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I'm a Cybersecurity consultant and developer - AMA!

44 replies

ClaireDendie · 10/12/2019 18:53

Hi! As you have read my title I work in the developing world of cyber security, specifically in Trojan (virus) development and testing, in order for them to be patched by OS's like Microsoft and Mac OS. Obviously I cannot share files or git files, so please don't ask about files. But mostly anything else goes, so shoot it at me!

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WineIsMyCarb · 10/12/2019 18:56

How did you get into it and how much money do you make?

What extra cyber security precautions do you have at home / on your own devices?

Do you have an Alexa or whatever. If not why not?

ClaireDendie · 10/12/2019 19:12

I made £50000 when I started out, and now make £78000 in a Senior role where I am now. It really started out as a hobby, getting local versions of well known programs and trying to get into the code, and then I ended up in the industry with an internship, now I'm a senior consultant at a worldwide company.

I have ensured that all my CCTV cameras, nests and a ring doorbell, are on closed and separate networks, and ensured my kids understand how to be secure, and how to, simply put, not destroy the laptops and tablets they have Grin.

And yes, we have alexas and Phillips smart lights in every room, even though, yes it is my job to be heavily sceptical, I'm not a massive theorist when it comes to amazon being a massive government program listening to every convo.

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antisupermum · 16/12/2019 13:00

What is the one piece of cyber security advice that you wish everyone would follow?

NagaisAce · 18/12/2019 17:22

What exams/qualification should I look at if I want to get into this field?
With no previous experience

windycuntryside · 18/12/2019 18:25

What is closed and and separate networks ?
Why are they needed for have the ring doorbell. Or what are benefits ? Thanks

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard · 18/12/2019 18:52

What do I need to do with old laptops that I've forgotten the password for please? I'm collecting a few because of not knowing how to safely dispose of them Blush

ClaireDendie · 20/12/2019 09:21

@EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard You could sell them! eBay, zapped and cashinyourgadgets all have dedicated sections to broken tech. Broken laptops/phones are always important for someone.

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EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard · 20/12/2019 20:31

I'd happily donate them Claire I just need to know how to factory reset or something first, without a password Smile

ClaireDendie · 20/12/2019 22:39

@EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Can they still hold a charge? If you still remember you're logged into that laptop under the same Microsoft account as your phone or other pc, you could head onto their website and reset, otherwise you're probably stuffed unless you can remove the drive (you could probably find some YouTube video, however it's probably not worth the time) . Sorry I misread your first post!

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ClaireDendie · 20/12/2019 22:41

I obviously don't specialise in hardware though, more what's 'inside' it, so don't take my word as full gospel. Even though throwing HDDs and SDDs in the giant metal shredder at work is fun Grin

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EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard · 21/12/2019 08:06

Thanks Claire I can give that a try 💐

DonPablo · 21/12/2019 08:13

Do you know anything about quantum computing?

Northernsoullover · 21/12/2019 08:16

Did you do a degree? My local university offers cybersecurity degrees. I'm wondering if its worth it or could you self teach.

MsChatterbox · 21/12/2019 08:17

My hubby is currently doing an online course for cybersecurity, it will finish with ethical hacking. Any advice for what job he should go for whilst completely the qualification? He already has CompTia +.

FiveStoryFire · 21/12/2019 08:25

Which antivirus software would you recommend for Macs?

Namestranger · 21/12/2019 08:27

Do you ever pen test random companies just for the fun of seeing how vulnerable they are?

ClaireDendie · 21/12/2019 09:10

@DonPablo I do not, it's a very interesting theory though, and it will make even the fastest CPUs on the market even faster, I can only dream what it would be like.

@Northernsoullover I did not personally, I started with home Kali Linux and metasploit, it developed from there, and I got a Jr. job, which put me into the industry!

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ClaireDendie · 21/12/2019 09:16

@MsChatterbox What CompTia + did he do? I'd assume you mean A+ but I wouldn't like to comment unless I knew for sure, simply with all the paths in cyber security and general IT there are.

@FiveStoryFire Malwarebytes, however don't worry that much, macs just hardly get viruses as, and this is just an oversimplification for time, the 1's and 0's for a different OS virus (most viruses only target windows OS) just don't make sense on Mac. The computer just can't understand it's a program at all, and will just not run the virus.

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ClaireDendie · 21/12/2019 09:21

@Namestranger Obviously, there's a lot of legalities to just pentesting a piece of software or website you just don't own (especially if you could complete a DB crack) however when I was just starting in the industry at home I did pentest a lot of software, WiFi passwords, companies and other items that wasn't technically in my ownership, however I did not abuse them, and ensured that the vulnerabilities I found were reported using correct channels safely and securely.

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AdalindMeisner · 21/12/2019 09:31

I'm so glad you have posted this! I am currently doing a CS degree and I would like to do a cyber security msc on completion (local uni offer one accredited by GCHQ). I have been advised that if I wanted to be software engineer then I need to build a portfolio to aid progression into the industry on the same vein is there something I can do to help entry into the industry?

MsChatterbox · 21/12/2019 09:44

Yes it's A+. Sorry was writing from memory wasn't really sure 😊

ExpletiveFairylighted · 21/12/2019 09:49

How do you put the Nests etc on separate networks? What is it about these devices that makes them particularly vulnerable?

TheGoatIsHere · 21/12/2019 10:05

I work in a similar area but freelance. I work on the testing side, so get hired to develop and test secure systems, ready for external auditors to come in and do a formal evaluation. I use tools like Nessus and Kali to test then implement solutions to fix (firewalls, GPO fixes, patching, hardening, etc)

ClaireDendie · 21/12/2019 10:10

@AdalindMeisner Good on you for persueing the masters route! To build a portfolio, I assume you already have github (if not make an account, not only for a uni portfolio but for employers aswell). You'll want to cover all bases, so for pentesting get acquainted with Kali Linux OS and metasploits python framework, if you want to cover cyber crime (as the course is accredited by GCHQ), you'll want to write on how criminals use tools like cryptocurrency, and encryption to get away with drug trafficking and other crimes. However be aware I did not go through masters degrees, and I completed IT GCSE only and ended up in the industry by self learning and taking Jr Jobs, so you'll want to look around for a more in depth and what the uni is looking for guide.

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ClaireDendie · 21/12/2019 10:15

@MsChatterbox CompTia A+ opens insane amounts of jobs, if he is doing a degree aswell, but wants to get into the industry, I would take on a contract (Hired to complete a specific task or problem, then your contract is done) as these jobs give you decent pay, and good experience in the field!

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