Updated: Aug 3
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Ansh, a Google Security Engineering Intern.
What first got you interested in cybersecurity, and what was your cybersecurity education before the internship?
"I was always fascinated with technology as a child. I knew I wanted to do something in the field of Computer Science. Still, I did not have a clear idea until a seminar in high school in January 2016 by the Indian School of Ethical Hacking where the speaker demonstrated how to hack a Wi-Fi network. I was intrigued by the prospect of getting paid to tinker and hack systems legally and I have kept trying to learn new things about the field ever since. I started using Linux and watching YouTube tutorials on hacking trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible."
What was the interview process like, and what steps did you take to prepare for the interview?
"There were multiple rounds of interviews testing my knowledge across a wide range of domains including but not limited to networking, operating systems, penetration testing, and security policies. To prepare for the interview, I focused on reinforcing my basics and keeping up to date with security trends."
At an elevated level, what are some projects that you were assigned during your time at Google?
"In my first internship with Google, I created an on-demand cloud-based testing platform for Threat Detection scripts that eliminated the need for manual testing and reduced the testing time to 60 seconds."
"Currently, I am working on performing Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) based investigations to determine how an external attacker would attempt to attack Google."
What advice do you have for someone looking for a cybersecurity internship, specifically, a FAANG internship?
"Regardless of whether someone pursues a FAANG internship or not, it is crucial to demonstrate your skills through projects, competitions, and CTFs. I started by creating automation tools in cryptography and doing cybersecurity research. Certifications are advantageous but not a hard requirement."
In summary, it is essential to maintain a basic foundation of skills, continue to reinforce those skills, and to keep up to date with cybersecurity trends. Learning can be done simply through Youtube tutorials, and you should apply what you learn through practical applications such as projects.