Hacked Opinions: Veterans who transitioned into InfoSec

Veterans discuss moving from the military to their current InfoSec careers

How did you transition from your military career to your current role in InfoSec? Was it a natural fit, or did you have to make adjustments?

Lewis Kim, DAST Manager, Threat Research Center, WhiteHat Security (LK): As a reservist, the transition process was relatively seamless.

As many vets have mentioned before, you need to change your mindset and expectations within the civilian sector.  The military has a very efficient way of running but that’s mainly due to the strict rules and regulations that we adhere to.  The civilian workplace usually has a lax environment which can be challenging to deal with if you are use to getting things done in a military fashion.

What advice would you give to service members who are interested in InfoSec?

LK: Take the initiative and start researching on your own first.  If you keep yourself informed with the current trends, the vernacular, and general fundamentals of InfoSec, the more appealing you will be to potential employers and networkers.

Are there any particular strengths that you feel veterans bring to the InfoSec market?

LK: The discipline and work ethic are honestly some of the most important strengths you receive in the military that work in any industry.  Improvising and thinking outside the box is also a highly-valued skill in the InfoSec market.

Anything else you would like to add?

LK: Though the hiring market may seem intimidating, requiring potential candidates to meet strict skill sets and experience, don’t be deterred.

There are many emerging companies that are willing to train, and build future InfoSec professionals. I came from a non-technical background, without any prior InfoSec experience. I have been with my company for over 5 years now and am still loving it.

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