Interview with Shyam Pareek: Self-taught Cyber Security Professional

Today we will be interviewing a person whose achievements prove to be inspirational to all students who are lost and trying to build a successful career in their life. We have Shyam Pareek with us, a self-taught Cyber Security Professional and Certified Ethical Hacker.

Who is Shyam Pareek?
Shyam Pareek is a Certified Ethical Hacker from India who got into Cyber Security industry after a real-life incident happened with him, which developed his curiosity in Cyber Security and since then 10 years have passed. Now, he has more than 5 years of industrial experience in Cyber Security field and has secured hundreds of websites from critical security flaws.

Interviewer: How did you step into the Cyber World?

Shyam: Well, I have tried a lot of things to have a successful career in my life, I have always been a computer geek but I never knew about my passion and I had no one to provide me a career guidance. I used to run a few blogs and websites during my high school days and one of my websites was very popular back then (it’s currently a premium domain worth 5000 USD).

Those were the days when we didn’t have Netflix or high-speed Internet, and 128kbps was the highest internet speed a normal Indian could get. So, my website used to serve high-quality TV Shows in very small size which was the reason it got very popular in very short period of time. I didn’t know anything about website security and unfortunately my website had a vulnerability, which got exploited by a Hacker. So yeah, that was the day I’d say, when I started reading about website attacks and how to keep things secure around the web.

Interviewer: Why did you stop your website?
It was very time consuming and I had to focus on my degree.

Interviewer: How did you start you career and how far have you come? Tell us about your journey.

Shyam: If I talk about my journey, I started working at a very early age as I had to drop out after I completed my high school because of some personal reasons.

I did lot of things in search of work, I used to sell Idea and Reliance Sim cards in nearby villages in small KIOSK Tents provided by the companies and that too in boiling hot weather, where I used to get paid around 1500 INR for month.

I worked in a computer repairing shop where I used to assemble CPUs, install windows in customer’s system but never got paid for the job so I left in 2 months.

After that, I got a job in stock market firm where I worked for around 2 years and side by side I completed my higher education and used to work on my websites in free time or after office hours. My salary was just 3500 INR but I also started making a little revenue from my websites and saved that money which I used further in my college admissions and did my graduation and post-graduation in Computer Applications from a good college.

Since I was very much interested in Cyber Security, I never appeared in any placement drives in my college because no one was hiring for the roles which I was interested in and I did not want to waste their time. I was confident enough that I would easily get a job off-campus.

Fortunately, after my post-graduation, I got a chance to work as an Intern with Mr. Rakshit Tandon in his startup and I got a chance to investigate a few major cyber-crime cases which he was working on and this gave my career a huge boost. I got a chance to work with Indian Cyber Police and also worked with a few more startups. I never imagined that I’d ever get a chance to work with Big 4 consultancy firms, though it was a dream come true for someone like me.

Interviewer: What is your main aspiration?
Travel around the world, provide everything to my family. I really wish to climb Mount Everest one day (need to save a lot of money for that, haha)

Interviewer: What advice would you give to students looking for a career in Cyber Space?
The most important thing is, nobody is going to spoon feed you. Always be dependent on yourself and try to do everything on your own. There are lot of free resources available, if you’re passionate about learning things, you’re going to find a way for sure. Google is your only best friend, trust me on this! Keep learning, be patient and persistent and TRUST THE PROCESS. Everything will fall in place with time.

What’s your favorite quote?
“Work hard in silence, let success make the noise.”

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