After working with the RCMP for a while, I experienced more life changes. My marriage ended, my mother passed away and I developed full-blown fibromyalgia as a result of a whiplash injury from a car accident all in the same year. Many times I felt like Job and questioned why? The saving grace was my precious child, my beautiful daughter who was depending on me for support. I knew I needed to find a way to improve my circumstances. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself, pulled up my socks, put on my boots and made a pact with myself to move forward. Through much prayer, physical therapy and sheer stubbornness I did just so.
Three years later, I enrolled in a fast-track three-year computer science program. The path wasn't easy but I persevered, sometimes pulling all-nighters writing a java application or a server-side script for an assignment due the following day. I've often wondered where I found the strength but somehow I managed to fight through the pain and move forward. It was also during that time that the world changed for all of us.
September 11, 2001, we were sitting in class and someone was on the internet watching a news report of the first twin tower exploding in New York City. We huddled over a workstation watching in horror the live stream as the second tower exploded. We were in shock and realized instantly, life would never be the same. However, it was through these horrific events that I saw so many others experiencing much worse and it put things into a new perspective. After all, I was working through the pain and making good grades and my future was bright.
The year is now 2004 and I graduated with a 96% average and I am still proud of that accomplishment. I had five job offers even before I finished my final exam.
Life was back on track and the world of ICT and security was again my future. I accepted a new role working with an IT services provider, managing their datacenter and 200+ clients.
The years following, I returned to school many times to take various related courses from digital forensics, ethical hacking, programming, risk management and the list goes on and on. To sum it up, that's the life of most people in the ICT cybersecurity world. You never stop learning and the moment you do, you fail to keep up with the industry and the latest and greatest threat and attack vectors out there.
Sound challenging? It is and it's the part that keeps me going. The love of the work and knowing you're helping to secure organizational assets, systems and data. I'd almost call it a noble profession; if you do it right! However, this industry isn't always ethical nor fair. I'll tell you more about that later on.