Episode 12 with Guest Tyrone E. Wilson

Tyrone E. Wilson

In this episode our host Tanya Janca (also known as SheHacksPurple), talks to our guest Tyrone E. Wilson of cover6solutions.com to learn what it’s like to be a Founder & President of a Cyber Security Company. We had an amazing conversation about literally everything!

1:14:34 Shownotes


welcome to the we hack purple podcast where each week i meet with a different member of the information security industry to ask them what it’s like to do their job we have all sorts of people from ceos to SOC analysts to security research to bug bounty hunters and this week i have tyrone e wilson and he is the ceo of a cyber security company and i’m super excited to talk with him i always forget to introduce myself i am Tanya Janca your host from we hack purple and this week’s podcast is sponsored by thread fix by denim group thank you so much to them but without further ado whatever one is waiting for i know what you want you just want to see tyrone thank you thank you for coming yes thank you so much for having me tanya thank you thank you um so i’m wondering if you could tell us a little bit about yourself so what is your job title where do you work if you’re allowed sharing that and like describe your job yeah sure thing not not a problem at all i am tyrone e wilson of cover stick solutions i am the founder and president of cover 6 solutions and it feels like i have two jobs because i’m also the organizer of the dc cyber security professionals meetup group here out in dc we’re at over 8 000 members now that happened yeah during a national cyber security awareness month last month we reached 8 000 so i’m really happy about that but we are infamous cover six is an information security services and training company so you know in addition to the training from the pinto super app stock analyst perhaps we recently just combined them to create a an attack and defend workshop which starts this tuesday actually so wow a lot of the training a lot of consulting um pen tests vulnerability assessments and um you know keeps it keeps me busy would your website happen to be coversix solutions.com yes cover six the number six cover six solutions.com yes i’m totally gonna flash it i’m gonna flash it on the bottom of the screen because i can 8 000 people that’s absolutely incredible that’s totally amazing and i just want to tell the people watching if you have a question for tyrone you can put it in the chat and i’ll find like a good time to share it yeah sure thing i love questions please please please ask questions bring it awesome so i mean i get to ask the most questions because i’m the host which is the best i was just like how can i meet lots of cool people i’m going to start a podcast it works okay so what is a day in the life like for you at your job running your company whoa wow so you know you know i you know if you own the company if you don’t work you don’t eat yeah right so although you do have a lot of flexibility you can do what you want you can literally go and fall asleep if you want but there’s a lot of you know process building that we do on the back end um as you know documentation for classes i feel like i have this this little i guess you can call it a a rotation of emotional feelings that i have before every class and it’s like i’m so excited for class so excited for class then day one will happen and i’m really happy that we had a really great day one they day two will come and i’ll say i never want to teach again right like i never want to teach again and then you know you start to see the light bulbs come on in everyone’s head and all the students start to get it you’re like this is why i love teaching and now you’re like man i can’t wait to make the next class a lot better right and it’s just that cycle over and over and over again so you know we do have to do a lot of marketing of course um anything that you can automate like scheduling your tweets being active with your followers responding to your followers like it feels like it never ends because you want to be responsive to your customers and you know we have a chat function online and you know people 10 30 11 at night but you don’t want to wait till the morning so you just keep going over and over and over again and it gets to a point to where people will ask like how do you do it how do you like not fall out and you know my mindset is like i look at it as you know like a 401k where i’m not trying to have it all right now but just have a nice little bundle at the end and as long as i keep building towards this 401k just like a career as long as i keep building then in the end everything will be all good okay so that’s brilliant you said so many good things there so people forget if you run your own business you’re doing so much more so much more than just so you see tyrone teaching and you’re like yeah he teaches he does so much more than that do you create your curriculum too uh we’ve created everything from scratch and the thing is like they all started from like me having notes because i wanted to you know pass a certification so i just turned my notes into a class and then we just kept building over and over and over again and then what i did because we have the meetup group i would take snippets of the class use them for the meetup group and because the meetup group’s been there since 2012 i just have years and years and years of years of me just trying to fine-tune the content and you know as a content creator like the smallest things will get to me if i see a typo it’s like oh man i’m a failure because there’s this typo here on this slide oh my gosh i am the same way exactly and like i have a person that edits my videos now and he’s he can perform magic he can do all these things but like i’ll see one error and like it doesn’t matter if you did like 20 000 perfect things i’m like [Laughter] get on that [Laughter] oh my gosh so a thing that you and i were talking about right before we went live was that this had arrived my book alice and bob learn application security and you congratulations oh my gosh thank you i can’t believe it i’m literally like i keep opening it i’m like is this real but you had really good questions about how hard is that because so first of all if you’re in the chat do you think that tyrone should write a book because i think he should and so maybe i could get some some thumbs up and some likes or some comments in the chat because he has done so many cool things and i don’t know i would i’d read a book by tyrone so that impostor syndrome like i feel like it was just my life you know i feel like it’s just something that i was trying here trying there and just making sure that i did well and everything that i attempted but you know when you look at everything and i go back with the last 20 24 years really because i joined the military can i i joined the military you say it like it’s no that was a part of your life and you did it and you made it better no i’m saying because i was going to tell my age