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3 Hacking Horror Stories That Could Happen to You

3 Hacking Horror Stories That Could Happen to You

As Halloween approaches, horror fans will line up to be terrified by men in masks, creepy dolls, slashers, monsters, and everything ghoulish and gross. Meanwhile, a more sinister threat lurks in your inbox.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, where public and private companies alike come together to spread awareness and encourage policies that stop attacks in their tracks.

“So what?” you might say. Getting scammed or hacked is dangerous, but it only happens to huge companies or the most tech illiterate, right? Wrong. For the spookiest month of the year, we’ve prepared three cyber security horror stories that will chill your blood.

Or, at the very least, make you change all your passwords. (Password1? Come on, guys!)

Story #1: The Good Samaritan (Who Makes You WannaCry)

The Legend

It’s a dark and stormy night (of course), and you’re at home. You know the risks of cyber crime. You’ve got antivirus software, your data backed up, and you update regularly. That’s when you get a message from Microsoft confirming your worst fears.

You’ve been hit with ransomware.

A notification pops up and urges you to call tech support. You dial the numbers, the sound of your heartbeat pounding in your ears. Someone picks up and you explain the disaster.

The woman on the other end puts your fears to rest. She’s here to help. She walks you through setting up some anti-ransomware software for $300. It’s a bit much but worth it to save your data.

Reluctantly, you fork over the fee and give her remote access to your computer. After a few minutes, she thanks you and assures you your computer is ransomware-free.

One week later, you’ve nearly forgotten the incident. During your morning coffee, you turn on the news and see a story about a local scam. Your eyes widen in horror.

That’s when you realize you were never hit with ransomware. The woman you talked to wasn’t from Microsoft. She was a scammer. And you let her into your computer.

The Reality

According to UK’s fraud and cybercrime center, Action Fraud, criminals have been exploiting fears around WannaCry by offering tech support after they fake a ransomware attack. During their “tech support,” they charge ridiculous amounts of money and can even install malware on your computer.

“It is important to remember that Microsoft’s error and warning messages on your PC will never include a phone number. Microsoft will never pro-actively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication they have with you must be initiated by you.”

Action Fraud

And this isn’t limited to computer users. Some Android apps like, “WannaCry Ransomware Protection,” promise safety but instead install buggy adware on your phone that will expose you to a ton of annoying and potentially dangerous ads. They’re available on Google Play and even have high star ratings.

What can you do? First, know that Microsoft, or any other big organization, will never send you a tech support number in an error message. They will likely not reach out to you unless you’ve asked them first. Second, do your research before you install anything on your phone or computer. Check out these articles for tips on how to avoid fake virus & malware software and learn how to recognize fake virus warnings.

Okay, that was a pretty mild story compared to some. From here on out, it gets worse. Are you ready?

Story #2: Let the Right One In

The Legend

It’s a lazy Wednesday afternoon in the office. You’re in charge of supplier relations at a company that buys and resells wholesale products. It’s your job to make sure big orders come and go without hassle. The clock is striking 2 pm and your mid-morning coffee buzz has worn off.

You’re debating whether or not a Snickers is technically cheating on your diet (it is) when you get an email from a vendor. It’s a company you regularly work with. They tell you they’ve received over $20,000, but weren’t sure what you ordered. They want your account info so they can sort it out.

Your heart jolts. You’ve got deadlines to meet and if you don’t get this out, you’ll be in big trouble. You click the attachment and scan the invoice, confirming they have your account and some of your bank info. You send them an email with payment info so they can sort it out.

They respond promptly. It’s been taken care of. You breathe a sigh of relief, happy you’ll be able to tell your boss you’ve already fixed the problem.

A few weeks later, you get a strange call. One of your clients is complaining their order never came. That’s strange, you’re sure you remembered. You dig back through your inbox to find the email.

That’s when you take a closer look at the invoice. You’re used to working with this company, but you thought for sure their name was spelled differently.

That’s when it hits you. This isn’t from your vendor. You’ve given an enormous amount of money and your company’s banking info to a scammer. By opening the pdf with your account information, you’ve also exposed your company’s entire network to heaven only knows what.

And there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

The Reality

While we associate Nigerian phishing scams with sketchy deposed kings and poor grammar, cyber attackers continue to adapt in more serious and pernicious ways. One such scam targets suppliers, customers, commercial organizations, and delivery services who have data access to a greater pool of victims.

Nigerian phishers would send a legitimate-looking invoice and ask recipients to clarify product pricing or goods. They’d even register similar domain names to the companies their victims worked with. Then, they’d send their victims attachments with trojan-spies or backdoors.

“Using the newly registered domains, the cybercriminals are able to carry out a man-in-the-middle attack: they intercept the email with the seller’s invoice and forward it to the buyer after replacing the seller’s account details with the details of an account belonging to the attackers. Alternatively, they can send a request on behalf of the seller for an urgent change of bank details in addition to the seller’s legitimate email containing the invoice.”

Securelist, Kaspersky Lab Security Experts

This type of attack is an especially big risk for industrial companies that buy from wholesalers and resell. They lose out on the money the scammer stole and have to deal with replacing the order that didn’t go out.

