We touched base with cybersecurity content creator Tim Stover aka @S1GK1LL17, to learn more about his journey in the field and get his take on all things cybersecurity. Tim is also a member of the cybersecurity group Shad0w Synd1cate and a Legacy Advisor for the College of Southern Nevada Cybersecurity Group ( CSN LoLzS3C)
We think the best way to learn more about the industry is to hear the stories of the real people who live it every day. Here's Tim's story.
How did you start in cybersecurity, and how did you get to where you are in your career today?
I started learning and messing around in cybersecurity around the late ’90s. Still, the college I went to at the time (Berea College) didn’t have anything but Computer Science, so I went into theatre.
My curiosity about computers and the internet never went away; it was just relegated to a hobby at that point. After years of being a stage tech as a job and learning to hack, bricking hard drives, crashing networks, I went back to school to get an AAS in Cybersecurity – Digital Forensics with the original goal of going into Red Team Hacking.
What is it you like about hacking/security compared to other areas of IT?
For me, it has to be the element of curiosity and discovery inherent to cybersecurity. I'm always wondering why or how things work and ask the question, "What if?". We get to uncover the unknown, and that's pretty cool.
What skills do you think are essential to be successful in cybersecurity?
Hands-down it has to be the ability to search for answers online. You also have to be committed to learning all the time, always looking to push forward to discover new ways of approaching problems.
What do you think are the biggest cybersecurity threats we are facing right now?
A few things, first, many nation state hackers that are out there being more public and political; secondly, with the world of virtual learning we are in now, this provides new and interesting attack vectors! Things are changing!
What types of resources have you found most useful for learning security? (Videos, courses, blogs, qualifications)
I love me some YouTube! There are some fantastic teaching channels out there like Hak 5, Shannon Morse, DEFCON Conference, etc. And I would be remiss not mentioning CyberVista (a little self-plug!) Lol!
Any last thoughts?
Sure, here's some quick-fire advice for aspiring cybersecurity professionals.
- If you are just starting out in Cyber Security or getting back into things, go download VMware player, get some Kali Linux VMs, and set up your own labs! All of that is free, with walkthroughs on YouTube!
- Also, go download Nmap / Zenmap and Wireshark. Again…free! Learn by doing! This is how I had to learn, and I still think it’s one of the best ways. There are so many resources online, so learn how to “Google” things!
- Try the DuckDuckGo search engine and then download the Tor browser.
- Just take away from this a few ideas and don’t get overwhelmed. Just always learn, and never lose that mindset!
- Finally, come bug me on Instagram (@stovertim), but only after you have done some research on the topic you are working on!