but i joined the military in 1996. so 24 years of just being into communications and i.t two deployments i had you know actually had a um conversation with a a really good friend of mine a couple of days ago we were thinking about you know all of the things that you know i was able to do and if there’s anyone you know in the industry that would be you know comparable and you know i try to look at the deployments the military service the community service i try to consistently like increase my technical ability and you know i think about my journey my life my upbringing um where i am now i put it in a book i put it in a book and what you need what you didn’t see is like i’ve been putting across the screen people saying yes yes you should write a book yes i would read it i would buy it and someone put and a podcast so you know what i thought about that i thought about that uh and you know between like the meetup already feels like a job but like you said it’s a it’s a way to meet some cool people so i i think i mean i have a couple of ideas podcast i do i think you have i think i love that you are humble but i feel that there is a potential that you are slightly just slightly uh understating understanding some of i bet you have a lot to share and also oh my gosh if that’s your age you look absolutely incredible can i do whatever you’re doing so that i look like you when i’m older like you look great granny my grandmother let’s pass those jeans down i say that um me and my brother uh you know vm we used to have this thing and i hope no one takes the idea if you take the ideas it’s fine um but it’s called otopika right um basically you know my brother played in the nfl we were talking about people that have talent right and he would always say things like there’s scouts out there there’s constantly people out there looking for talent and it doesn’t matter where you come from if you have talent it’s going to show it’s like even if you went to otapica state university if you have talent then you get to play in the big leagues right if you work hard you can do it and you know that was our little nod to each other and i was going to start a podcast called odopeak estate and this just have people that were like unsung unknowns from earlier in their career and they start to sprout into um big names then that’s what we’re gonna do but it started from like um you know from an athletic sports standpoint but i think i can transition that to uh infosec absolutely also i love the idea of i i feel like representation really matters and when you see a person and they’re like oh i didn’t have any experience in this but like look at all these things that i’ve done it helps me feel that i can go and do those things do you know what i mean and so someone at rotopika state like not a really well-known school for awesome football players i’m assuming i don’t know anything about sports like it doesn’t exist oh it doesn’t exist oh okay well then definitely it’s not known for that [Laughter] right but it’s true hearing those stories really encourages and inspires people right and you mentioned representation and representation is big for me like i want people to see that you know you can be successful you can do it you know um there’s nothing stopping anyone and i’m here to help you get there so you know me coming up it wasn’t a lot of people that looked like me so i want people that do look like me to see that it’s there and they belong and you know no one should make you feel uncomfortable about being there you know 100 could not agree more strongly with you so let’s talk about how we could get people there so okay you run a company you did all these things before you got there but i’m wondering if there’s certain personality traits that you feel help people get into like a leadership role or make them like feel brave enough to take that jump to start their own company like oh man yeah um i feel like if you’re on the fence about starting a company just do it right just do it my journey into entrepreneurship wasn’t the smartest admittedly but i’m stubborn and i feel like the reasons why i started were true and i always felt like eventually if i do right by the people set a great foundation and continue to make a good name for myself eventually everything is going to pay off and i’ll end up learning on the way and i can assure you that the journey although it wasn’t fun all the time has been amazing and i wouldn’t like i wouldn’t change anything um i essentially just put in my two weeks notice and just did it because of because of like my up my job situation i worked in the ic i was cleared i was military had a really great background so you know and and me still trying to stay humble like a six-figure job was automatic right but i felt like if i had the ability to to easily get this job then i wouldn’t take entrepreneurship seriously because i knew i had an easy fallback plan so i tried it once ended up going back to work tried it again ended up going back to work and then you know honestly i feel like i failed up because oh i was actually i was actually promoted to a position that i was really really happy about but i honestly think i wasn’t ready for it but i learned so much by not being ready and i honestly i failed at it but i learned what i needed to do to to be better so one day um i just put in my two weeks and said if i’m gonna do it this is i’m this is it’s it’s just gonna be done like there’s no turning back now and it’s been terrifyingly motivating ever since and i’m stubborn and my family they would say ty get a job just get a job get a job but i knew what it would mean if i did and you know as an entrepreneur it really like lets you know who you are like you will figure out who you are if you try to start a business um are you a people person do you have business acumen um your pride everything all of that stuff comes into play uh networking relationships and you learn so much about yourself to a point where like i want everyone to try to be an entrepreneur just so they can learn about themselves just so they can learn about themselves i want to use that quote terrifyingly motivating i put it across the screen that’s so perfect ty it’s so perfect like it’s so true where it’s like i i have to i i can’t not succeed there’s not an option there uh i don’t come from money um i actually like had like a not so super rich type of upbringing and so there’s no like could it a cushiony padding type of thing waiting if i don’t do well and so terrifyingly motivating that’s what entrepreneurship is i love it i’ve never heard a better way to say it and there’s other little things that i do to keep myself motivated i’ll save the best for last right um so believe it or not the hardest part for me about starting the company was thinking of a name and i know it may sound simple but i wanted something that i would be willing to work 18 to 19 hours a day for so i picked something that was you know a tribute to my military service being cover six and i am an ipv6 