I'm a Graduate Cybersecurity Engineer at Leidos. Here's what it's like.
Cyber Scotland Week runs from February 17-23 and aims to raise cyber awareness, promote cyber careers, and highlight innovation in cybersecurity. In recognition, here are some insights from an aspiring Leidos UK cyber professional:
My name is Miroslav Naydenov and I am a Graduate Cybersecurity Engineer at Leidos and I joined the company at the end of September 2019. I graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2018 with a 1st class Honors degree in Digital Security, Forensics and Ethical Hacking.
When it comes to my work at Leidos, at this point in time, I have mainly been involved in the Civil sector. The project I have been involved with the most is a security operations service we have developed and deployed for a national customer. There have been numerous tasks surrounding this project and I have been either involved or keeping track of the majority of them. I have been a primary body on developing playbooks and procedures regarding incident response and first responder best practices upon discovering incidents. This project, similar to the others involves a lot of critical and logical thinking, which has had a really positive effect on my approach to problems of all sorts.
I have also been involved in security audits and vulnerability scanning with big nationwide bodies. I have had the opportunity to navigate their networks and I have gained priceless knowledge regarding network engineering and best practices related to security engineering.
I have always been into computers and I have had one sitting next to me since the day I was born. I was raised in a very “techy” family, with my dad working as an IT engineer and eventually evolving to running his own business. So computers were always in the picture, security on the other hand started becoming my main interest during the last few years of high-school. I decided to give it a shot by joining Glasgow Caledonian University for a Bachelor degree and I have never even thought about doing anything else. It is just an endless field where you can never reach the point where you know everything. I think that might be what I enjoy most about the world of cybersecurity – you can never stop learning, even if you really want to. After university I was certain that I want to pursue a career in cyber.
Leidos offered a very flexible way of working, with tons of benefits in an environment that felt welcoming. The security team is in my eyes the perfect size – where we can really get to know each other and not feel too distant or neglected. I was really drawn by the fact that Leidos mainly focuses on large-scale problems. The feeling of looking back after months of cooperative work with your colleagues and seeing how an “impossible” problem has been broken down and dealt with in an elegant and innovative way is priceless.
I think the flexibility of work and the exposure to a wide variety of customers with different demands, restrictions, budgets, etc. is an excellent starting opportunity for every graduate. You can definitely receive a huge knowledge boost for the short period of two years. Even if you are short on skills, the training time and budget offered by Leidos will surely keep you on track.
I am certain that with the certifications and experience that I am currently receiving from Leidos, I will be able to further polish my skillset while gaining valuable managerial and leadership skills at the same time. I would definitely say that joining Leidos has been an excellent step for my personal development plans.
How is Miroslav doing? Here's what his manager had to say:
"Over the last five months Miro has quickly settled in at Leidos. He supports the shift rotas for the Cyber Security Operations Centre and Cyber Security Incident Response processes which protect a new solution provided by Leidos for one of our customers. He has gained experience securing cloud platforms such as AWS Public Cloud and is learning more about Azure Cloud. He has been exposed to numerous cybersecurity tools such as AWS Security Centre, Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager and Palo Alto Firewalls. He uses ethical hacking tools to support cybersecurity audits and cyber essentials plus audits for clients. Although Miro’s preferred career goal is to focus on pen testing, as a Graduate Cyber Security Engineer he is steadily proving himself to be able to add more strings to his bow and become a more valuable asset to Leidos and to the Leidos Cybersecurity Engineering Team." -- John McGuinness, Information Assurance and Cyber Security Manager