How a Security Guard Transitioned into Cybersecurity with Higher Pay & Better Job

Mr. Colby Austin
Country: United States

In a recent interview with EC-Council, Colby Austin shared how he got a “foot in the door”, with his Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)certification. He shared how C|EH helped him identify attacks and other things quickly and how he was able to take leadership roles in incident management right off the bat because of the knowledge he acquired in the CEH course.

CEH helped me get good at interviews and get my foot in the door

Tell us about your journey as a cybersecurity professional.

I first started in a non-IT field…in physical security. I worked for a bigger tech company when I first started, and

I was a security guard.

But while doing that, I would interact with our SOC team and IT security engineers. Then, I ended up getting into the physical security management role and working more with a SOC team. I was interested in cybersecurity and threat hunting. I guess kind of the back and forth with having to defend organizations against attackers. I guess people thought it was more malicious. So, I was interested in that. I heard the Certified Ethical Hacker was a great cert. At first, I wasn’t sure, but it taught me from the beginning. It taught me a lot about network security and application security. It shows you, from reverse, where and how an attacker might get into a network, and then you can defend from there.

CEH was more like a baseline but a good foundation for my cybersecurity career.

How did C|EH benefit your career?

When applying for cybersecurity positions, for most positions, one of the certs they look for is C|EH.

It not only helped me, it taught me a lot, but just having that on my resume got my foot in the door. And I think these days, it’s hard to get through filters and other things. I felt like if I could get my foot in the door and get an interview, I would do well. I think C|EH is having that, you know, recruiters, and I guess even like cybersecurity management. That was a big one, having that on my resume.

Did C|EH help you get higher pay, a promotion, a job you wanted, etc.?

Yeah, I would say all three. As I’ve progressed with my cybersecurity career, CEH helped me get good at interviews and get my foot in the door. But the knowledge I’ve obtained from C|EH is paramount a little bit with my physical security knowledge, like incident management, right? So, as an incident happens, it’s normally an attacker getting in. The knowledge I obtained from

C|EH helped me identify attacks and other things quickly. I was able to take leadership roles in incident 

leadership roles in incident management right off the bat because I had that knowledge.

It helped me progress throughout my career.

What was your favorite part of the C|EH program? Please explain why.

Yeah, I would say that my favorite part is doing the hands-on after reading the books and everything. There’s the lab portion. I guess you could do it at the same time. But yeah, I read the books, and then I could take that knowledge I learned to do the labs, and I think that’s what I enjoyed the most. Do the labs in the red team, and then on the back end, you can see the blue team side from like logs. I had the most fun doing the hands-on, which helped like a lock in all my knowledge. So, I would say that’s what I enjoyed the most.

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