enthusiast so i figured eventually people will start listening to me about ipv6 after 25 years and um you know people will will uh you know pay attention to it but the other thing is is that the company initials is actually a play on words okay so cover six solutions c six s and if you say it fast enough it sounds like seek success oh i love it i love it yes so another thing that i did i don’t know if you could see my my tattoo is that i send a little hello nod to my daughter i’m not going to get a motion up but i send a node i mean uh uh like i can’t even speak now because i’m thinking about her i send a nod to my daughter whenever i can so her name is in my company logo and then on the edges of my training slides the binary her name in binary is there too and on the certificates and on everything it’s there so um i love it that’s so sweet and also it makes it so much more beautiful that’s so awesome oh my gosh so i have more questions for you about how someone can try to succeed like you because that’s what this podcast is about right i want people to know they can reach for the stars and so my next question is what types of technical skills do you feel like a person will need to try to get into a role that you’re in like okay do you or do you think they need technical skills necessarily to be like a trainer i mean of course you need to have some type of technical ability but i feel like probably the most important thing is the ability to self-study being able to go from nothing to something on your own and if you can’t do it being able to have a mentor or someone that you can reach out to so you don’t waste those hours of time but then you have to evaluate how that process makes you feel if you’re a person that doesn’t uh embrace learning and doesn’t doing the research asking questions learning how to identify what it is what it does and why it’s important just those three things and then figuring out how to break it how to make it work how to use it for malicious purposes uh and um you know for me you know my i’m an aquarius so i kind of think outside the box and i’ve always been really inquisitive about everything really people uh processes functionality and i like to um i enjoy helping people grow even if it’s uh you know for an instant i feel like if i can help you learn something about you even if it’s not technical it could be life your emotions that’s my win right my win like your success is my reward i love that i love that i we were talking before we started uh before we started broadcasting basically both of us do lots of community stuff when you help a person succeed how does it make you feel it’s everything to me like it’s i can’t even explain it because you know you like a pen testing project i approach the project black box i don’t know anything just write a name on a piece of paper and then you make things happen like a week later so i take the same approach with the person and every person is different to figure out what their end goals are and sometimes it takes encouragement sometimes it takes figuring out what their mental state is and how to i guess lead that person into success but still having them believe in themselves so when they leave my presence they have enough of self-confidence to keep pushing forward yes so much yes so much yes and don’t you find that like i so i saw this study and it was about the american military and they said so i’ve heard lots of people say oh you know the mentors that are that always have really really good students it’s because they pick really good students and so they did this um kind of like study on the american military and what they did is they just they studied what the really good mentors did and then replicated it for just any person in the military and it turns out just encouraging them believing in them helping them every like giving them all the opportunities and introducing them like doing everything that you can to enable that person that’s the magic yeah there’s some psychology in there so you you’re breaking them down because everyone has an idea of who they are and sometimes you have to tell them who they really yeah you’re more than that yeah and then you always have to leave them believing that that they are better now than they were yesterday or two days ago or last week and i feel like i would i would fail like that in the military one of the first things i’ve ever had to learn and i still remember it word for word is leadership and that was the first question they asked me when i was going to try to get promoted and they said what is leadership and i have no idea but wow by providing purpose direction and motivation wait a minute one of the things that i’ve never got sorry your internet cut out for just a second could you just repeat you said they asked what leadership was and i had no idea and then you said clearly lots of super smart things and we missed it could you say it again i’m sorry oh i said leadership is the process of influencing others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose direction and motivation oh my gosh i’m gonna quote you watch a tie [Laughter] no that’s so good you’re really okay so you’re motivating me mister seriously okay i have more questions for you though because sure that’s good i have i have all night i have all night so what time long is the people go ahead oh no no you can finish your sentence no i was saying if the people want more give her more yeah so i might have to refill my money shoulder though i know right we we are having beverages just as an fyi difference that’s okay we’re having really small beverages my friends at cloud defense send me a gift and they sent me a mini ball of wine but they sent two because they’re very smart that’s chardonnay yeah it’s chardonnay and i don’t actually drink that often so they sent two little bottles so it won’t go bad because i never finished like so i’m like oh that’s so sweet um perfect let’s go too right okay so let’s say someone is like okay so one day i want to try to start my own company i i want like i want to try to do what what tie it wrong like so what tyrone’s doing what type of work experience or training would you suggest because you took a long time to get there you said and i don’t mean like that you took too long you took how much time was right for you but it let’s say someone’s like 25 or they’re 28 and they’ve graduated from wherever they’re going to learn and they’re like i’m totally obsessed with cyber i want to try to start my own company do you have suggestions for like maybe training they could take or maybe work experience that would be specifically super helpful in them like learning or maybe books that you think might be good sure thing i think the very first thing is a self-assessment and i actually wrote an article called identifying your dream job and there’s three things that can help you identify your dream job and it’s okay if cyber security isn’t your dream job so it should be a combination of what you’re good at what you love to do and