Quantify Cyber Risk Now

header ads

How my career skyrocketed with Lucideus! #lifeatlucideus

Vinayak Wadhwa
Principal, Threat Intelligence | Enterprise Customer Service, Lucideus

Hi, I am Vinayak. Throughout my journey with Lucideus, I have learnt a lot from my peers, team-members and the effervescent culture. It is an enlightening honour to share my journey in Lucideus, so far, with all the key contributors to my success.

Identify your Passion and Stay Hungry:
In 2012, during my second year of bachelors in information technology, through GGSIPU, I happened to attend a cybersecurity workshop by Rahul Tyagi (one of the Co-founders at Lucideus), Nipun Jaiswal (now Associate Partner, Lucideus) and few other young ethical hackers. The time I spent listening to them changed my whole perspective towards my life, my goals and more essentially my career. The whole session actually motivated me so much that I started developing a passion for the world of cyber-security. My interest in cyber-security, thenceforth, kept on growing to unprecedented heights. I attended many similar workshops in the following year. By the year 2014, I had mastered Kali Linux and Metasploit. The hunger to learn more, to explore more in this field kept growing, I, hence, decided to get enrolled in M.Tech in Cyber Security from GGSIPU, so that I could enrich my horizon with nuanced and broader aspects of security and its relationship with academia. By this time I had a clear vision, that my passion is Information Security. It amazes me that this field is actually horizontal and not vertical on its own, as it basically overlaps all technical domains and industries, constantly opening doors to explore new technologies and concepts like Compliance, Cloud, IoT, Smart cities, Infrastructure etc. I strongly believe that if your work is your passion, you will never get complacent in life and hunger to explore and grow further will be palpable. You will get a sense of satisfaction as long as you are aligned with your passion, and in my case it was security.

Post my Masters degree in cyber-security, I yearned for more practical and industrial exposure and hence started looking for job opportunities. I came across Lucideus, as a disruptive startup in the discipline of information security. It was just fitting my wishlist — Headquartered in New Delhi, Rahul Tyagi being a part of it, its Clientele and Saket Modi as an Idol to look up to. These were a couple of reasons, along with my biggest burning desire, ‘I want to stay aligned with my passion i.e Information Security,’ that I joined Lucideus on February 13, 2017. This decision has entirely changed my life.

Together is Better — Everyone is a Rockstar!
The first few days in Lucideus, we started in a small office with a small team of young, enigmatic and dedicated team, in NSIC building, Okhla, New Delhi. I would rather call it a compact family of like-minded people. Everyone was equally excited and filled with passion to make a difference in the field of information security. Colleagues were open to collaborate together, extend support and share knowledge. The open door policy enabled direct access to share thoughts, ideas, proposals, grievances. The hierarchy spectrum is flat with absolutely having no ego or attitude issues. It’s actually like a dream company to be in. The air is always filled with positivity and new ideas, work and tasks keep coming up. Problems get easily resolved with like-minded people, having the right expertise brainstorm and conclude discussions. Everyone is a rockstar and master of what they do.

The Journey of Disruption:
The opportunities and the clientele, have always been huge and interesting in Lucideus. Very soon, being a core member of my company, handling varied clients, there was a deep sense of excitement and pride amongst my close family members and friends, that I was closely working with big industry leaders. It kept me motivated. The mission and vision of the organisation have always been crystal clear and therefore the day to day progress is definite and achievable. A monthly dose of motivation “confab”, is an informal conversation with Saket, wherein we get a transparent picture of where we are and what will happen in coming months. Most announcements give the adrenaline rush and kick, required to keep progressing. The fact that Lucideus is the right and the most cutting-edge cyber-security startup in India has recently been acknowledged by John Chambers as well. It is really essential to keep a constant realisation of these motivation elements in your work life. This enables overcoming negativity and keeps you aligned with your aim regardless of hurdles faced. Failure is inevitable, how we rise from it matters and this motivation will be the push that is required, so keep it handy.