What can you do? The best advice in this situation is to always, always think twice before clicking. The difficult thing about these attacks is they appear to come from people you know. Ask yourself, how well do I know the source? Am I expecting this information? Make sure to double check the spelling of the sender’s address and name against previous emails from them. And, of course, make sure all your data is backed up. Strengthen your network, and, if you think your computer has been compromised, shut it down immediately.

If you think that’s bad, just wait. We saved the worst for last.

Story #3: Destroying Your Digital Life

The Legend

You get home after a long day. You sit down, happy to spend some time with your one-year-old daughter. As you play, you realize your iPhone shut down. Since you’re expecting a work call, you plug it in.

Instead of bringing up your familiar lock screen, it takes you to the setup display you saw when you first bought it. Weird. And annoying. You figure it’s probably just a bug and, luckily, you’ve backed everything up on the iCloud. You hook your phone to your laptop so you can enter your Apple ID and restore your data. When you open it, a message pops up letting you know your Gmail information is wrong. It asks for a four-digit pin.

But, there’s just one problem… you never set up a four-digit pin.

A twisted, burning hole in your stomach confirms it before you can even think it. You try your laptop. No luck. In horror, you start checking your other accounts. Your Google account is gone. Your Twitter has been hacked and is sending out an ugly stream of racist and homophobic tweets.

Fearing for your household network, you shut down the laptop and disconnect your router. You call Apple support. During your call, you think of everything you could lose. It’s bad enough that you’ll have to recreate all your work, notes, data, and maybe even create new online accounts. What’s even worse is that you realize almost every picture you’ve taken of your daughter’s first year on earth was on that hard drive. That can’t be replaced.

On your tech support call, they mention this is the second call you’ve had with them today. But that doesn’t make you sense, you insist. It’s the first time you’ve called them today.

That’s when you realize. The first call to tech support was from the hacker, posing as you. It took them less than an hour to destroy your entire online existence. You have no idea what to do next.

The Reality

This is exactly what happened to tech journalist and Wired.com writer, Mat Honan. In the space of an hour, his Google account was deleted, Twitter was commandeered, and all data from his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook was erased.

Mat, a tech journalist, revealed that the scale of the devastation was due to the fact that information from one account let the hacker get into his other accounts.  A hacker got his address and the last four digits of his credit card from the support staff at Amazon. From there, they got into his AppleID, his Google account, and his Twitter.

[pexyoutube pex_attr_src=”https://youtu.be/CgKUd36xCrs”][/pexyoutube]

Fortunately for Honan, the hacker wasn’t interested in his bank account or the people on his contact list. So why did this hacker ruin Mat’s digital life?

For his Twitter handle.

The hacker was interested in Mat’s rare three-character Twitter handle. For that reason, they laid Mat’s data to waste.

Fortunately for Mat, the team at the Apple store managed to restore over 75% of his hard drive, including the photos of his daughter. It didn’t come cheap at a hefty fee of $1,690. Not everyone has the time or the resources to retrieve memories like the one below.

What can you do? First of all, two-factor authentication is your best friend. This links your accounts to a phone number. Every time you log into a new device it will ask you to enter a code that’s sent to your phone. It will also send you an email to let you know when and where someone logs into your account. Second, back up everything. The cloud gives us a false sense of safety. Sure, it backs up all your data, but if it’s hacked you will lose everything. An external hard drive could be your savior.

Protecting Your Data

Whether it’s at home, work, or even across your devices, cyber attacks can affect even the most tech-savvy among us. It could be as simple as opening an attachment or setting up accounts for convenience rather than security.

Though ghosts and ghouls will haunt many nightmares this month, cyber security is a real and present danger we face every day. For most, the best offense is a good defense. The National Cyber Security Alliance provides online safety tips and has info on the ever-evolving world of online fraud, theft, and crime.

If you’re interested in joining the fight in a more hands-on way, there’s never been a greater need for talented pros. By 2019, there will be a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals. Even now, employers are struggling to fill 40,000 information security analyst positions and over 200,000 other cyber-security related roles, according to cyber security data tool CyberSeek.

If you’re interested in a career fighting hackers with unparalleled job security, we offer cyber security training courses whether you want to protect networks, keep information safe, or use white hat hacking to fight hackers.

So this month, stay safe! Don’t let your regime fall by the wayside or you could end up in your own cyber security horror story.

Turning a COVID-19 Layoff into a New Career: Eric Thompson

Turning a COVID-19 Layoff into a New Career: Eric Thompson

After getting laid off in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eric decided to focus on a new career in cybersecurity. This is the story of how he made that switch.

“I’ve always been a techie. I’ve got tons of computers at home that I tinker with all the time. And I just love helping people by looking at their current environment. They tell me, ‘We’re having trouble with this, how can we fix it?’ And that’s what I’ve always liked doing with IT.”

Watch the video below, and read on to learn more about Eric’s IT training success story.

Trouble with the Pandemic

Eric moved to Colorado in 2012 and had a great career in IT sales. In college, he had double majored in business and computers and enjoyed having one foot in each world.  Eric switched companies so that he could stay in Colorado. Not longer after this switch, his company merged with another. They were struggling when COVID-19 hit, and he was laid off in April of 2020.