what the world needs if you’re good at it it will come easy to you and you’ll be able to do it you know all day if you love it then your passion for it is going to shine through your work and people are going to gravitate towards that and if the world needs it then there’ll be a lot of demand for it you’ll be in business for a long time and i feel like i’ve identified my dream job and that’s helping people become successful through education and cyber security and if they want to start a company then you know i i mentioned being stubborn and i have a funny story um and i know my my friend kamali would love to hear this nice and i told him i was like hey i started a company and he’s like what’s going to be your focus now it’s like focus we’re going to do everything [Laughter] come to me cover six solutions plural we have the solutions to cover everything and he’s just i can hear him like ah this guy so i i think you should definitely narrow down your scope the way that i did it was i identified things that i was good at so if anything failed i would be able to just jump in and do the work also it all started from relationships that i was able to um create during my time you know at my various you know professional positions and you know those relationships you know they pay off in the end they they’re they’re important yes to have so create those relationships another thing that i didn’t do was create a business plan and i winged it along the way but i definitely don’t want anyone to waste any waste any of their time so just do some research figure out what should be in a business plan and i feel like that will help you mentally you know as you start to move forward in your business a lot of it is going to be based off of who you are in your name especially at the beginning and me myself i’ve always treated you know my life my profession as a brand and i never wanted to have a bad name or negative anything attached to myself because i kind of like carry myself as if i’m a corporation right and you sometimes you’re on pins and needles because of that but you know if people have a idea of you and your work ethic then it’s going to pay the funny thing about that is that you know they used to make fun of me at work and they would say things like um if tyrone wilson won the lottery he’d buy a network just so he can defend it [Laughter] he come to work anyway i felt like they knew that i had a love for it and i was totally dedicated and um you know that positive impression that you have on people can carry you you know when you start your business oh i could not agree more it’s so true and also like do so do you find it hard to delegate so i’m starting to bring on employees and i find delegation so hard because i’m a control freak and i want to be capable of doing 100 of every part of every person’s job but eventually i have to realize i’m hiring someone that’s smarter at sales marketing whatever it is because i’m not awesome at that thing i’m awesome at app sec and maybe i don’t unders of marketing and what that means do you find it hard to let go i hate it i hate it and it’s because i wanted every little thing like every thought every image everything that had the cover six name on it i wanted it to come out of my mouth because it was my vision i know what my response was gonna be to all the questions um and one of the ways that i got out of that was um you know we ended up getting a booth a few times at some of the major conferences shout out to besides nova and it wasn’t easy at first but i just took a step back and i let my team handle the booth and it it just kind of feels good one to know that people are willing you know to to battle for you to speak for you and they believe in your mission and in your goals but you feel like you want everyone to be as hungry as you are and when you don’t see it you’re like i gotta get rid of this person right oh my gosh yes oh my gosh i just read this book on leadership by patrick lescioni or leccioni i don’t know if you’ve heard of him and it’s about finding awesome team players and they’re like they have to be hungry they have to be humble and they have to be what was the third one and they have to be like have decent social skills so that they can be smart and deal with the rest of your team and not be a jerk face and so um i have been i’ve been talking about that with some of my team and so someone from my team just when you were talking about delegation and like trying to be hands off uh they commented oh my gosh tanya become best friends forever with tyrone because i need to learn from you tyrone and um what was i going to say i cut you off scratch it no it’s fine okay we have to take a five second break so that i can thank our amazing sponsor thread fix so for first of all everyone click the thumbs up if you’re liking this subscribe if you’re not subscribed and then if you live in the same city as tyrone immediately join his meetup which i shared earlier so our sponsor thread fix wait wait where are you where’s your meet up we’re in virginia so one of the cool things that i do at all the meetups unless you want to do the promo oh i should do that one of the things i do with the meetup is they get that job i know how it is you you you and then me you you so we’re virtual now so we take anyone from anyone in the world and one of the cool things that i do you know i’m not gonna get emotional again i promise one of the cool things that i do is during the virtual meetup is that i asked people where they’re tuning in from and when you see different countries um and people like waking up in the middle of the night you know just to attend your training or the 10 year your meetup like it like it touches me like every single time right yes so magical to be affecting people like it’s so like we have a really good community here in victoria bc where i live and they’re ridiculously supportive oh my gosh they’re so awesome but when we have a meetup and then people just attend from all over now it’s really exciting like we had a woman attend from southern united states at one of our meetups for our little victoria chapter and we’re like oh my gosh hi and she’s like you know you advertised up on the internets i thought it was cool i’m like yes it’s so awesome and also her accent was so nice um okay but now for the sponsor now for the sponsor for real thank you so much to thread fix they make the most stupendous vulnerability management system on this side of the entire galaxy and they have been sponsoring us from the very beginning and the founder dan cornell has been so kind to me helping me like giving me awesome advice for my startup and my previous serve and just being ridiculously supportive so thank you so much to threadfix i we couldn’t do it without you literally and so um yes so i have more questions now you know all right let’s let’s go i have nowhere to go oh also someone was asking what you were drinking so i am having some beautiful chardonnay and someone was asking what you were having because we we