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First, let’s start with the basics. What’s IN-SAC?
IN-SAC is the Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and here is the SOC or the security operations center.
Most states have an ISAC, Information Sharing and Analysis Center. This center monitors web traffic, computer metrics and other information along those lines. In short, we look at different monitoring data, detect when state resources are compromised and monitor and take actions to help when a bad link is clicked on and a computer becomes infected.
What do you do as an intern for IN-SAC?
I monitor our data and deal with internet filters. All state employees have an internet filter with certain permissions based on their position in their agency and we administer exceptions based on what they’re approved for.
What is your favorite part of working in cyber security?
I’ve done penetration testing where I was actually breaking into systems. It’s interesting to see security from a different perspective, to be on the defensive side this time, and to watch people poke and prod our system. There are times when we will be getting an email every few seconds about an issue. At that point we have to deal with it. We contact whoever is in charge of the server, shut it down and wipe it. It happens often enough that it is kind of routine.
How has this internship helped you professionally?
It has helped me learn new skills. Seeing cyber security from the other side has been really useful. Before I was trying to break into systems and was seeing it from an attacker’s perspective, and now I am getting to see it from a more defensive position. Having the perspective from both sides is important.
Would you recommend this to a fellow student?
Yes, I’ve worked all throughout school at various jobs and in other positions they are flexible to a point but here since it’s with the Pathmaker program, everyone here is a student and they are really flexible. The hours are great and they recognize that class comes first. Also, getting paid is very helpful.
What is your dream job?
I would like to be in security consulting/penetration testing. I am actually interning this summer in cyber security consulting with financial institutions.
Did you know you wanted to work in cyber security?
For my cyber security major we take general computer and information technology (CIT) classes freshman year. When I heard that I thought that’s what I wanted to do, but it wasn’t until this year when I got this job that I knew I wanted to do cyber security.
What about your job do you like?
I’ve learned a lot about active directory and FireEye technology. I also enjoy the people here. During our downtime they are able to help me with homework and they are great to work with. I found that since I’ve gotten this job, it’s helped me in my classes and helps me get a head start on some programs that we use in class.
How has it helped you professionally?
We had two seniors graduate this past Christmas, and any time they’ve gone for an interview and mentioned that they work for the secretary of state, the interviewer is usually impressed and curious about what that entailed. Also for CIT, you have to have internship hours. I’m glad I got them this way and it is nice to be paid. It’s enjoyable, having this experience is going to be a positive later when I apply for a cyber security job. Also, everyone uses active directory (what we use for internet filtering and allowing users to go to different sites) or some type of directory like that so it’s good experience to get different feels of that.
What’s your dream job?
EIdeally I want to be where my is aunt works in L.A. with creative artist agencies. These agencies have a lot of personal info stored about those people. My aunt works on the programming side but she said cyber security is growing there. I am still debating if I want to work for the federal government or a small cooperation.
Last Updated: 4/13/2018