack again, while at the same time sharing the knowledge and tips among my peers.
What do you think are the biggest cybersecurity threats we are facing right now?
Right now, in my opinion, Ransomware I feel is our biggest threat. I say this because the hacker not only can get money from the victim but also their information and peace of mind knowing they could still be a victim even if they pay the ransom. Every month I’m seeing some type of ransomware attack on the news.
What types of resources have you found most useful for learning security? (Videos, courses, blogs, qualifications)
Over the years, I found that one can never go wrong having a vast amount of resources to study from. My free primary source is YouTube and Instagram. I use YouTube to watch free ethical hacking videos. I follow a select group of pages and blogs on IG that supplies well put together educational material.
When it comes to paid resources, I like to buy books such as “The Hacker Playbook 3” and “Hacking, the Art of Exploitation” which are my current reading material. I’m also use Hackthebox and TryHackMe to practice my skills. From time to time, I take courses on Udemy.com and LinkedIn.com.
If you could give our readers one piece of advice on how to be safer online, what would it be?
If I could give one piece of advice on how to be safer online, it would have to be to advise user to watch their digital footprint. The more information you have about yourself on the internet, the more a hacker know about you and can use against you. Take it from a person that had their identity stolen twice. Be careful what you post on your social media accounts. Be careful not to post any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) such as your address, full name, birthday, etc.
The web remains the wild frontier as it was in its early days, maybe even more so with all the cybercrime happening now. There should be more sheriffs like Bryant on patrol. Unlike many ordinary citizens of the internet, the bad guys messed with the wrong person. You may connect with Bryant on Instagram accounts.
Personal IG: @sgt_wright
Hacking IG: @code_blk
Business IG: @techitllc