git commit -m ‘2020 Year in Review’

2020 hasn’t necessarily been the kindest to us…has it? I feel like I shouldn’t have to go into too many details about say…the pandemic, racial justice movements, politics, and probably loads of other things I’ve forgotten about over the course of this absolute whirlwind of a year on top of personal life changes that most people have probably experienced this past year. However, some great things have happened this year in my professional life that I have been a bit too preoccupied to document.

2020 in my corner of the universe consisted of…

  • Submitting to and speaking at my first (virtual) con
  • Working my first contract job for a bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure company
  • Deciding to minor in Governance, Risk, and Compliance
  • Earning my CVSSv3 and NSE 1+2 certificates
  • Starting to studying for my Security+ certificate
  • Taking a break from Penetration Testing and moving into Security Analyst and Threat Intelligence work
  • Starting to work at my second internship
  • Working on my first incident response case (SolarWinds is DEFINITELY a way to get your feet wet and get some first experience with this type of work, that’s for sure)
  • Attending various virtual conferences: Defcon, OSDFCon, WeAreHackerz, and the Chaos Communication Congress just to name a few
  • Starting to learn how to play the banjo (quarantine boredom, am I right?)

I’m not going to give my cybersecurity predictions for 2021, as most everyone has stated theirs already. This is not where I expected to be in my security journey at this time in 2020, but I couldn’t be happier with where I have gone, and will continue to be going. One major thing I learned this year, both in my personal and professional life is to just go with the flow. Lots of things can fall a part quite quickly and seem earth-shattering. Step back for a bit, do what you need to in order to move on, and get to work on things you can do to make things just a little better.

I’m not much of a New Year’s Resolution person, but in 2021, I hope to…

  • Obtain my Security+
  • Reconnect with some mentors I’ve gained over the years
  • Document more of my growth in this field (on this blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, anywhere really)
  • (Hopefully) be able to attend some security meetups or conferences in-person
  • Actually sound good when I play my banjo

Sanitize your inputs as well as your hands and hopefully, we can work together to make 2021 at least a little bit less painful as 2020 was to a majority of the population.

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