EvolveSec Online | Sept 2023 | Kyle Gonzales

From Police Officer to Cyber Vulnerabilities Research Analyst: How Kyle Transitioned into a Cybersecurity Career

Meet Kyle Gonzales, a cyber vulnerabilities research analyst. His day-to-day varies greatly. At the beginning of a project, he meets with a client and his team to scope out what they need to complete it. Next, the team runs a series of scans to determine the vulnerabilities and needs of the client. Then, they perform open-resource research to find lower-cost solutions. They start the report for critical infrastructure with a captivating story based on their scans and test results. Telling a "compelling story" at the front of their report shifts the primary focus from the vulnerabilities to the importance of those vulnerabilities in specific infrastructures. Starting with the bottom line makes the test results more straightforward to understand for non-technical people and highlights the importance of addressing any vulnerabilities found.

Initially, Kyle earned his high school diploma, then joined the Air Force and worked in security. After he left the military, Kyle worked several jobs before joining a local police department as a police officer. Next, he began looking for another job path. Some friends recommended he follow a steady interest: cybersecurity. Two weeks after he resigned from the police department, Kyle googled cybersecurity bootcamps and used his VA benefits to fund the bootcamp with Evolve Security Academy. He had no technical background before the bootcamp. At first, the number of options in cybersecurity felt daunting. However, Evolve's bootcamp gave enough exposure to the different areas that he found his desire for penetration testing.

Shortly after Kyle began Evolve's bootcamp, he worked on his LinkedIn page. He made several connections through LinkedIn. Next, he used tryhackme.com and shared the progress with people on LinkedIn. He began a blog chronicling his cybersecurity transition, writing up his experiences to demonstrate his involvement in the infosec community. After completing the bootcamp, he earned his CompTIA Security+ certification. Through his connections with a friend in the military, a recruiter saw the things he had worked on and contacted Kyle for an interview for his current job.

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