Ignite passion to enable skills development

by Black Hat Middle East and Africa
Ignite passion to enable skills development

Abhinav Khanna (Senior Cybersecurity Consultant at NotSoSecure) didn’t think he had the skill to enter into a coding career – but when he joined a cybersecurity training program during college, he developed an interest in penetration testing. 

This inspired him to build his coding skills; and motivated by his new passion for security, his talent evolved rapidly. He’s a brilliant example of what’s possible when you find your ‘why’ – that keen interest that drives you to learn, grow, and build your confidence. 

We asked him what he’s working on today, and how important role models have been to inspire him as he’s navigated his career path so far. 

What are you working on right now?

“Currently, I'm working on making sure the web applications, APIs, and mobile applications for my client are secure. I'm also learning how to automate tasks to save time. On the side, I'm testing browser extensions for vulnerabilities and studying how to protect against threats and secure Generative AI technology.”

As you've navigated your career path so far, how important have role models in cybersecurity been to you? 

“I really believe that having good role models is super important in your career. I've been lucky to have people who helped me out along the way. Some taught me how to speak better, others helped me with dealing with people, and some supported me when I was just starting out as a security consultant. And then there are those folks in the cybersecurity field who I've never even met but admire for the great work they do.”

What are the key challenges that cybersecurity professionals/companies face in India in terms of security culture and/or security awareness? 

“I guess one of the biggest challenges that the companies face here in India is that they treat security as just compliance and not something that needs to be taken very seriously. I have had an instance in my career where I was asked to close some certain vulnerabilities in exchange for some gift. 

“Also, scammers are getting smarter day by day and finding new ways to scam people in this new age of smartphones due to lack of awareness among the common people. Further, the developers find it hard to fix the vulnerabilities data don’t understand and hence the ecosystem remains unprotected.”

Finally, could you tell us about your favourite experience at Black Hat MEA 2023? 

“Black Hat MEA stands proudly atop my list of attended conferences. From the moment you step foot in the airport, you will see Black Hat MEA being promoted. While I've had the opportunity to participate in numerous conferences and even organise a few myself, the meticulous execution of BHMEA sets it apart. This shows the amazing hospitality of the MEA region.

“During the event, I had the honour of engaging with one of the keynote speakers within the speaker's area. The depth of knowledge she shared regarding security proved immensely valuable. Our interaction not only enriched my understanding but also gave confidence in preparation for my own presentation.”

Thanks to Abhinav Khanna at NotSoSecure. Join us at Black Hat MEA 2024 to gain knowledge and build your network. 

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