Looking for a next step, Eric’s brother reminded him about his passion for cybersecurity. Eric started working on getting some certifications he hadn’t needed for his career in sales, and completed his Security+ in a month of self-study. He was looking for a next step when he met up with Ken Hoerning. Ken is one of the Career Training Consultants here at ACI Learning (formerly LeaderQuest), and was able to advise Eric on a plan of action.

“Ken walked me through start to end, ‘Here’s how we can get you into this class, here’s kind of what it looks like, here’s what the courses are going to be, here’s what you can anticipate,’ all the way through the test.”

Training at ACI Learning

Eric took our one-week CISSP prep training course, and chose to also attend an evening schedule.

“For the CISSP program, I actually took the class both in the day session and the night session. The day session was about 8 hours a day. Everything was remote, so you’re basically on your computer and the instructor is talking about things and it’s very interactive. You have sample questions and group discussion, but mainly it’s going through the book in the best way possible. ACI has their own materials for this. ACI will let you resit as many times as you want so that was a very nice offer.”

“I think ACI did a very good job as far as being able to get in the highlights and provide materials in the time they had. They give you access to several test banks, which is very nice. I worked with some of my classmates and we started a daily training session to share information and go over practice questions.“

CISSPs are information assurance professionals who define the architecture, design, management, and/or controls that assure the security of business environments. The CISSP certification was the first certification in the field of information technology and cybersecurity to meet the requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17024.

Our CISSP training offers a job-focused approach to the cybersecurity process while providing the basic skills required to prepare for CISSP certification. Get live training, online or in person, from an instructor with industry experience. You’ll also gain access to a plethora of practice tests, videos, and other resources designed to teach you everything you need to know to pass the exam. If you’re not feeling ready, you can resit the course as many times as you’d like for up to 24 months! And when you’re done, you’ll have the full support of our Career Services team to help you find the job that’s right for you.

If you’re not ready to tackle something as advanced as CISSP, we offer foundational courses in our Computer User Support Specialist program, as well as mid-level certifications like CCNA, Certified Network Defender (CND), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and more!

Career Services Support and Getting a DoD Job After Training

Eric worked with our campus Career Services staff to find his ideal job: working with a DoD contractor. Our Employment Development Managers (EDMs) specialize in helping graduates perfect their resume and online presence, make connections with local people and companies, and get the interviews needed to land their dream job.

“Michelle Martin has been wonderful. She sent millions of things to me per day saying, ‘You should check out this and this and this’ and it was really helpful. So just the energy and the passion that ACI had and their commitment of making sure everything went well, all the follow-ups, everything else, was very helpful.”

Michelle and I talked many times. I was very passionate about finding a DoD position. And so she said you should connect with this person on LinkedIn or this person on Amazon, and talk to these individuals and she made some introductions and it really helped.”

As of early August 2020, Eric has accepted a position as a Cyber Network Architect for SAIC, pending a clearance level approval. Congrats, Eric!

“ACI’s main benefit is the fact that they have a recruitment specialization that will help you locate your new job. You can use that as much or as little as you want. So if you ignore them they will not be able to do much, but if you say, ‘Hey I need some help with this,’ they are very willing to step up, help, make introductions. And the other part is that if you went through the week and you still feel like, well I need some help, ACI is constantly having these classes and you can re-sit these classes as many times as you want. And they’re more than happy to do that.”

Are You Ready to Level Up Your Career?

With classes running weekly for the most popular IT certifications, there’s never been a better time! If you’re ready to have a conversation about training at ACI Learning, just fill out the form below.

See How Many Open Cybersecurity Jobs There Are in the U.S. Right Now

See How Many Open Cybersecurity Jobs There Are in the U.S. Right Now

By Mark Emery

We yap about it all the time.

Cybersecurity is an exploding industry! Get in now! The pay is great, the possibilities endless! What are you waiting for?! Get started now!

And you know what? It’s all true.

Sometimes even this lowly blogger asks himself: What the hell am I doing writing marketing content about cybersecurity growth when I could easily get certified and experience its benefits for myself?

If I ever think of a good answer, I’ll be sure to let you know.

But back to LeaderQuest and the aforementioned yapping. We can go on and on about the 0% unemployment rate, the half a million job openings, and facts like, “the workforce must grow by 145% to meet global demand.”

But talk is tiring. Rather than continue telling you about all cybersecurity jobs available, repeating all the lines you’ve heard before, this time we’d like to show you.

Cybersecurity Openings, Everywhere You Look!

Thanks to Cyberseek.org, we can do just that. The website, which seeks to “close the cybersecurity talent gap with interactive tools and data,” has a fun, useful map showing the amount of cybersecurity job openings in all 50 states.

Guess what? There isn’t a state in the union that doesn’t have literally hundreds of openings. Most have thousands. Many are in the tens of thousands. See for yourself!

cybersecurity growth

Here are some highlights:

The top five states with the most cybersecurity openings are California (67,915), Virginia (54,432), Texas (46,279), New York (24,431), and Florida (23,629). The five states with the fewest cybersecurity openings are Wyoming (340), Vermont (431), North Dakota (622), Montana (624), and South Dakota (660).

