In this write-up, Security Analyst Chris D. describes the first few months of his job at Bishop Fox.
A few years back, I was sitting in at a friend's house playing Dota when my friend said to me, "Hey, have you heard of Kali Linux?"
My ears perked up. Huh?
Little did I know that this was the start of an obsession – an obsession to learn everything I could about cybersecurity. And thus, I spiraled down the rabbit hole
Fast forward to a few years in that rabbit hole, I was participating in CTFs regularly and I knew penetration testing was the only job for me. At this time, I developed the habit of frequently perusing through YouTube videos of past DEF CON and Black Hat presentations. One evening, I stumbled across a video of Fran Brown presenting The Danger Drone.
What the … ? I remember thinking. That is awesome! I decided to look into this Bishop Fox organization that Fran co-founded. Immediately after browsing the website and seeing several openings for penetration testing jobs, I decided that I would give it my best shot. I put in my application and hoped for the best.
And then I got the call back.
Going through the interview process was interesting: I was tasked with hacking into an application and writing a report, like the kind the firm would actually hand off to clients. I was nervous submitting my final product – was I good enough? Did I make it? Am I too much of a n00b?
But when I was offered the role, I was elated. I jumped on a plane to leave my beloved Denver behind and headed to sunny (and unbelievably hot) Phoenix to join the Foxes.
My First Day Was Weird. Let Me Explain.
I started Bishop Fox by being picked up by Ashly and Caroline from Team People. They decided to take me for coffee, and I can’t resist free coffee. Already, I was pleased. This is cool. I thought as I swigged my coffee in the back of the car. Dream job? Free coffee? Count me in.
When we arrived at the office, I had no idea what to expect. It turns out … I was ambushed.
Outside the office in Tempe, there was a whole group of friendly folks standing outside with balloons and party glasses. Everyone looked very happy to watch my arrival. I wondered briefly if I died, and this was perhaps the afterlife. Then, I looked up into the sky as I stepped out of the car to see the famous Danger Drone was circling above my head like some sort of cyberpunk eagle. It turned out that this celebration was not a per usual occurrence; I happened to be employee #100, a huge milestone for the firm.
And, oh yeah, there was cake.
Now I’m Working Hard + Breaking Stuff at My Job at Bishop Fox
I have been immersed firsthand in security knowledge since Day One of my job at Bishop Fox, working with some of the most talented individuals in the cybersecurity industry. It is a privilege to work with this team and has ultimately been everything I expected and more. In addition to mind-enhancing security work, I was also excited to learn that I’d get the chance to take part in a Bishop Fox tradition – Team Weekend.
Team Weekend @ Bishop Fox
Let me tell you about my first Team Weekend with Bishop Fox. I was ecstatic to learn that all the Foxes would be traveling together to Santa Barbara. A trip to California with a bunch of my colleagues … what! I was pumped.
We stayed at this retro-style boutique hotel with an open bar and a swimming pool. We had everything required for a good time. During the day, we would have meetings about the progress and goals for the firm as a whole. By night, we shared “war stories” and traded badass exploits. All I can say is … REDACTED.
And it wasn’t just all work during Team Weekend. One of my fellow consultants organized a hike along the Santa Barbara coast. Being in Santa Barbara, how could we not take advantage of the gorgeous scenery? So after the meetings were complete, I put on my running shoes and joined several Foxes on what proved to be quite the adventure.
The coast itself was breathtaking, but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:
However, there was one particularly memorable part about our hike that I didn’t expect. We somehow ended up at a nudist beach – this was not intentional, and something I have worked (very) hard to block out in the following weeks. This was the topic of discussion for some time at Team Weekend.
“Did you see … “
Other things I experienced: An impromptu jam session featuring a ukulele, a guest of honor who happened to also be a puppy, and some nightswimming, too.
I left Team Weekend with more friends than I could have ever pictured ever working with previously. Team Weekend was not only an excellent bonding opportunity with my new awesome co-workers, but it also solidified the idea that I was working with some of the most talented minds in the industry.
I’m grateful that an otherwise uneventful night spent playing video games has led me down such an amazing and impactful path. I’m grateful that I’ve found my passion and now don’t have to experience it vicariously via YouTube – I live it, breathe it, and enjoy it every day.
Chris D. is a Security Analyst at Bishop Fox, a security consulting firm providing services to the Fortune 500, global financial institutions, and high-tech startups. In this role, he focuses on network penetration testing and application penetration testing. For more information on jobs at Bishop Fox, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Careers page.
Photos provided by Claire Esposito.