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November 12, 2020 - BY Admin

How i Joined Cyber Security

How I Joined Cybersecurity

Famious Orishaba

Every long journey starts with one step and so did mine. I have always been intrigued by technology which triggered my interest in Telecommunications Engineering in which I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Algeria under a scholarship program through the ministry of Education. Having to study everything in the French language prepared me for all unexpected changes ahead in life. Back home, the future was a  haze as I marched to every telecommunication company in search of jobs in vain. Luckily, I landed a customer care job that started my journey on handling information. I was then given a chance to join a sales department where i grew skills in collecting relevant information which i realized needed protecting. This process showed me there is no straight line and Rome wasn’t built in one day.
In 2019 at the Kampala Innovation Week at Kololo, I discovered Milima Cyber Academy that would become the first step of the long journey.

“An investment in an Education pays the best interest” Benjamin Franklin.

These words resonated in my mind as I checked in to the academy to pursue a certificate in the Fundamentals of Cybersecurity. Just like any other course it was mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. The imagination of what hacking was and the wondering if i could become a good hacker was a puzzle I had to solve. It didn’t take long to realize that any one from any field could join this exciting field, but excitement alone could not keep one going. The work is intense meaning the passion had to be deep for anyone to stay through the journey.

Highlights of the course were unlearning the myths about hackers and realizing how much work is put into protecting information on the internet. Theoretically, a hacker is anyone who has  black hood and can write some scripts, yet in reality a good hacker is a responsible, ethical and skilled person that can write scripts. This realization has been my constant reminder that I am an ethical hacker. While at the Academy, I learned the need to respect the journey. I took a programming class there after to build that skill, joined communities, participated in hackathons, watched a lot of videos, read a lot and read again.

“The only Real security a man can ever have in this world is a reserve of knowledge,Experience and Ability” Henry Ford.

Accumulating knowledge is the key in the field of security and it turned out to be an asset while I attended different forums and training sessions. My urge to grow in technical skills, in information management and business development saw me through the  lockdown in 2020 which provided enough room for practice. I engaged in Catch The Flag (CTF) challenges which gave me access to more skill and reach in communities. 

Putting myself out there guided me alot on this journey and continues to do so. The most important tools have been LinkedIn and Twitter as they guided me to people and led people to me as well. Through them I discovered webinars which were arranged by Milima Security in partnership with Yelbridges, a cybersecurity company in Kenya. The webinars happened every Friday and were very interactive, informative and inspiring. Here I discovered the importance of guided mentorship and I decided to find mentors in this field. Mentorship is another important aspect that has been a foothold for me since I started this journey.

I sought an internship opportunity with Milima Security and luckily I made the list in September 2020.
The skillset grows every time I try and fail and try again. The notion is never to wait until one is an expert to do what one is passionate about, it’s through doing it that one becomes an expert.
I am on a journey to impact the field of cyber security and to encourage more women to join the cyber space. While women offer such tremendous skills and contribution to this field, they are still underrepresented compared to the male colleagues. statistics indicate that decisions get better as diversity increases. For example, gender-diverse teams make superior decisions 73% of the time. There is  an 80% chance of improved choices when a group has a variety of both genders.

 

What keeps me motivated are the challenges ahead and the urge to create solutions for them. The room for growth in the industry allows for exploration and alot of learning which keeps me interested to continue on this journey.

I am on a journey to impact the field of cyber security and to encourage more women to join the cybersecurity space -
Famious Orishaba
Security Analyst Intern - Milima Security
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