Educating a specialist with excellent skills and broad knowledge makes a great challenge. The best of them exceed in every field of the modern IT industry. Broad knowledge should be supported by experience and traits like curiosity, inquisitiveness, passion and eagerness for self-improvement.
Cybersecurity is recognized as the most dynamically developing branch of the IT industry worldwide. Thanks to this growth, it has become an attractive career opportunity. Dominik Domżalski - Security Analyst at Big Data & Security Atos Poland GDC, has told us more about working in cybersecurity.
As an IT specialist, why have you chosen cybersecurity as your career path?
It all started from an Academy organized by Atos. I must admit that I took part in it by coincidence. I obviously had had some general knowledge in IT, but I had never been interested in cybersecurity. It was during those weekend meetings that I was seriously confronted with this subject matter. I took part in classes run by excellent specialists and enthusiasts, who interested me and encouraged me to acquire more and more knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. That is why my career path started and became my passion.
It is very convenient to work and develop one’s passion at once. Why are you interested in cybersecurity?
It is a field that has emerged quite recently. Hence, there is a lot to do and discover. I love that everyone, if determined enough, can contribute to it. In addition to that, working in cybersecurity entails developing a comprehensive knowledge in IT. This stimulates self-improvement and motivates to become more qualified. The work itself is very dynamic so there is no chance to be bored.
Is it dynamic because it's a fairly new IT department?
Certainly yes, but not only. Nearly every week, new vulnerabilities are detected, which are the hole through which a hacker can get into the system. They should be investigated, observed and prevented by such incidents. You constantly have to keep up with all the information and try to be one step ahead of your potential opponent - a bit like playing chess.
It also sounds like cyber-security experts are some kind of guardians of the future.
(Laughter) You can also use such a comparison. For 24 hours a day, we protect our customers from hackers who want to obtain information illegally and use it for their own benefit. Money, politics, unfair competition, technological theft are different temptations.
Have you had the opportunity to prevent a cyber attacker during your work experience?
I remember a situation where a large number of the same viruses appeared in one of the clients’ locations in different countries. The software installed protected the system. However, when we analyzed that event, it turned out that all the previously infected stations were trying to establish a remote connection at an unusual port, which aroused our curiosity. The purpose of that communication was IP addresses with a very dubious story. Fortunately, another layer of the security system installed by us prevented those attempts. The whole event was so dangerous that to prevent further attempts to encroach, it was necessary to completely replace the disks that were involved. If the company was not protected in any way, the information on those disks could have been stolen and misused.
Does cybersecurity concern only governments and powerful corporations?
Definitely not. Of course, governments and corporations need special protection because of the value of information that is in their systems. But these days, where so many people are online, cyber threats are all about us. By using various mobile applications and devices, you should first and foremost use common sense and take seriously the already common information that you should not use the same email password, bank account and social networking profile.
We said that this is a new department that, in addition, is very dynamically developing. How can we effectively become cyber experts? What would you advise all people that are related to cybersecurity?
Unfortunately, the education system is still not following it. Students can’t really know much about cybersecurity during the course of education. In this situation, it is very important that you want to acquire knowledge yourself. It is also worth to use such an academy in which I had the opportunity to participate. This gives you the opportunity to gain not only knowledge, but also a job, as it was in my case. This is obviously the beginning. Having worked in this profession, you still need to learn and keep being updated. You can’t let yourself let it go for a while. It is also valuable to use the knowledge and skills of your colleagues, as well as the experience gained from work.
Big Data & Security Atos Poland GDC