Learning to Learn from a Cyber Defense Curriculum Dev Intern

     - Jesse, 2017 IGNITE Cyber Defense Curriculum Developer Intern

    “I first heard about FireEye when I read Mandiant’s report about Chinese APT actors (APT1) several years ago. I noticed FireEye frequently in cyber security news, and it was one of the companies I hoped to work for someday. When I asked my professor if he had any internships he recommended, he suggested FireEye and I immediately applied. When they called back and described the Cyber Defense Curriculum Developer internship, it seemed like a perfect fit to me: a fusion of my technical expertise with my writing abilities in a way that will directly impact customers. I was happy to accept their offer and join the FireEye team. 

    In addition to selling consulting services and physical appliances, FireEye also delivers training to customers. My project consists of developing an Advanced Enterprise Forensics course, designed to build off an existing Forensic Fundamentals course. My course will train customers to use the unique capabilities of FireEye tools to perform forensic analysis on an enterprise environment. This is uniquely useful to the company because, although organizations like SANS offer forensics courses, no one teaches how to use FireEye’s appliances for this purpose. FireEye appliances bring special capabilities to the forensic analyst’s toolkit and this course will highlight that.

    Writing this course has been an excellent learning experience for me. I had a basic course in forensics at school, but it was rudimentary in comparison. In order to write this advanced course and its hands-on lab, I’ve had to learn hacking techniques used by APT threat actors, learn how to detect and defend against them, and package it into language that is easily understood. I’ve learned more in a week here at FireEye than in a month of school.

    The best part of my internship is the people I get to work with. The instructional design team is composed of brilliant individuals from a variety of backgrounds. I have learned so much from them, because they’re willing to share their knowledge. For example, I participated in the FireEye CTF and learned more about steganography and web exploitation from other team members. My manager encourages me to take time from my workday and learn new things; oftentimes the things I’m learning end up applying to the course so it’s a win/win.

    The best piece of advice I can give to any students pursuing an internship with FireEye is to learn how to learn before you get here. School is often about memorizing facts and technical details, the reality is, someone else knows that stuff already. The most valuable interns and future employees are the ones who are good at picking up new skills from others. If you can learn new skills easily and apply your knowledge from one area to other areas, you’ll be very valuable here at FireEye.”

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