Here’s a full rundown on the stats in table form:

cybersecurity jobs

Are you a Vermonter who assumed you’d have to move to Boston to get into cybersecurity? Hopefully after reading this you reconsider.

What Does the Future Look Like?

Now, a large quantity of jobs is one thing. But is the amount shrinking or growing?

The cybersecurity growth is undeniable.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average growth rate across all occupations is 5%. For Information Security Analysts, it’s an eye-popping 32%!

The numbers are similarly good for other cyber roles. Computer and Information Systems Managers, for instance, have a projected growth rate of 11%. For both Computer Systems Analysts and Database Administrators, it’s 9% — almost double the overall average.

With factors like automation and migration, work was already changing before. Throw in a global pandemic and the need for remote employment, and the landscape becomes that much more complicated.

But cybersecurity is one industry you can count on to be there. And in uncertain times, there’s a lot to be said for that.

OK, But How Much Money Is There In Cybersecurity?

Convinced yet? No? Well, let’s take a look at some other statistics. Financial ones.

Check out these entry-level pay rates for cyber roles from Indeed: $38.57 an hour for Project Managers, $51.86 an hour for IT Security Specialists. Extrapolate those numbers over a full year, and you get salaries of $80,225.60 and $107,868.80, respectively!

And that’s just to start. Let’s take a look at the figures later down the career path.

cybersecurity training

Mondo, too, has a breakdown of high-paying cybersecurity jobs. Here’s a look at the average salary range for six different positions:

  • Information Security Manager: $125,000 to $215,000
  • Cybersecurity Engineer: $120,000 to $200,000
  • Application Security Engineer: $120,000 to $180,000
  • Cybersecurity Analyst: $90,000 and $160,000
  • Penetration Tester (Ethical Hacker): $80,000 to $130,000
  • Network Security Engineer: $125,000 to $185,000

But again, say you’re a Vermonter or a Montanan. How useful are those numbers, when location isn’t factored in?

The folks at ZipRecruiter considered that, too. They put together handy salary figures broken down by state — a perfect complement to the above map from Cyberseek.

Among states with the highest average cybersecurity salaries, New York narrowly leads the way ($123,918), followed by Massachusetts ($122,746), Washington ($121,890), New Hampshire ($119,461), and Hawaii ($117,889).

As good as those top numbers are, the bottom ones aren’t nearly as bad as you might think. North Carolina, the lowest state on the list, still carries an average cybersecurity salary of $90,882.

Maybe this lowly blogger is biased, but who wouldn’t want to make that?

I’m Sold. How Do I Get Into Cybersecurity?

If you’ve read this far and started to evaluate your life choices, don’t worry! One of the great things about IT and cybersecurity is that it’s never too late to start down this path. Plus, cybersecurity training is relatively affordable and speedy.

At LeaderQuest, helping aspirants become professionals is what we do. From top-tier cybersecurity training with experienced instructors to effective exam prep before certification time, we’re with our students every step of the way. Even after they pass their exams and get certified, our all-star Career Services team pulls out all the stops, making every call they can, to help these qualified candidates get started in their fulfilling new careers.

The whole cybersecurity training and hiring process can happen in a matter of months. As for payment, a lot of times it’s covered for you! Whether you’re a veteran or a military spouse, or you’re unemployed or low-income, government funding options exist to get you trained at precisely zero cost.

When you factor in how easy it is to get trained, and how expansive the opportunities are once you get certified, IT/cybersecurity starts to look too good to be true. We assure you — it isn’t.

Fill out the form below to learn more cybersecurity training.

Is Getting Your Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Worth It?

Is Getting Your Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Worth It?

We get this question all the time from IT professionals. They want to make sure that their money and time is going to be well spent. So, is becoming a white hat hacker worth it? The short answer is a resounding, “yes.”

If you’re interested in cyber security, the CEH certification is a great investment based on the knowledge you’ll gain alone. Beyond gaining technical know-how, CEH is also a valuable certification for your professional career.

Read on for three great reasons to stop waiting and get your CEH!

Increase Your Salary

The number one reason to get this certification is to command a higher salary. With an average CEH salary starting at around $73,000 and going as high as $132,000, you’re sure to see an improvement in your paycheck. Getting your CEH can help you secure a quick raise at work and qualify you for other higher-paying positions when you’re ready to change jobs.

After comparing this against the cost of getting certified, it’s easy to see that your CEH is an investment that will quickly pay for itself and then some. If you can get your training covered by your employer, or paid for by a third party funding source, it’s a no-brainer.

Of course, CEH doesn’t have to be where you stop on the path to career advancement. With this certification and some experience under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to earning your CISSP and other certifications that can easily take your earnings into triple digits.

Fulfill DoD Compliance Requirements

If you’re interested in the Department of Defense (DoD) world, getting certified is a must. The DoD requires all of its Information Assurance officers be certified before handling sensitive information and network security.  EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification fulfills the DoD requirements for the CSSP Analyst, CSSP Infrastructure Support, CSSP Incident Responder, and CSSP Auditor roles.