thought we wanted to take the edge off just a tiny bit so we’re both having a very very tiny drink i’m drinking a nice scotch uh whiskey monkey shoulder oh i would i would say that sounds good but i honestly think that whiskey it’s like gasoline it’s good though like normally you have to brace yourself and with this you don’t like it’s it’s really smooth and i’m not normally a whiskey drinker at all so i appreciate but i’m never gonna have any of that you can have mine if we’re ever together i’ll be like he pours to i’m like and you get to have two okay so i have actually real questions now not just questions from the chat oh and someone asked if there was a meetup in ottawa and his meetup’s virtual so you can attend from anywhere and i’m just gonna put it on the screen again so it’s cover six solutions and then how do they is the meetup on that link so the meetup is meetup.com slash dc cyber warriors dc cyber warriors okay so while you answer the next question i’m gonna look up dc cyber warriors and then i’ll share it on the screen but so i want to know um okay so this is a sensitive question and i don’t mean tell me exactly how much you make but a lot of people are looking to get into cyber security they don’t understand like this job pays super well this job does not pay well this job is awesome and sometimes i know this sounds silly but uh i so the way i knew i’d made it as a software developer and i was finally being paid really well was i had gone to the grocery store and i was like oh there’s this new cheese and that new cheese i freaking love cheese and so i realized that i was rich enough that i could buy both types of cheese at the grocery store and i was like i’m rich i bought two types of cheese i know that sounds really silly but i’ve denied myself a lot of times on food because i was like you know we have budgets and stuff so can you tell me in whatever way you want to but not monetary if you feel your job pays well [Music] yes yes i’ll say it yes but it wasn’t easy right it’s not an overnight thing it’s not like that you know their first contract paid really really well and i’m what year seven i still don’t have billets right um like we haven’t gone the government contracting route yet we probably will sorry what do you mean by billets so billets is like if you win let’s just say for instance you win a contract say at the pentagon and very you’re willing to uh get with the prime that can sub contract four or five positions for you and you know you’re gonna make a commission off of those four or five positions and i’ve had some friends that you know got that pretty easily pretty early in their entrepreneurial careers um i got out of that space so that wasn’t really my my focus yeah same here between it’s painful between the training working with government’s pain yeah yeah i mean you know that was my whole career and i just wanted to step away from it all yeah but you know between the training the consulting like even on a good weekend of training you know you can survive the month right on a good weekend a month or two amazing um someone in the chat is asking so how is your pain now versus at your previous job that you quit is it like better or worse or kind of the same or is it up and down it’s hard to say okay so i’m gonna go back to the terrifyingly motivating right terrifyingly motivated guess what happens if i take two weeks off i know i’m gonna do it at the end of december and it is seriously terrifying yeah so it’s it’s not like the military where there’s a pay scale and i knew how much i’m gonna make this year no matter what i do right and i like the fact that it’s essentially up to me i like the fact that i had the flexibility to create products but you still have to try to sell those products and do the marketing and are you going to do it yourself or you’re going to have a trainer um what are you going to do for pricing right i hate that part oh my gosh isn’t it the most difficult thing to decide how much your course costs so there’s a couple things that go into it like there’s me wanting to be nice and wanting to help everyone and wanting to create really affordable content but then i see organizations that are essentially like this is the price take it or leave it there’s no discount codes no nothing this is the price you either want it or you don’t but i feel like we’re in the middle of you know a lot of people like free right now a lot of people like self-paced free right now but i’ve always catered our our training for you to be ready to work monday morning and you leave monday morning you won’t be uncomfortable in a sock right you won’t be uncomfortable being an operator on a pintest team like that’s what i really make the training for and because people like sirs we started incorporating a lot of the material from the certs but i’ve never really taught to pass a cert like i want to teach you what it’s like i want to give you the real rat raw version of what it’s like to be in a sock and some of the things that you’re going to see right like you’re going to see some things that no human should see right you’re going to see some child trafficking stuff you’re going to see porn you’re going to see naked bodies and those are some things that they may not talk to you about in class you know but that’s real that’s real i had to do anti-terrorism activities at one point and i had to make a powerpoint presentation of pictures of charred burned canadian bodies and no one warned me about that no one told me that was coming i was harmed and there was another case which i obviously can’t talk about that was top secret and like i was you know just i was massaging evidence like making a yeah and i had nightmares for months from just reading small amounts of paragraphs of what of what had happened to a person and like if they aren’t going to tell you the truth and training about what you’re in for p.s there’s none of that in apsec um which is part of why i work in apsec now like i think that i salute the strong humans that can do that because i’m not i’m not strong enough to do that like i don’t know what to say yeah what about the dirt bags that you know what dirt bags but they’re under investigation so you still have to work with him for the next week or two you know like all right oh my gosh yeah yeah or um yeah i had once like um a colleague and they had caught someone doing something quite bad and the help desk person had ruined the chain of custody and so they had they couldn’t press charges against a person that had done a very very very very very very bad thing and it was just like the help desk person’s heart like crushing and they had tried to like handle it’s like don’t touch anything let the professionals come yeah yeah 100 i have i have more questions for you so but someone someone actually so someone said time for rainbows um so someone had a question and they said someone actually had a question that was for me and it was i’m attending a college in in ottawa where i’m from and they’re wondering how they