In this Intern Review, we hear from Tadeh Anbarchian about what it's like working at Ingalls and what's next in his cybersecurity career journey.
Our Winter 2023 intern cohort has four determined interns who’ve joined us to learn what it’s like working in a Security Operations Center (SOC). Now that they’ve had a moment to breathe, we thought it was time to conduct an interview to learn about them and their experience inside the SOC at Ingalls!
Read on to hear from our intern, Tadeh Anbarchian.
What have you learned about working within a SOC during this internship?
With 6 weeks into the internship, I’ve come to realize that working in the SOC of an MXDR Provider is quite different from working as an internal analyst for just one company. I now see that in order to advance in this field I have to improve my skills on multiple fronts. For example, interacting with clients, working on incident response (IR) activities, documenting everything properly, and being helpful when teammates are unavailable or unable to complete a task. The good news is that I’m up for this challenge and I look forward to what’s ahead!
What has been the most interesting technique you've seen a threat actor attempt?
I recently read about the Stuxnet cyberattack and because of the scope of the mission and its potential global consequences, I think it’s worth a mention. This sophisticated malware specifically targeted Iran’s nuclear program, aiming to disrupt uranium enrichment at its Natanz facility. Using multiple zero-day vulnerabilities, Stuxnet infiltrated the systems, causing centrifuges to malfunction while transmitting false data to operators, all without raising suspicion.
How has this internship influenced your outlook and career path in cybersecurity?
Thanks to the Ingalls SOC Analyst Internship, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with brilliant individuals within the company. They’ve explained their roles, day-to-day tasks, and helped me determine my areas of interest. The teams in the engineering department and the IR have particularly piqued my interest. As a result, I plan to enroll in courses on cloud engineering and incident response to further my understanding and contribute effectively to the team. Overall, I believe there are numerous fulfilling paths for a SOC analyst, and the choice ultimately depends on individual preferences.
What are your favorite resources for what's happening in cybersecurity?
When I first got into cybersecurity, one of the best resources that helped me put some home labs/projects together was Day Johnson’s YouTube channel and his Discord channel for community support. I learned a lot from him and then tuned into Dr. Gerald Auger’s daily cyber briefs to stay up to date with current cyber events. Now I enjoy listening to Jack Rhysider’s podcast, “Darknet Diaries” on specific incidents and exploits that have happened in the past. I also find John Hammond’s YouTube videos very fascinating as he showcases different advanced tools that are used by hackers.
What are your upcoming activities/educational goals for the next year?
I’m excited about taking my first GIAC certification exam in December, and then the Azure AZ-500 exam on New Year’s Eve. Then, I will be spending the first few months of the new year studying for the CISSP. Aside from that, I’m looking forward to attending an in-person ISSA chapter event in Los Angeles and meeting with like-minded professionals.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time to reach a work-school-life balance?
My fiancé and I love spending some quality time in the gym almost every day. We met at the gym that we used to work at so having those common values like improving our health and wellness is important to us. We also like to go on trips to Mexico or any tropical destinations whenever we get the chance.