Meet A Member: Michael Maben

January 24, 2022

Meet Michael Maben, an experienced Security Analyst with a history of working in the computer and network security industry. He’s got the chops when it comes to Linux, AWS, and penetration testing, and we had the opportunity to sit down with him and ask him about his experience in VetSec.

Michael during his service in the Marine Corps

Michael comes from a background in law enforcement in the United States Marine Corps, where he served as an Armory Supervisor, 911 Dispatcher, and Patrol Supervisor over his five years of service. After his honorable discharge in 2012, he pursued education in Computer Engineering at Clark College, and again with WGU in 2018 to 2021, with a BS in Cybersecurity & Information Awareness, and a BS in Software Development.

Michael recently landed a role as a Cyber Security Analyst 2, and we asked him how VetSec has helped him achieve his goals.

I met a VetSec member through a WGU Slack group that convinced me to join. On top of the great community and conversations I’ve had over the last few years, VetSec provided me access to get the eJPT from eLearnSecurity for free, which set me down a path of penetration testing training and certs. I’ve utilized several training recommendations from VetSec members, including listening to amply advice to apply for the Onward 2 Opportunity program through which I received my CISSP at no cost earlier this year. Both the CISSP and my pentest certs and experience were directly referenced as standout points in my interviews for the position that I just started earlier this week as a federal contractor. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the partnerships and support from VetSec and its members.

Speaking of the future of VetSec, Michael added, “This place is amazing and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.”

I asked Michael what advice he would like to give to those service members and veterans thinking of making the leap to cybersecurity.

“For the people still on active duty and making the correct decision to actually plan ahead (something I didn’t do), make sure to take advantage of all the education and training benefits that active duty have access to, especially for those not already in a tech or cyber focused job or those without a security clearance. A degree and a few certifications paid for by the military can go a long way towards setting yourself apart from the other entry-level applicants. Also, temper your expectations for that first cyber position if you don’t have any experience yet. There are all these great stories of fully remote high six-figure positions in cyber, which definitely exist in abundance, but the reality is that a lot of us without experience broke into the field by accepting shift work in a Security Operations Center (SOC) for 50-70k. Those great jobs require a level of experience and niche knowledge that you aren’t going to have without having been hands on for at least a few years.

For the people that are already off active duty, lean into all the veteran benefits that are available. I wouldn’t have been able to afford my degree or all my certs without the various ways to use the GI Bill, IVMF’s O2O program, and all the great training resources from VetSec’s sponsors and partners. I hadn’t even heard of several of them without the information I learned from people here at VetSec.

Looks like Michael is crushing it!