This story originally shared on Symantec’s blog.

My name is Cullen Covington, and I am a cybersecurity intern through the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) program. After 6 months of technical and professional training at Year Up, I began an internship at Symantec’s office in Herndon, VA. I have only been on the job for a few weeks, but I have already learned so much.

The first day of my internship at Symantec was in the Global Security Operations office. I walked into a small room full of people with very diverse backgrounds. That day, Jacob Horst, my manager, taught me one of the most valuable lessons so far. He explained to me that in order to become successful in this field I’d have to understand the motivations of an attacker. Just knowing technical terms or how computers work would not be enough in this era of cybersecurity. I would need to know what information would be valuable to a hacker and how it could be used for monetary gain or other benefits. He also taught me that the most vulnerable asset in cybersecurity is the human user.

Since that first day, I have had the opportunity to start working with security incidents. Over the course of these first few weeks I’ve learned how to track and analyze network traffic events using Splunk. With what I learned during my training at Year Up, I can identify when a computer is infected with a virus by the repeated traffic it produces or by it beaconing out to get a connection with a Command and Control (CNC) server. Currently I am watching our data collection platform for policy violations within the company and learning to do investigations into more serious incidents.

I have learned so much already, but this is only the beginning. I am looking forward to learning more during the rest of my 6 month internship.