Leahy and Me

Introduction

Internships are grand opportunities in life. Some may never explore them, but others decide to take a shot. Four years into my collegiate adventure, I was able to get my shot as a security intern for The Leahy Center. There is a lot to cover, so without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Phase One

In the past few weeks at The Leahy Center, I have gone through two phases of work with the other interns. This included preliminary research on both security operation centers (SOC) and the Elastic Stack. Afterward, I ran an Elastic Cloud trial before configuring it in the next phase with my group. 

The research for SOCs required us to look at examples of real-world tools used in the industry. Some tools include intrusion detection systems (IDS), antivirus (AV), endpoint detection and response (EDR), and security information and event management (SIEM). The research on Elastic required us to look at various elements of the Elastic Stack.  That includes Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Elastic Security.

Phase Two

In the second phase, our main goal was to build an Elastic Stack with Elasticsearch and Kibana. Building it (mostly) from scratch is a tedious process. I would say my greatest success has come in phase two with the Elastic Stack, despite the frustration it brings. Building the stack with my group has been a delight, and getting it to work is rewarding. When things don’t work, it can be frustrating, but these instances help strengthen the important skill of troubleshooting.

Takeaways 

I have learned a great deal in my time here, including being more effective in a group (asynchronous or not) and communicating better. I have also learned how to troubleshoot issues and document work in a way that I deem ideal. 

The ever-changing nature of technology makes it nearly impossible to learn everything—technology will update and we’ll have to adapt. As a vessel in cybersecurity, there is always more to learn. I want to know about the red team as much as I want to know about the blue team. Learning analysis and potential mitigation may come later on for the “defensive side,” but who knows what “offensive skills” I may gain. I don’t know what more I want to learn, but I know I am ready for anything.

Though there is still more to learn, to say I haven’t learned anything at this internship would be an injustice. The projects, no matter how difficult, have proved to be a useful experience. I am excited for more challenges to strengthen my skills and, in some way, prove myself. The work I have done has helped keep me sharp and on the ball at any given moment. I implore anyone who wants to take a chance at an internship to give it a go!

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Written by Damion Lyman ‘22 // Computer Networking & Cybersecurity

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