Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

National Apprenticeship Week: Early in Cyber Podcast

February 8, 2024

5 – 11 February 2024 marks National Apprenticeship Week in the UK. This week we’ll be showcasing and celebrating our apprentices around the business. We sat down with Shammas Hanif, Security Consultant and former Apprentice to find out more about his Early in Cyber Podcast.

Introduce yourself:

Hello, I’m Shammas Hanif also known as CyberShams – The Bearded Consultant. I’m currently working as a Security Consultant at Cisco, within the organisation’s Security Center of Excellence (which specialises in Security Advisory/Consultative services), and am the host of the Early in Cyber podcast.

What is the Early in Cyber podcast?

Great question, the podcast centres around providing a platform for early in career individuals and career changers to get the answers they need when it comes to pursuing a career in cybersecurity. Each episode we invite a cybersecurity superstar to discuss their journey into the cybersecurity space to understand how they got to where they are today. But not only that, we give our listeners the opportunity to send in any questions they may have for our guest.

We strive to host guests from varying backgrounds to inspire the next generation that no matter where you have come from you can indeed have a career in cyber.

What inspired you to start this podcast?

I have been lucky enough to complete a degree apprenticeship at Cisco, a giant in the tech industry, which allowed me to network with several individuals. Through these conversations, I have been able to learn a great deal , shaping my security pathway. I understand that a lot of individuals don’t have the same opportunity as I did, and that’s why I want to do my bit to help out. Whether it’s individuals still at school, graduates or even individuals looking for a career change, I believe that anyone can tune into the podcast and be inspired to create their journey as well.

Your launch episode was with Talos Lead; Martin Lee, give us your favourite tidbit from that episode?

Ooooh, that’s a difficult question to answer. I’ve known Martin for a while now, so I always enjoy his stories. I guess it’s learning how Martin ended up where he is today by accident (which I have to say seems to be a common trend amongst my guests – haha).

How do you hope this podcast will help the next generation of cybersecurity experts?

The podcast’s main goal is to demonstrate that ANYONE can be in cyber, no matter their background. I have guests who have had very ‘traditional’ routes, where they have studied BSc Computer Science or BSc in Cybersecurity. But, interestingly, I have guests who have completed Social & Political studies degrees, so it’s a really odd mix.

Also, there’s moments where you wish you could ask a security individual for some advice. Well, this is the platform that gives you the opportunity to do so!

What can we expect this year from Early in Cyber?

This year, we’re looking to continue to grow the podcast with more security experts from across the cybersecurity space. Alongside this, be sure to look out for more of our giveaways (last time we gave away a signed copy of Martin Lee’s book!).

But apart from that, I encourage all listeners to reach out with any feedback or suggestions they might have so we can grow this space to tailor to everyone’s needs.

(Also, if any potential guests want to reach out – you’re more than welcome to do so!)

For our next guest we will be having the AWESOME Dr Jessica Barker, so be sure to send in your questions!

Where can we find your podcast?

You can find our Podcast on Spotify, We also have a LinkedIn page which you can follow to keep up to date with all our latest announcements.

Finally, reach out to us through Twitter/X or email:
Twitter/X: @CyberShams

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