The DoD is having trouble finding enough qualified candidates to fill these roles, which is why certifications like Security+ and CEH are so popular right now. With DoD contractors all over the United States (and abroad), getting CEH-certified offers a unique kind of job security no matter where life takes you. With demand at a record high and professionals with the required certs in such short supply, you can be sure that the salary for these DoD contractors will continue to climb.

Achieve Unparalleled Job Security

The rate and severity of cyberattacks is climbing and causing billions of dollars of damage to companies and organizations the world over. According to the Ponemon Institute, “the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000; and, for middle market companies, it’s over $1 million.” Against expenses like this, it becomes quite cost-effective to hire cyber security professionals who can protect company assets before they’re attacked.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts have a fantastic 32% job growth outlook for 2018-2028, much faster than average for all industries. DoD contractors, cyber security defense firms, and large corporations are creating a huge and growing demand for qualified cyber professionals which virtually guarantees employment now and well into the future.

Get CEH Training at LeaderQuest

If you’re ready to upgrade your paycheck and open new career opportunities, come get CEH certification training at LeaderQuest! Forget about self-paced learning and YouTube videos. Our cyber security school is led by industry experts with real-world experience, so you get the knowledge you need to excel. You’ll be ready to pass the CEH certification exam on the first try, but if you have any problems you can re-sit the course for free over the next 6 months.

You can complete our CEH course in 5 weekdays with our daytime schedule or over 2 weeks on our evening schedule. With an included test voucher (CEH exam cost included) and onsite testing center, you can complete your certification and get back to work as efficiently as possible. So, are you ready to increase your job security and salary in a growing and lucrative industry?

Learn more about LeaderQuest training.

 

Save $200 on the CEH (Practical) in 2019

Save $200 on the CEH (Practical) in 2019

If you’re interested in building a career in cyber security, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and the CEH (Practical) are a great choice. Read on to learn about how the deal we’re offering on the CEH (Practical) exam and how it differs from the regular CEH exam.

Get $200 off through the end of 2019!

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we thought that would be the perfect time to announce that we’re offering $200 off the price of CEH (Practical) exam vouchers through the end of 2019! That means you could register for this exam for only $300 instead of the usual $500! The voucher is good for 1 year from the purchase date, so you don’t have to be completely ready to take the exam when you buy the voucher.

What is the CEH Practical?

The CEH Practical is the next step for those who have achieved the CEH credential. This rigorous exam is 6 hours long and includes 20 realistic scenarios with questions designed to validate critical skills in the ethical hacking domains that are outlined in the CEH program. Where the CEH exam is about validating knowledge, the CEH (Practical) is about showing that you can implement that knowledge in real-world scenarios.

This exam makes use of virtual machines, networks and applications to mimic a real corporate network. In the exam, you’ll be presented with scenarios and asked to put into practice the knowledge gained from CEH training.

CEH (Practical) credential holders have demonstrated their ability to:

  • Exploit their understanding of attack vectors
  • Scan networks to identify live and vulnerable machines in a network.
  • Perform OS banner grabbing, service, and user enumeration.
  • Perform system hacking, steganography, steganalysis attacks, and cover tracks.
  • Identify and use viruses, computer worms, and malware to exploit systems.
  • Perform packet sniffing.
  • Conduct a variety of web server and web application attacks including directory traversal, parameter tampering, XSS, etc.
  • Perform SQL injection attacks.
  • Perform different types of cryptography attacks.
  • Perform vulnerability analysis to identify security loopholes in the target organization’s network, communication infrastructure, and end systems etc.

Why is it great for your career?

Employers want to know that you have the practical skills to help defend them against incoming cyber attacks, and there’s no better way to show it than attaining your CEH (Practical). For those who are newer to the industry, this can be especially beneficial. According to Payscale.com, the average Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Salary is $78,979, and some make as much as $126,000. Those who have more experience or credentials will usually fall on the higher end of this scale.

Get CEH Training at LeaderQuest

If you’re ready to upgrade your paycheck and open new career opportunities, come get CEH certification training at LeaderQuest! Forget about self-paced learning and YouTube videos. Our cyber security school is led by industry experts with real-world experience, so you get the knowledge you need to excel. You’ll be ready to pass the CEH certification exam on the first try, but if you have any problems you can sit the course again for free over the next year.

You can complete our CEH course in 5 weekdays with our daytime schedule or over 2 weeks on our evening schedule. With an included test voucher for the CEH exam cost included (not CEH Practical) and onsite testing center, you can complete your certification and get back to work as efficiently as possible. So, are you ready to increase your job security and salary in a growing and lucrative industry?

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From Uber to Cyber: Christopher Ogunsakin’s Success Story

From Uber to Cyber: Christopher Ogunsakin’s Success Story

At LeaderQuest, our students come from all walks of life. Christopher Ogunsakin knew from a young age that he was interested in I.T., but it his journey to an I.T. career was not a direct one. Read on or watch the video below to learn about how Chris came to LeaderQuest and found career success.

Watch Chris’s Story

Learning About I.T. in Nigeria

Chris grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and as a child he didn’t have a lot of access to computers at home. His brother, who was also curious about information technology, brought home a laptop that got Chris interested.

