Jada Cumberland interviews SRT Ӧzgür Alp

In cybersecurity, aspiring researchers often search for tips and tricks to better understand their careers. Learning from the previous trials and hardships of others can be one of the most valuable experiences. By doing so, you expand your repertoire of skills and knowledge of the industry, and grow empowered to attempt new feats. 

The eagerness cybersecurity professionals hold while sharing the lessons they’ve learned is a testament to the integrity and professionalism of the cybersecurity community. There are new courses, blogs, articles and learning materials that are added every minute to an endless treasure trove of first-hand accounts, information and knowledge. 

Ӧzgür Alp, an SRT researcher and a member of the Synack Envoy, is a strong advocate for collaboration. He believes communication from complete beginners to experienced professionals is vital to the further development of the field. We recently interviewed him to uncover a few of his tips and tricks to make the best of your career in cybersecurity .

As with every profession, there are soft skills needed in cybersecurity to supplement your technical skills. This includes communication, analytical intelligence, and research, which Ӧzgür says is “the most important skill…” If you can learn to implement any unfamiliar tool with a few keystrokes on Google, you can take your mastery to the next level. You don’t need to know every technology to be successful in the field, but you should always be willing to gain a better understanding of one through exploration. 

You should also understand how cybersecurity interconnects with other disciplines, like the financial industry. In order to protect data, Ӧzgür believes you must first “…understand the finances and think about how the application can be misused.” You will be better equipped to find vulnerabilities in the application as a result. 

There are a few lessons to be learned here. For one, you should master how to apply your knowledge. Even Ӧzgür isn’t an expert on every programming language, but he understands the basics of how they work. That ability to analyze the concepts helps him take advantage of code in applications he is testing. 

Additionally, many people eventually experience feelings of burnout. You may grow tired of your work or feel unmotivated, usually as a result of overextending yourself. Knowing how to deal with it is quite a valuable skill. For Ӧzgür’s personal story of burnout and how he handled it, listen to the full interview below. It also contains content on his hobbies, inspirations, and involvement in mentoring.

In the spirit of crowdsourcing, we’d love to hear your own tips and tricks for making the most of your cybersecurity careers. You can tweet #SRTCyberTips and mention @SynackRedTeam and @ozgur_bbh, and we might just share your ideas in an upcoming blog. Also, here are a few popular podcasts to get your learning started.

Cybersecurity thrives on collaboration, breadth of knowledge, and the community’s continuous desire to learn. Remember, when we put our minds together, we have the power to create unimaginable results.

“One person cannot find all the different kinds of vulnerability techniques, but if you have one thousand people, then you can find them together.” – Ӧzgür Alp

Ӧzgür Alp is this year’s Synack Guardians of Trust winner for Most Trusted Hacker

Listen to the interview here.

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER

Jada Cumberland is a successful participant of Synack Academy and now an intern with Synack’s Community Team.  As she embarks upon her career in cybersecurity, her goals include finding and submitting her first bug bounty, earning the Security+ certification, and meeting new people in the industry.

Posted by Charlie