How I spent over 100K of my own money to learn cyber security

I discovered cyber security when I was 12 years old.

I immediately knew that I would dedicate my life to learning every single aspect this field has to offer.

For the next 10 years, I taught myself by using a mix of online capture-the-flag challenges, passion projects and on-the-job problem statements.

Teaching myself got me my first job and it even allowed me to become an independent contractor that delivers penetration testing engagements.

Then, I decided that I wanted to up my game.

I quickly realised if I tried to become an expert in other specialist areas by teaching myself then it would take me many years to learn new areas like incident response, digital forensics, malware analysis, red teaming, threat intelligence and so on.

My strategy has since been to:

  • fly all over the world to meet the best of the best in areas I wasn’t a specialist in (yet) and attend their training
  • bring them to Australia to teach our students (and me in the process)
  • win work in these new areas in which I’m interested

Over the years, I've spent over 100K of my own money to advance my knowledge and skills in cyber security.

I don’t expect anybody to spend that much.

The point I’m trying to make is: reading books, doing CTFs, following people on Twitter, and watching YouTube’s isn’t going to be enough if you want to be great.

Spending your professional life-time in meetings isn’t going to get you there either.

They are no shortcuts.

If you want to be great then be ready to:

  • spend countless hours in front of your laptop solving cyber security problem statements
  • set yourself impossible goals and work towards achieving measurable outcomes
  • travel anywhere in the world to meet and learn from industry leaders by attending their classes
  • invest real money in your education

I’m now 100% focused on reducing the cost of cyber security training because I know very well that most of you may not have the opportunity to spend 100K on your education, and you shouldn’t have too. It should be affordable for everyone to learn the right way.

Your only task should be to put in the hours it takes to become the best.

Do you have the courage to do it?

Benjamin Mossé

03/04/2020

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