“I’ve always been interested in I.T. from a very young age. Growing up in Nigeria, I didn’t have a lot of computer resources, but my brother was interested in I.T. He bought a laptop, thankfully. And that was how I got started. He would let me play on his laptop.”

He took some computer classes in school in Nigeria. He didn’t have to study like his friends did, and that was when he realized his aptitude for I.T.

Moving to America

Chris moved to Denver, Colorado from Nigeria in 2011. He moved to the United States by himself and had to walk everywhere, pay his own bills, and go to school. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and has been in the reserves since then. Chris also enrolled at Metro State for Computer Science, but wasn’t able to translate that experience into a role in I.T. Instead, he was driving for Lyft and Uber as his main source of income, often for five or more hours a day.

“Before coming to LeaderQuest I was an Uber driver. Before that I was a delivery driver. That was easy for me to do, and honestly it was a great job for me. But the thing is, I knew that wasn’t something I wanted to continue doing for the rest of my life. It had to be temporary.”

During this time, a recruiter came into Chris’ unit during an Army Reserve monthly drill. He gave info about resources that the Army can help with, including educational assistance. When Chris asked about training for I.T., the recruiter referred him to LeaderQuest.

Exploring Training Options

Chris came in to LeaderQuest to learn about our training options at an informational session with a Career Training Consultant. Chris told his Career Training Consultant that he wanted to focus on cyber security. They went over his background in T.T. and the classes he’d need to take. Considering his experience from Metro State, they decided that the best course of action would be to move directly to Security+ and skip some of the earlier courses in our Computer User Support Specialist program.

CompTIA Security+ Training at LeaderQuest

Chris completed his CompTIA Security+ over two weeks, online, in the evening. In this way he was able to continue driving for Uber and paying bills while attending LeaderQuest. Our training courses are intensive and instructor-led, and run either one week full-time (8 hours of instruction per day) or over two weeks in the evenings (4 hours per day).

“Overall, it was a great experience. What I appreciated mainly was just that the instructor was there to answer any questions you have. He would be on before and after class to answer any questions you have.”

CompTIA Security+ is one of our most popular courses. This course teaches students the fundamentals of cyber security. Students will learn to…

  • Monitor the security infrastructure and identify security threats
  • Harden internal systems and services and internetwork devices and services
  • Secure network communications and enforce an organizational security policy
  • Manage a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and certificates

Most importantly, Security+ is in high demand with employers in I.T. and cyber security! According to Accenture’s 2019 cybercrime report, incidence of cyber attacks has risen 11% since last year, and the average cost of cybercrime for each company increased from US$11.7 million in 2017 to a new high of US$13.0 million. As companies and organizations look to secure themselves from cyber attacks, more qualified individuals are needed to fill these roles. LeaderQuest is proud to help train the next generation of cyber security specialists to help combat the rising tide of cyber crime.

Career Services & Getting Hired

“If I have to say the most useful resource I got from LeaderQuest, it would probably be Steve.”

After completing his Security+ training, while studying for the exam, Chris started working with our Denver campus’ Employment Development Manager, Stephen Wright. Stephen works closely with our graduates to help them find the kind of jobs they’re looking for, and make sure that their resume and interview skills are top-notch. Stephen also makes connections with local employers who are looking to hire for their I.T. or cyber security workforce.

“I would definitely recommend LeaderQuest, and here’s why. For me it was a big challenge when it comes to: Now I’ve gotten the skills, now I have the certificate. How do I go out there and sell myself to employers as a candidate they want to hire? So, Stephen Wright went above and beyond. Any questions I had about a job, he was there. He was always there. He was my go-to for everything, and I think that was a huge resource. Anybody who needs help in that area would benefit as well.”

Chris kept driving for Uber while he looked for work in cyber security. After a few months, he was able to secure an interview with the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology. He worked with Stephen to prepare for the interview, and he got the job! In May of 2019 he was hired as a Cybersecurity Specialist, and he’s loving his new job.

“A lot of people would look at my story and say I’m very lucky, but I put in a lot of work for myself. When I had interviews I knew I would be asked questions. I couldn’t make it up, I needed to know the answers.”

Start a New Career in I.T. or Cyber Security

“After getting my new job, I only drive for Uber when I want to because it’s something I like to do. When I get off work it’s an option, it’s no longer a necessity. Now I’m using my skills, using my brain, doing what I love to do. I don’t get tired of doing that.”

With some certification training and a lot of hard work, Chris was able to pursue his dream of working in the I.T. field. LeaderQuest is proud to have been able to help him take a few steps along the way, and provide the support he needed to get hired and start his career.

If you’re interested in starting a career in I.T., we can help you too! LeaderQuest training provides the a career jump start for aspiring tech practitioners. We offer:

  • Accelerated training that takes months instead of years
  • Online courses and flexible scheduling to work around your life
  • Live instructors with years of industry experience
  • Instructor Mentors available for 1-on-1 tutoring
  • Career Services support to help you actually get HIRED once training is complete
  • Multiple ways to finance training so that you can start now

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, contact LeaderQuest today!

