Being a cyber analyst in Germany
Let’s meet Kerstin. She was a student-worker at Orange Cyberdefense before joining the CyberSOC.
To become an analyst, what studies did you carry out?
My career in IT started with a two-year training as an IT assistant. I had fun while programming my first applications, configuring operating systems, and playing around with network technologies, so I decided to study computer science at our local university. The two introduction modules into cybersecurity and IT forensics awaked my passion for IT security. There I have completed my first vulnerability exploits, network scans, and forensic investigations.
You did a thesis on “attacks vectors of fair operations”. Can you explain what it is in simple terms?
My bachelor thesis was about giving more insights into the IT security infrastructure of trade exhibition operators. The goal was to determine which methods attackers could use to compromise the network and how to protect them.
You did your work-study at Orange Cyberdefense. What were your missions?
Orange Cyberdefense Germany (formerly IT-CUBE) would like to get more insights about the IT security situation at trade fair operators to build appropriate services that fit this business sector’s needs and demands. For my work-study, I did a survey focusing on fair trade operators’ current IT security situation and built a security assessment based on that information. To create this survey, I spoke with an IT security manager at a trade fair operator who gave me a lot of insights about which things are essential, and I was able to ask the right questions to my survey participants. Based on the data I gathered, I analyzed the attack vector that could cause the most damage and protect against these different types of cyberattacks.
Why did you choose to stay at Orange Cyberdefense?
The people I am working with made me want to stay. Everybody was so friendly and helpful. This gave me a good feeling. Of course, the fact that I can also learn many new and exciting things and develop myself into a security professional played a big part in my decision to join the company.
Today, what is your role in our CyberSOC team?
I’m a Cybersecurity Analyst. I analyze potential security incidents and help identify malicious behaviors, security risks. My role is to make our customers network a safer place. I also implement new indicators for threat detection and work on the technical improvements of our services. I am also a mentor for all new analysts who are starting in our CyberSOC. So I help them learn all the stuff they need to know, and I’m there for all their questions and worries.
What types of customers do you work for?
We are supporting many different kinds of customers in our CyberSOC hubs. We have customers in energy, financial, manufacturing, even in the educational sector. This is very interesting since it’s so varied.
You work in Germany. Are you in contact with teams in other countries? If so, on what topics?
All our CyberSOCs are in contact with each other. We work together on threat research, indicators development, customers’ need. We also share knowledge and expertise.
What do you like most about your job?
I mostly like working with my colleagues. This is where I learn the most, improve and optimize our services. Even in stressful times, the atmosphere is still fun.
What advice would you give to someone in your profession?
Never stop learning and asking for new things. If you see or hear something you don’t know, read, and learn more about it.