could get into application security and i like ty and i so i wrote a book and this book will teach you basically most of how to do apsec that’s why i wrote it and i’m trying to give it to universities like give it i mean like it is like the cheapest textbook probably for computer science but also like tai was saying join a meetup and meet people so a wasp the open web application security project specifically for appsec or if you want to learn how to work in a sock join the dc warriors sorry i put it on the screen and then i lost it the dc cyber warrior you see cyberware yeah so look up meetup.com and then slash dc cyberwarriors um or looking lookingmeetup.com for owasp we have over 300 chapters around the world and that will help you’ll meet the right type of people and then i’m going to be super biased join the we hack purple community that’s what we do um yeah and we have courses and our courses don’t cover the same things as tai which part of why i invited him on here um because i know but people will ask me like i want to work in a sock what should should i take your course i’m like no you need to meet tyrone right like it’s just right yeah we work in the same field but we can still recommend each other and so i hope that i’ve answered the question for you jeff but now i want to talk about tyrone so would you say there’s lots of opportunities in the field that you work in would you say like there’s lots of possibility and lots of opportunities [Music] that’s a tough one um i would say it depends on where you’re looking and who’s hiring um because there are situations where an organization um it may not be overt but they are looking for a certain look and feel for their organization interesting so so you know the opportunity may not be there for that organization i feel like the opportunities are there provided you have talent um you know and what do you do if you don’t fit the no the look and feel like i did an interview in 2016 for a full-time pentester job and i’ve been doing all these things and i kid you not tyrone in 2016 they asked if i had children or if i was pregnant or planning a family and i was like uh no i’m allergic to kids i didn’t know what to say like what are you supposed to say and so then wait for it six weeks later i had another interview with the same organization so i did an entire pen test engagement for free i wrote a report and then i actually mitigated 100 of the problems to show them like i know what i’m doing hire me and so six weeks later i have another interview with this dude and there’s a different dude with him in the interview and he’s like okay so i need to repeat these questions are you pregnant do you have children or are you planning on having children in the future and i looked at him and i just and the other guy looked and went like it was like it was like out of a movie the dude’s face and and i said the past six weeks just haven’t been that fun i don’t know what to tell you okay what can you even say and then i got the job and that was in the canadian government and then i reported him once i was a full-time employee because [ __ ] that [ __ ] sorry sorry i was just gonna think i was just gonna say when you asked the question can i can i curse because yeah curse curse let’s edit i said what would you do if you didn’t fit the description i’d say do you know who i am no right um no honestly i would say you know work until they do know who you are make it undeniable that you have that technical expertise like even if it’s got to be you know people always talk about blogs and speaking engagements like you don’t have to do all that stuff but it’s going to help and you know i always joke this is me revealing all this stuff um i always joke that one day my resume is just gonna have one thing on it and it’s gonna say tyrone wilson right and that’s gonna be my resume and i just maybe come in there with just the pipe and just say cyber security and just walk out wait and then you just drop the mic and you’re like someone was asking me they’re like when you apply for a job tanya what do you do and i’m like i don’t know what to say to you because like microsoft courted me and then the previous syrup i worked at courted me for like a year and then i’m like i don’t know what to say and they’re but what do you have on your resume i’m like tanya f and janca like i don’t know what like google me yo like what do you but but but for the average person like if they’re facing so like i am a woman in tech and i have been told things like your skirts aren’t short enough and uh like just yeah i had a boss asked me once if i was wearing panties and then i screamed in his face to the point where he was apparently physically scared i was gonna hurt him which is good so i communicated how i felt um and i actually like walked into him because you know how people have fight or flight even when i shouldn’t mine is fight like even when it’s a very bad idea and so i like literally walked into him and was like get out of my cubicle and he’s like what i’m like and i was like pushed him back and was like get out and i just screamed no and he like looked at me and i was like do i have to push him because i’m gonna but like but what do we do if we’re like looking for a job and we’re facing this like what can are there any tricks or things that have helped you [Music] yeah so um a couple things and then i’ll tell you a story like a follow-up story of what was said to me at work one day and i tweeted about this and um like you have to believe it first right because it’s gonna change you at a subconscious level and i’ve actually went to a subconscious reprogramming where i had to subconsciously believe that i was successful if you don’t believe it no one else is going to believe it so you have to believe it first and it’s just going to change your vibe it’s going to change your body language it’s going to change the way you charge for rates and what you ask for in a salary in your conversation like you have to believe it first and that and i know it’s not that easy it comes with knowledge and experience and you know confidence in yourself but like even from the beginning think of don’t try to compare yourself to like the greats in the industry with 30 40 years in the game focus on some of the on who you are and i and i love helping people figure out who the f they really are i’m saying yes like a hundred times and just pointing at tai for the people that can’t hear i mute myself because you are and it’s going to be glorious and just ride that wave right right that wave stay humble with it but ride that wave and have it carry on so you can maintain of a certain level of success figure out like like i said before what are you good at what are you willing to compete with another person for and let that be your focus um you know don’t let these um engineering positions get to you and make you feel like you’re unqualified for them and i think i tweeted about that it was a very popular tweet of mine i said you don’t have to meet all