Why did I become a Player Ambassador?
The answer is simple. I want to see more diversity and I want to help people find their passion.
The cybersecurity community has always been the place for misfits and those who do not want to fit the mold — but just like children on a playground, everyone wants to be accepted as part of the in-crowd. As the community and industry has evolved and expanded, the in-crowd has become similar to other industries — your status in the industry is based heavily on connections you have or the prestige of the college or university you attended. Larger companies often overlook those who have a community college on their resume or those who are are self taught merely because they do not have a fancy school to name drop. The cybersecurity industry was built among many college dropouts, community college-goers, and students from small unknown universities that had a passion and wanted to make a change. I want to bring those people back to the community and come full-circle, so to speak. I want to start the cybersecurity fire in someone in their first networking class at a community college, or their graphic design class, web development class, national security class, sociology class and guide them to a career option that they may not have considered.
The National Cyber League (NCL) competition is diverse, both in the challenges created by Cyber Skyline and the focus areas that students work through during the games. Log Analysis challenges show a student what life in a security operations center may be like, just as the Web Application Exploitation shows one of the many fun sides of penetration testing. Open Source Intelligence is a wonderful way to see the wide range of information you are able to gain from the internet and how one should be ethically using the information. Wireless Access Exploitation simulates a portion of red team activity that I thoroughly enjoy.
Additionally, the NCL team game is an amazing experience that simulates working through a project, or a set of problems that has cropped up on a network that requires people from all areas to solve, and requires my favorite thing — TEAMWORK! This experience will prepare you for the real world. Whether you join that world after college, during college, or without college at all, this competition is a great way to practice in a safe environment. I believe that everyone should experience the games before stepping into the industry .
So, where do I want to go from here? I want to spread NCL to colleges, universities, or high schools that have not yet had the chance to bring this opportunity to their students and help the students get a program off the ground so they can put themselves out there.