Career Notes 1.31.21
Ep 34 | 1.31.21

Kyla Guru: You are a key piece to our national security. [Education]


Kyla Guru: I'm Kyla Guru. I am the founder and CEO of Bits N' Bytes Cybersecurity Education, and I'm also a student at Stanford University.

Kyla Guru: I grew up in a house where my dad is an accountant by trade and my mom is a biochemist, so I was kind of always surrounded by math and science, always driven in the importance of those two things in the world. And I saw that growing up, especially with my dad and the conversations that he would have at the dinner table. A lot of what he used to do in his work was broad examination in like auditing and in accountancy. So just from hearing him speak about those things at the dinner table, I was really intrigued as to see what even is cybersecurity. I was interested in coding and like comp sci. And then the summer before I entered high school, I took that first step and I was like, OK, I'm going to sign myself up for a GenCyber camp at Purdue University.

Kyla Guru: I signed up for this camp and it was at GenCyber that something just switched inside of me. It was that kind of that light that clicked inside of me. And then also the combination of learning at that camp that almost 90 percent of cyber attacks are due to human error alone. It was those two kind of facts that I think amalgamated into what became Bits N' Bytes Cybersecurity, because when I came home, I saw in my own community that we were having these identity theft cases and social engineering attacks. But there wasn't really like proactive conversation happening to stop the next attack from happening and to engage our civilian population in understanding their role in the cybersecurity space and how do they protect themselves, and why is that so important? So I kind of made it my mission to start those conversations. And for me, I thought starting it on the elementary school level would be the easiest kind of way since I was a student at the time. So I kind of thought that I would work inside of the system to make some change.

Kyla Guru: I went to GenCyber for a second year for the advanced camp. I got more into Kali Linux and ethical hacking. I took SANS courses and now in college, I'm taking several courses from professors in cyber and just getting more and more knowledge as I go through and through internships and meet people and go to conferences. And it's really about putting yourself out there. And and the more that you kind of embrace the idea of learning, the more like the opportunities for learning will just gravitate towards you.

Kyla Guru: Understanding future-focused solutions requires an understanding of what is our current knowledge base in security and what are our priorities. So I would say from the conversations that I have with students and kind of the the groups that I've studied in a sense, like what I'm seeing is that our generation really does care about security. And even though a lot of people will say that they just don't care about it, they just don't mind it or mind having their privacy infringed. I think our generation does have questions and we do have an inquisitive mind, a curious mind. We've always been the kind to Google and want a really quick answer about something like we have these curiosities as well as this just want to know more. But but we're not really getting those answers. And I think that's leading us to make assumptions. And and so that's where I think the education piece in the advocacy and communications piece from the security industry is definitely needed. And so I think it's just putting a layer of context on that of like, why is this so critical? Why is it important? It's important because you are a key piece to our national security and your security is the key to your neighbor's security and is the key to our nation's security, kind of putting it in a bigger context like that.

Kyla Guru: The entrepreneurship journey that has taken me in is like is so, so fun, and I would definitely say, like for any young person listening or that is kind of thinking about maybe starting something in security like this is definitely the time to do so. And I couldn't recommend, like being the driver of your own project in your own vision more. Bits N' Bytes is definitely still growing and I'm really excited to see, like as I said, as the industry, as cybersecurity grows and expands, how we can push the needle forward in this education and advocacy space, as well as getting users connected to everything that's happening in the industry.