Interview: Hacker House helps developer become infosec professional at Microsoft

17.07.2019 by

Rey Bango was a Developer Advocate Lead at Microsoft when, in 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack swept through the world. This marked the beginning of a career shift for Rey who became fascinated with the world of Cyber Security.  Two years later, Rey is a Senior Security Advocate at Microsoft, building the important link between the company and the cybersecurity community.  Listen to this interview to learn more about Rey’s journey and how training with Hacker House transformed his skills and gave him a solid foundation from which to launch his new career. 

Contents: 

0:40 – Rey’s background & why is it difficult to get into information security

2:55 – How Rey met Matthew

4:00 – Going through the Hacker House course. 

6:10 – Why does a software developer want to go into information security?

8:30 – Becoming a Security Advocate at Microsoft – opening the lines of communication between Microsoft and the cybersecurity community. 

11:20 – How has the Hacker House course helped Rey in this new role?

13:55 – How Rey transformed after attending the course

19:40 – The importance of practicing hacking in a safe environment

21:20 – Rey’s advice for anyone coming into the cybersecurity industry

 

Highlights: 

  • I was a software developer, doing developer relations for the Edge Browser. What I was lacking in terms of security was a curriculum. I installed Kali and then thought “ok what do I do next?” 
  • The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack was one of the triggers why I wanted to go into cybersecurity. The consequences were dramatic – for example in the UK, people couldn’t go on their dialysis or cancer treatments. There was a real human impact from some miscreant who wanted to make money. So while many people make a career switch because there’s financial gain or because they’re bored, for me it was the impact that WannaCry made on the world.
  • Security is so multi faceted: You have to have a foundation on different areas that you want to focus on, whether it’s network pen testing, appsec etc. But it’s also about knowing how the different tools work and how to live off the land. All those things are very challenging when you’re starting out because there’s so much. Just reading a book or taking some kind of online course wasn’t cutting it for me because I had so many questions. And that’s how I came across the Hacker House course. 
  • Matthew was the first person to hack into Windows 10S. Working with him was great foundational training – what was key was the ability to ask Matthew some very basic questions.
  • Learning ethical hacking in a safe environment was key. The experience to exploit a machine on my own was amazing. 
  • To get into cyber security, you need a lot of patience and a lot of tenacity. The more specific your help request to the community, the better help you will receive. If you ask “can you teach me to hack?” you’ll get crickets. If you ask “Hey, I’m looking to set up a lab environment, can you point me to a blog post or book that can help me?”, you’ll receive a lot of help. Show that you’ve banged your head on something and tried to make it work. Specifically: Take a course to jumpstart you. 
  • People are very preoccupied with certifications. Instead, focus on building up your skills. 
  • Security is such a vast area, you don’t have to commit to a specific pigeonhole early on. Especially don’t let your past experiences pigeonhole you. You can choose whatever you want. If you’re going into a new field, why not choose something completely new? 

Did this whet your appetite? How about giving our Hands-on Hacking course a try? 

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