What I’ve learned as a Virtual Intern

I am a second-year computer science undergraduate who gained interest in the world of cyber security after researching into the threats posed online and the lucrative market that is personal data theft and obfuscation. I have always been fascinated by the world of computation and have relished the opportunity to work in an industry that combines creative problem solving with an overarching objective of a greater good.

After learning about the potential damage malicious actors can cause to real people and data, I was drawn towards managed security services and how I could be involved in threat detection/prevention. These types of services excited me as they appear to be the first and only line of defence for many enterprises across the world. Therefore, I embarked on a journey to find a work experience placement that would provide me with both the technical knowledge and the insight into the inner workings of the cyber security industry.

After looking at many companies I was especially intrigued by the work that ITC Secure do, as well as their high-profile customers. I was specifically impressed by the Threat Horizon blogs that ITC publish on contemporary security and software flaws that could affect their customers, along with potential patches. This proactive approach to security and the wide range of services provided by ITC was refreshing to see and so I was excited to pursue a placement with them.

Since securing a placement with ITC Secure, I have gained invaluable experience. From learning fundamental cloud computing concepts in Microsoft Azure to setting up SEIM tools and managing threat feeds; it has been an intellectually rewarding experience. My understanding of AI in cyber security has also developed whilst studying the use of unsupervised machine learning to analyse data logs by establishing a “pattern of life” within networks. Learning these skills has not only helped me in the cyber security space but in all aspects of technology, as the world leans towards the cloud and AI.

Additionally, I have learnt a lot about working in a team environment and being part of a greater goal. This concept of community has been reinforced through weekly company meetings, team stand-ups and the highly competitive company quizzes, of which I am yet to win one*. Moreover, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at ITC thus far and look forward to what else is to come.

The economic effect of COVID-19 has been immense, and this has heavily affected how companies function and their working environments. Since the pandemic, many companies have understandably decided to cancel their placements, however, ITC has made it a priority to keep us interns involved. This has meant that a fully remote working environment has been set up and our tasks adjusted so that we can continue to learn from home whilst staying compliant. Despite the limited amount of access we have to company tools and data whilst working remotely, ITC has done well to provide us with engaging and challenging tasks that are relevant to the SOC’s workflows. The amount of effort made by ITC is evident and has proved to be effective, as they have established a good remote working environment and provided an exceptional level of support to all staff.

Overall, my time at ITC Secure has been extremely pleasant and I have been heavily inspired by the highly motivated and helpful team in the SOC and throughout. Having only completed half of my time here, I am excited to see what is next when working in such a professional environment.

*Since writing this blog, the Friday company quiz has finally been conquered!