Cатсн²² (in)sесuяitу / ChrisJohnRiley

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't!

Who’s your mentor baby!

One of the big things I’ve always thought the InfoSec community lacked was a solid and supported mentor program. InfoSec is one of those industries where everybody goes their own way, takes their own path and learns their own thing. Personally I appreciate this, as I like the variety that it offers. For people new to the industry though, it’s hard to find the path they need/want to take. So often management pigeonhole people into “security” without the understanding that alone this word doesn’t mean anything.

If you work in “security” you could be an auditor, a penetration tester, a compliance expert, a forensic analyst, an intrusion detection expert…. the choices go on and on. It you don’t believe me, just check out the SANS “20 coolest jobs in information security“. So what do you want to be today?

After the success of the Mentors Workshop at SOURCE Boston 2010, the InfoSecMentors project is being extended from a workshop into a living and breathing project. Here’s what they say on their site:

Inspired by the Mentors Workshop at SOURCE Boston 2010, the InfoSec Mentors project hopes to increase the positive impacts of mentoring relationships in the Information Security community.

For the next few months, the InfoSec Mentors project will be collecting volunteers from both the mentor and mentee camps. The project will match participants based on their experience and interests. Then, in July during Security B-Sides and DEFCON, we will all meet up with our perspective matches.

We recognize that not all mentor relationships are for life. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone at the cons you are looking forward to grabbing lunch with. Whatever the reason, we hope that we can match you up with a great mentor/mentee or both!

For those of us lucky enough to be flying to Vegas fo Blackhat/BSidesLV this looks like a great chance to find somebody who you can help, or who can help you develop as an InfoSec professional. I see this as a great chance to learn and communicate with others. Whether you’ve been in the industry for 10+ years, or you’re just starting out (like myself), both sides can learn from the other.

Right now the project is still finding it’s footing and for those of us stuck in Europe it seems a little far off. The face-to-face meeting (such as the one proposed for Blackhat/BSidesLV) is however an optional component designed to make things easier to handle and create a more personal bond between the mentor and mentee. Although a little harder to do through email alone, I see no reason that this can’t be done. Hopefully we’ll also be able to bring over the InfoSecMentor project to Europe soon and start working on a more global scale!

If this project is interesting for you, I’d suggest heading over to infosecmentors.com and registering. Who knows, it might be the best thing you’ve done for your career!

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3 responses to “Who’s your mentor baby!

  1. Marisa May 5, 2010 at 10:44

    Thanks for the explanation of the program! We’re brand new, but already we’ve gotten very good feedback. This is something many people are excited about.

    I wonder if your readers will find it interesting to know that our logo “Be A Mentor” was semi-ripped from the Rugged Software logo. We are big fans of that project too. We both think that making people more educated about security will lead to a better industry. (http://ruggedsoftware.org/)

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