Nick Tamanini’s schedule was full. Between bartending at night and his course load in Business Informatics at IU, it was tough to feel like he could fully engage in his coursework. He also wasn’t able to fit in the cybersecurity courses he knew would help open more doors and complement his informatics background.
Eleven Fifty Academy offered a solution. “When I heard about the program it seemed like a good opportunity to take 12 weeks and go 9-5 like a full-time job and learn extremely fast. It really was immersive,” he said.
What stood out to you about the Eleven Fifty Academy Cybersecurity track?
Their Cyber Range was big for me. It gave me a hands-on opportunity to not only learn this by the book and through tests, but also immerse myself in an actual cyber attack environment and get a better understanding. I’m a hands-on learner, so actually seeing something happen in front of me makes me retain it a lot better than reading about it happening to someone else.
Other than the hands-on learning, what were some of the highlights of the Eleven Fifty Cybersecurity Bootcamp experience for you?
Just the growth itself was pretty incredible to experience. Now that I’m working as an Eleven Fifty TA, it’s even crazier to see people start out being green in this field. Within the course of four weeks they can understand how a network is configured and what all is going on behind the scenes. Then four weeks after that, you understand data encryption and how to secure everything.
Our first day in the range, it was a really easy attack, someone just wanted to change our webpage, and we had no idea what was going on. We had no understanding of what normal traffic was. We basically shut off the entire Cyber Range, turned off all the routers, turned off all communication to the outer network, turned off our internet. By the end of it, our last scenario which was supposed to take four hours ended up taking only 30 minutes just because we had an understanding of how everything worked. Seeing that growth in such a short period of time was pretty awesome.
What would you say is the most challenging part of being in a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
Coming from a business informatics background, I really never did anything with hardware or physical networking at all. I would only connect to the internet and do my data analysis and run my Python scripts and SQL scripts.
At Eleven Fifty, we did network and security, including physical security, and we had to learn the equipment. It was a big change going from working on just software to incorporating hardware. Also, instead of just walking in and connecting to a network, we learned how it’s set-up and runs. It was difficult to understand at the beginning, but then it all clicked.
What are some of your future goals working in cybersecurity?
I would like to get into a penetration testing role. I’ve learned all the entry-level areas from securing a network, to making sure that you don’t have anybody that is unaccounted for on your system, and making sure all your files are encrypted and can’t be decrypted without prior permission. Now I’d like to go test it. It could be a great career.
I also think the idea of working for a consulting company and traveling to different corporate environments would continue my learning process to see how people do it differently and get a better understanding of what’s going on in the world.
Why do you think someone should consider a cybersecurity career?
It’s a field that is becoming more and more in demand in every industry. For years we built these computer systems to be faster, and send data faster, and be able to do more tasks. But no one ever realized that people can just walk in the back door if you don’t put locks on your network. So now many organizations don’t have checks and balances. With all this old technology, security is becoming a big factor, and that’s why there are so many high paying job opportunities.
Any words of wisdom for a future cybersecurity student or someone looking at cybersecurity right now but isn’t sure if they’re ready to dive in?
If you are looking to enter cybersecurity, make sure you have an understanding of the general topics before you start because it does move fast.
Overall, it’s a great opportunity. It’s a great learning experience. Things can get challenging and sometimes it can be a little discouraging, but you’ve got 12 weeks to learn as much as you possibly can. Try as hard as you can. I guarantee the growth that you see from day 1 to day 60 is going to be leaps and bounds.
Want to grow into a cybersecurity role? Learn more about this rewarding career at one of our upcoming FREE Intro to Cybersecurity courses.