of the preferred qualifications yes you know and don’t give them a reason to discredit you like a lot of people start with the negative attributes about themselves and they don’t even have to like no one asked you that right only answer the questions that they ask right this is so true i i also feel like there’s strength in numbers like part of why i started wosek the women of security international nonprofit is honestly thai because i just wanted to ask other women the truth like am i so i had a job at a place that will i will not name where i was being paid two-thirds of everyone else on my team and it was not that long ago and i i wanted to ask all the other women like that i was like at willsec just like oh you’re on mute you’re on mute i can’t hear you just so you know that’s probably good because i was just chuckling it away i was asking them i was like i can’t believe this i’m like what should i do and they’re like you go in and you tell your boss that this needs to be rectified immediately and then if he doesn’t rectify it like tear him new a-holes and i was like oh my and so they gave me the confidence to go and ask for the same pay as everyone else on my team and i did end up resigning over it after a year of fighting for equal pay for equal work and equal title i was just like i’m leaving you lose me that’s it i’m out of here and like what can you do right but they’re like the fact that you stood up that inspires the rest of us to stand up and then they inspired me and so i feel like forming communities of like underrepresented people can really help us like lift each other up yeah and you know people being honest and i know i joke about this sometimes that i probably shouldn’t bring it up but a little bit first thing i’m sorry you had to go through that but you know we have those conversations as well amongst you know people of color and sometimes i have to go to my go to my friends and say hey like what are the white people rates right right position what are you asking for like just be real with me like what’s a good number right yeah and i’ve had people and i’ve been on the other end of these uh the hiring and i’ve and you know i’ve had white guys just straight up tell me this is what i’m looking for so if it’s not this just let me know now and i don’t want to waste anyone’s time oh my god the comments about life yeah i’m like i really don’t know you know have you ever have you ever seen those women say god grant me the confidence of a mediocre white male on the internet because yeah like i i have had people say like oh yeah he’s like i won’t come here for 200 and i’m and i’m just like oh my god i just can’t imagine i just can’t imagine that and i’m like who can teach me these skills so i oh i totally have an inappropriate story that a bunch of women told me to do they’re like maybe if you had male parts they would pay you appropriately and i was like oh my gosh that’s a that’s a very extreme solution you’re discussing but oh someone oh yeah someone is someone is saying do the other nine people watching want to see 10 to 15 more minutes please don’t stop now you said you have some time is it okay if we talk a couple more minutes even though it’s seven let’s go yeah okay thank you so okay so this is kind of the most important question it’s like what advice do you have like to every type of person or even like because like part of the thing about this podcast i don’t know if you’ve noticed the guest list but it’s very diverse because i truly feel representation matters and when i don’t see a single woman on stage at a conference i feel like i don’t belong there right and so i wanted to give a stage to every type of person like neuro-atypical people like every gender etc and so like what can we what can we do so like first of all for for for you and i we can share our power right like me having every type of person on the podcast that’s me sharing my power and you having your 8 000 person strong meet up that is you sharing your power right like what else can we do i would say um like i think it’s really simple just be a good person right just it’s not difficult just be a good person and you know you mention the platform and i realized that and i and i say this a lot with power comes great responsibility and i realized that you know i was able to build something to where if i if i’m speaking if people out there are making life altering decisions based off of what i say and you know that’s something that i don’t that i take very seriously and i feel like as long as you’re doing right by the people and you’re not just being an a-hole on purpose and some people don’t know that they’re being that way because it’s just the way that they were brought up or you know they need to fit in with their with the crowd or whatever but just just be a good person yes yes oh my gosh ty i wish that every person in all of it would take your advice like just be a good person treat others how you wish you could be treated yeah i i went through all of my employees pay like this is like five plus years ago and i i figured out that it was a man that was white that was very very very very very short um like unusually so and he was being paid less than his own employees yeah yeah and i immediately brought to upper management i’m like not acceptable and they’re like well he didn’t ask for i’m not acceptable and i was like look i’ve rejigged the budget so we can give him a 100 per week raise above his own employees and you know what we’re gonna tell him it’s because we recognize the amazing contributions he does because this dude is actually awesome he’s amazing like he’s that first of all his team adores him and loves him his work is spot-on like the guy is incredible and they’re like well he never asked for a raise and i was like yeah i’m going to review the rest of the employees now for inequities thank you bye i think that um thank you for being so earnest and honest and open because no but like i feel like sometimes people will be like diversity matters and then you see their board and it’s like 100 white dudes and they’re all really really old too and i’m like [Music] diversity doesn’t actually matter it’s a phrase that you’ve heard people like and so i want to thank you what yeah i feel like if you need a diversity plan that’s already telling you what you need to know about your company it should just be automatic you shouldn’t even have to think about it no like like if you’re not attracting a diverse set of people applying then maybe you need to like reevaluate the way you’re trying to attract people to work for you does that make sense and like your best resource to know how you’re doing is to talk to your employees and ask them if they feel comfortable ask them if there’s any problems ask i’m always like please come to me please come to me if there’s an issue because i i cannot have you being unhappy working here like i mean if you’re unhappy because our sales are down or something i can’t well i can help with that but you know what i mean but