IT student to CySA+ Owner: Micah's Success Story

Omer Gunal
May 15, 2023
Success Story
IT student to CySA+ Owner: Micah's Success Story

Can you introduce yourself?

Hi! My name is Micah. I'm an IT student about to graduate with my Bachelors degree in Networking & Information Systems. My associates is in Networking & Cybersecurity.

My dream job is SOC Analyst Tier 1. The job is about doing the most fascinating stuff I've ever learned, but EVERYDAY. The idea of protecting a company's data by continually learning and staying current with the ever-changing cyber threat landscape and then suggesting improvements in the organization's security posture is very exciting!

Why CySA+ ? 

Beyond the fact that it was a part of my program requirements, I wanted to get that certification because the content gives a foundation in the SOC Analyst job. It covers so many diverse topics, that it's easy to find yourself going down many rabbit holes just to learn more. Getting the CySa+ would help me attain my goal and give me the tools I need to learn more.

What was the most challenging part of studying?

Staying focused was hard, because the CySa+ is so broad. There are also many lists of procedures like the Intelligence Cycle and different frameworks, which can be challenging to memorize if you don't flashcard your way to victory.

How LetsDefend helped you pass the CySA+ Exam?

LetsDefend was extremely helpful! If you are motivated to put in extra work beyond your textbook/video/flashcard method of studying, then LetsDefend is ready to give you hands-on experience with playing with what your learning.

Going through the lessons, such as Phishing, and then taking on some tickets that applied to the subject helped me learn in a way that I believe just reading about it wouldn’t compare. This caused me to get excited every time I see a phishing email out in the wild because LetsDefend helped me gain the skills to analyze them! 

The Malware Analysis content is also extremely helpful. LetsDefend helped me learn how to make a malware analysis lab, and then safely play with malware. This assisted me in learning the various IOC and malicious processes associated with them. Another way LetsDefend helped was the various Log Analysis content and challenges. Instead of reading and watching about various logs, I got to get elbow deep in some logs and learn how to pick out various IoC.

Doing all this, plus running the tickets in the simulated SIEM, helped me study and learn, plus gave me a cautious degree of confidence in my just beginning skills.

What advice would you give to those taking the CySA+ exam?

My advice would be to get hands-on with as much of it as possible. Even stuff like nmap and tcpdump, just play around with it! This will help you learn what the various switches do.  I also highly recommend flashcards. You can make and run through flashcards while you watch CySA+ videos! I recommend LetsDefend content and tickets, of course. Check out the sections I mentioned in number 4, they really apply. Pay extra attention to your IoCs and malicious processes.

Also, catch a sale on and buy Jason Dion’s CySa+ video series PLUS his 6 pack of practice tests. It has been my experience more than once that Jason Dion’s practice tests are worded the closest to the actual test, then other options. His video series is unparalleled. Good Luck on your CySa+ and attaining your personal goals!

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