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How To Start A Profitable Career In Cyber Security

How To Start A Profitable Career In Cyber Security

The field of cyber security is growing every year by leaps and bounds as companies and other organizations realize how imperative it is to protect their networks and data. According to the Cybersecurity Ventures’ 2019 Cybersecurity Market Report, worldwide spending on cyber security is expected to exceed one trillion dollars by 2025. As companies struggle to keep up with the rising threat of cyber crime, they’re having one major problem: they can’t find enough qualified candidates.

That’s right, cyber security specialists are so in demand that the number of open positions has outstripped the number of qualified applicants by as much as 2 to 1 in some industries. So what’s holding applicants back? About one-third of information security jobs require a cyber security certification compared to 23 percent of all IT jobs. In the U.S. alone, some 50,000 vacant jobs require the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. But the number of certificate holders is only about 73,500, according to the Information Security System Certification Consortium, and most of them are already working.

Are you considering a career in cyber security, but not sure where to start? LeaderQuest offers multiple cyber security training programs that can prepare you to enter this exciting industry. Take a look at the four programs below, and you’ll be able to choose one that’s ideal for where you are now and what you’d like to do with your career.

Don’t have any experience in IT? Then the programs below won’t be a good fit. To get started in IT, we recommend that you take our Computer User Support Specialist or our Network Support Specialist program.

Information Security Analyst

Certifications: Comptia Security+, CND, and CEH
Base Training Period: 15 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Experience: CompTIA Network+ and two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus
Ideal for: If you have Network+, some experience under your belt, and you’d like to massively expand your job opportunities and earning potential, Information Security Analyst could be the perfect program for you.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Cyber Security Specialist, Information Security Analyst, Information Security Auditor, and Site Security Administrator

Get More Info

If you’ve got some experience in entry-level IT and want to take your career to the next level, this program is for you. Security+ will teach you the basics of threat management, identity management, security systems, security risk identification and mitigation, and more. Building on this information, Certified Network Defender (CND) will teach you how to protect, detect, and respond to network attacks in real-world situations. With an in-depth understanding of how network traffic functions, you’ll be able to secure your network and identify the signs of an infiltrator. See below for more information on CND.

By obtaining your Certified Ethical Hacker designation, you’ll not only be prepared to secure networks and look for vulnerabilities; you’ll be an active part of the mitigation and remediation process. You’ll be able to strengthen your network through rigorous penetration testing and stop cyberattacks in their tracks.

Certified Network Defender

Certifications: CND
Base Training Period: 5 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: CompTIA Security+
Ideal for: If you’ve completed Security+ and want to keep building your resume and knowledge base, Certified Network Defender can be completed in one week and is a HUGE step up from Security+.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Network Administrator, Network Security Administrator, Network Security Engineer, Network Defense Technician, and Security Analyst

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Certified Network Defender (CND) is a vendor-neutral, hands-on, instructor-led comprehensive network security certification program created by EC-Council. This tactical network security training course prepares network administrators to defend their networks from intrusion. Through this course, you’ll gain a hands-on understanding of data transfer, network technologies, and network software needed to secure a network.

If you would enjoy taking a hands-on role in the defense and security of your network, this program could be perfect for you. CEH is the natural next step after attaining this certification, and if you’re interested in having a good depth of technical knowledge when it comes to network defense, you may want to sign up for our Information Security Analyst program (above).

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner

Certifications: CASP
Base Training Period: 5 days
Skill Level: Advanced
Prerequisites: 5-10 years of IT experience or CEH/Security+ certifications
Ideal for: Getting CASP certified is ideal for individuals who have 5-10 years of IT experience and are interested in cyber security. Unlike the CISSP certification, another important cert in the cyber security world, CASP’s focus is hands-on and technical. This is ideal for people who AREN’T interested in management.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Network Security Engineer, Information Security Specialist, Information Security Auditor, Security Analyst, Security Architect, and Site Security Administrator

Get More Info

If you’re interested in assessing and managing risk, securing networks, preventing cyber attacks, and even getting inside the mind of a hacker to make sure that a company’s data is safe as possible, CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) could be right for you. CASP is often compared to CISSP, but that’s like comparing apples to oranges. If you’re looking for a career in IT management, CISSP might be the better choice. If not, CASP can level up your career at a fraction of the cost.

For more on CASP, check out our blog, “What is the CASP Certification and is it Right For You?

Cyber Security Specialist

Certifications: Security+, CEH, CHFI
Base Training Period: 15 days
Skill Level: Advanced
Prerequisites: Knowledge of TCP/IP, Information systems and security background, and 12 months of experience in networking technologies
Ideal for: If you’ve completed A+ and Network+, or have similar job experience, you’re ready to take on this ambitious program.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Cyber Security Specialist, Information Security Specialist, Information Security Auditor, Site Security Administrator, and Computer Forensics Investigator

Get More Info

If you enjoy detective work and want to get inside the mind of a hacker, this is the perfect program for you. Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) will provide a thorough understanding of the attack vectors and methods of hackers, as detailed above. By adding the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) certification to this mix, you’ll be able to track the movements of intruders in your network and systems and report on their activities and methods.