i’m like i never want you to feel harassed abused like and that includes if they the people that answer my social media so i have some of them that like reply to tweets and things like that i’m like no one talks down to you ever if someone’s mean to me mean to you you tell me and i will take over says not acceptable you will not be abused at work but not every boss acts like that i want to thank you so much for coming on the show and i have two more questions if you don’t mind let’s go okay let’s go okay you can have three more i have more questions well these are the super important ones so if you were gonna give someone actionable advice so like like a first like a step or advice generally like if someone’s like i want to lead a company someday what advice would you give that person like what what would you say as like an actionable thing they could do okay actionable i would say find a task in that up task and project management platform i use asana and actually put in your goals even if you need a 10-year plan put in the tasks put in the goals put in the milestones put in the dates and just start working towards that like block out the rest of the world because it’s going to make you feel like you’re not moving fast enough because people out there they’re going to share their triumphs and their accomplishments and if you’re not moving at the same pace it’s going gonna feel like you aren’t accomplishing much but you are like the first part of being successful is that is actually having a plan and working towards that plan so it’s like eating an elephant like how do you eat an elephant like one bite at a time and you may think that it’s impossible or not and i listen to a uh motivational speaker eric thomas he says small steps great distances so as long as you keep taking the steps you will get there right you will get there that is such fantastic advice yes i actually literally took that advice um four weeks ago so my company got a project management thing and it has totally changed the way i’m doing stuff and previously the company was just me and then there was another person another you know like and we’re kind of asynchronous but now there’s six of us and there’s just we can’t function unless we know what each other are working on what we’re doing it just doesn’t work yeah how many people work at your company how many people including contractors and part-time um what do we have so we actually just brought on four insurance wow that’s so awesome you’re giving people such an opportunity to learn good job um i’d say we’re at four we’re at five like like nine or ten oh my gosh that’s incredible that’s incredible you know the tenth employee’s heart just broke they’re like tyrone doesn’t remember me i just using you i’m just teasing you it’s a work get to work i’ll remember you oh my gosh okay okay i have i have one last question and if someone wants to know more about you because honestly i can’t imagine someone listening or watching this and not wanting to know basically everything about you where can they find you do you have a website do you so i’ve shared your linkedin i’m going to share your twitter right now and then i’m going to show your website where else can so he’s ty wilson 21 on twitter so absolutely ty wilson 21 and look up tyrone e wilson on linkedin yeah and his website is cover six the number six solutions.com but where else can like there’s a blog where else tell me i think if anyone wanted to know everything i would say it was my first keynote at hackahalted last year i left everything on the stage there and you know i was told to be um motivating inspiring and challenging and i feel like i did that and my brother’s a motivational speaker and me and him you know we set up and we created some talking thing thing he was like let’s do that do this and i’m reading it over and i’m like it’s not me right like that’s not me so i said i’m just gonna go and tell my story and i feel like my story is motivating inspiring challenging and that’s what i did i left it all out there on stage there were some emotional moments but i feel like i was able to relate there’s something in my story that allowed me to relate to everyone in the audience and god got a standing ovation it doesn’t show in the video but you know people were waiting in line i never experienced that but people were waiting in line to hug me and grown men were crying people were crying in in the crowd and i felt like that was my moment because um you can’t tell but you know when you’re on stage you can see your slides yeah so at the beginning there’s a slide that says you know who is tyrone wilson and by design it’s limited and i spent the presentation like breaking myself down telling my story and then slowly but surely bringing myself up and then towards the end of the presentation and again you can’t see it in the video the slide comes up again when the slide says who is tyrone e wilson and i look at it and like never in my life have i felt so confident in who i was and then all of it hit me because the bullet points started coming up and it’s like tyrone wilson is the founder and president of cover 6 solutions tyrone wilson is the organizer of the largest cyber security meetup group in the country like taiwan wilson um there was a couple other things but um you know i don’t want i don’t want to tell it because there are some cool things in there about family and everything but towards the end it said and now tyrone wilson the last bullet says keynote speaker and you know i curse you can’t see it but i said and i just did my first mother keynote and i dropped the mic and i walked off stage that’s amazing oh my gosh that’s so amazing okay so that is going to be in the speaker or in the in the show notes so if you go to ehackpurple.com and then episode 12 which is tyrone e wilson beep keynote speaker oh my gosh that’s amazing so obviously tanya has to watch that immediately um oh my gosh thank you thank you so much for being on our show this has been absolutely incredible oh my gosh the chance to get to know you better so like i’m just like maybe if i invite people i think are amazing on the show they’ll actually say yes thank you for saying yes because yeah this has been fantastic thank you so much i can’t believe i have to wrap up the show this is actually difficult yeah i like yeah anytime okay i’m a partner yeah seriously actually i like this i like this idea actually okay hold that thought and i’m gonna do the goodbyes thank you so much to tyrone wilson for being our amazing guest today tyrone e wilson if you’re gonna look him up on the internet and if you check the show notes you will find a link to this amazing keynote that he did at cyber halted and on top of that oh hacker halted yes um this podcast was sponsored by threadfix powered by denim group and they make an amazing vulnerability management tool and this has been the wehack purple podcast we have amazing people on every week and i thank you so much for coming thank you again and see you next week