Rising as champion everytime:
I have been flooded with multiple opportunities throughout my work span. When presented with a scenario per se, there will always be lots of questions and lots of ifs and buts. But in the end, you have to acknowledge that any risk we are talking about is also a potential opportunity for improvement. I was glad that when I was presented for an opportunity to formulate a Threat intelligence team from scratch, I took the challenge with aplomb. Regardless of the unknown, I welcomed the change. This was one of the best decisions I took. Always remember that It’s not always just about accepting or welcoming the change. The actual test is to master the change and champion it. The journey shall be tough every time but the results shall be fruitful. It also enables you with a sense of satisfaction and you can now move ahead to master new things. This actually enabled me to gain expertise in various fields and I learnt how to make decisions. I would want to believe that most of my decisions have some uncertainty and risk associated with it. However, accepting repercussions and registering feedback is a must. The quickest way to champion a skill is to be a sponge and keep working hard towards the aim. You have to be constant feedback to yourself, giving inputs to improve.

Being a Sponge:
This is the swiss army knife of success, according to me. Constantly observe surroundings and pay attention to every minute details. It is always the best approach to ask “Why” for everything. This would expand your knowledge and extend your visibility to other’s shoes. I am a keen observer, I tend to look between things and learn insights. This enables self decisiveness and enhances maturity. I essentially build my list of dos/don’ts on the runtime absorbing my surroundings.

The war with timelines:
There is a constant tiff between being a perfectionist and being on time. These two are inversely proportional. Smart work rather than hard work pays in this case. Automation is a key to remove any redundancy in your work life. I have taught the same to my team. We automate all mundane tasks and keep quality time to practice perfecting the delivery. The “unknowns” exist in every space, even in information security, the zero-days are unknowns we should account for when assessing the maturity of an asset. Similarly, It is very important to account “unknowns” in delivery i.e. buffer times. But, one should never miss the timelines committed.

Switching the Hats:
Leadership is a great quality to have. One of the key takeaways I learnt along the way is that, if everyone following you is happy you are definitely doing something wrong. You have to strike a balance and give critical feedbacks at times. You have to be able to switch hats quickly between professional and social life. This enables dynamic nature and you adapt to every situation. Furthermore, you respond differently to different individuals in the same situation. This is an art, difficult to master but I am practising it. Driving the team in the right direction, involving with the team and being on top of every activity helps me be a good leader and my team looks up to me.

Respond first, React Later:
There will be numerous occasions where your best friend will be “patience”. One has to understand that in Startups, especially the one I am in, everyone is the CEO of their domain, their work, their team. You will be flooded with responsibility, You will be asked to deliver above practicality most of the times, You will be tested and pushed. Most people do not realise the importance of understanding “why”. The expectations will be skyrocketing. You will face scenarios and people, where you will be desperate to retaliate, say no, say negative, say something that is not professional. To address to above situations, one has to be a good listener and understanding the difference between reaction and response is important. Your immediate thoughts are your reactions. The response is when you reflect on them and understand the scenario and person in front of you. It is recommended to respond first and keep the reaction to yourself, ponder on the discontent and react in a self-aware, conscious manner. This way you easily communicate your stand without offending or making situations complex.

Power of ‘No’:
It is nice to be self-aware and be sure of what you are capable of. The aim should be as high as you could achieve. However, amidst these passion and goals, one tends to forget that their capabilities, hours and efforts have limitations too. It is okay to refuse politely at times considering the various hats one is wearing. The only catch here is the communication must be well in advance.

Respect and Trust:
Respect and Trust come naturally. It is essential to build relations and give respect to peers. Appreciate others for their work and their attitude. Helpful nature may be exploited sometimes when people transfer their responsibilities on to you. But if you have the right mindset, you know when to refuse and when to accept.

My association with Lucideus is for almost two years, but so far the journey, though short but sweetly enriching, has been surreally endearing. I became part of Lucideus as a Senior Associate in Web Application Assessment Team and within months of joining, I got an opportunity to establish my entire practice to the hilt. I am currently leading the Threat Intelligence Practice at Lucideus. I can proudly say that I have witnessed the ‘J’ Curve in my life, witnessing an exponential growth trajectory in Lucideus, having grown both academically and professionally. I feel extremely proud and privileged to be a part of Lucideus family.

Post a comment