Does the idea of doing penetration testing on corporate networks pique your interest? Corporations understand the need for strong security better than anybody, and they are looking to hire experienced cyber security specialists who can protect them from cyberattacks and identify what went wrong. The mix of certifications in this program will perfectly position you for these kinds of opportunities.


Are you ready for a career in cyber security?

If you’ve got some experience in IT and are ready to take a huge step forward in your career, we can help! Our advisors can aid you in choosing a program that will advance your career and increase your earning potential in just a few weeks.

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The Ultimate Study Guide for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam

The Ultimate Study Guide for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam

Let’s be honest, no one likes studying. No matter the subject, it’s tempting to procrastinate. After all, some tests you can take on an hour of sleep and two cans of Red Bull. Unfortunately, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is not one of them.

Given the ever-growing importance of cyber security, maybe it’s no surprise that the CEH is rated as one of the hardest exams in the IT world. A four-hour long affair that costs $950 or more, it’s not something you want to do more than once. That means studying smart is everything if you want to learn how to ethically hack.

Fortunately, there’s no need to go it alone. We’ve prepared a list of resources and handy advice so you can pass with flying colors.

Exam Overview

“To beat a hacker, you need to think like a hacker.”
—EC-Council on CEH

The Certified Ethical Hacker is a vendor-neutral certification focused on cyber security and penetration testing. Its goal is to certify that a professional is able to identify weakness and vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit. In ethical hacking or, “white hat,” hacking, this information is used to help an organization strengthen its defenses.

Here’s the lowdown on the test.

The purpose of the CEH credential is to:

  • Establish and govern minimum standards for credentialing professional information security specialists in ethical hacking measures.
  • Inform the public that credentialed individuals meet or exceed the minimum standards.
  • Reinforce ethical hacking as a unique and self-regulating profession.

If you’re not sure if you want to get your CISSP or CEH, check out our blog on 5 Essential IT Certifications for Cyber Security Jobs.

CEH Exam Quick Facts

  • Exam Voucher Cost: $950 – $1,199 (this is the Certified Ethical Hacker certification price)
  • Number of Questions: 125
  • Duration: Four hours
  • Format: Multiple choice
  • Test Delivery: ECC EXAM, VUE

Source: EC-Council

Though it may seem pricey, CEH-certified individuals make an average salary of $90,000 per year and as much as $126,381. With earning potential like that, the investment is well worth it.

CEH Prerequisites

The CEH program requires the candidate to have two years of work experience in the Information Security domain and should be able to provide a proof of the same as validated through the application process unless the candidate attends official training. If a candidate has completed official EC-Council training either at an Accredited Training Center, via the iClass platform, or at an approved academic institution, the candidate is eligible to attempt the relevant EC-Council exam without going through the application process. LeaderQuest is an Accredited EC-Council Training Center

Free Resources

Of course, everybody wants free hacker training! Fortunately, the EC-Council provides a variety of free resources to get you started. Begin by heading over to the CEH assessment which provides 50 questions that will give you an idea of how prepared you are to dive in. It’ll help you gauge what needs the most attention.

Next, the EC-Council’s comprehensive exam blueprint dives deep into which subjects will be covered in the text, how they are weighted, and even how many questions will be devoted to each topic. Going one step further, the EC-Council CEH Candidate Handbook v2.2 covers not only the nitty-gritty details, but also lays out a CEH career path, discusses the application process, and even outlines a strict code of ethics that white hat hackers must follow.

If you need to study on-the-go, this free EC-Council CEH™ v9 Exam Prep (which includes some in-app purchases) provides you with 600 practice questions over seven different subjects. It’s available for iPhone, Android, and through Amazon. It’s perfect for Certified Ethical Hacker online training.

Lastly, it’s important to stay in the mindset of a hacker and the EC-Council white papers are a great way to do that including the 10 Deadly Sins in Virtualization Security and 5 phases every hacker must follow.

Best Textbooks

Internet resources are great, but they can only take you so far. At some point, putting money into your CEH study is a wise choice. Here are the most highly-rated textbooks and what you can expect to learn from them.

Study with an Expert

No matter how hard you study alone, there’s bound to be gaps. If you’ve hit a wall in your studying, or are worried you’re missing key information that will help you pass, don’t go through it alone. At LeaderQuest, we offer a 5-day Certified Ethical Hacker training course taught by industry expert instructors. They know what they’re talking about because they’ve been there and had years of real experience. They’re ready to help you get certified while also preparing you for the real-life challenges you’ll face during your cyber security career.

LeaderQuest classes come with a CEH VUE exam voucher (value $1,199) and an opportunity to take the test at our onsite location. That way, you don’t have to stress about the details and can focus on passing. You also won’t have to pay the $100 eligibility application fee for self-study students. If you ever feel like you need a refresher, we offer free class resits to all our graduates.

No matter what your schedule, we can work with you. Our classes are available on campus, online, during the day, or at night. We will work with your schedule to get you certified and strengthen your earning potential.

Don’t tear your hair out studying for your Certified Ethical Hacker. Train with the experts at LeaderQuest and kick your cyber security career up a notch. Your next Ethical hacking job is out there today.

Learn more about LeaderQuest training.