Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering

Chris Lakin (MSCYBER '17)

What made you choose to apply/enroll in the UW Bothell master's in cybersecurity engineering?

The flexibility of evening class schedules, and the prestige that comes along with the name University of Washington. When I speak of my degree to colleagues, I am always surprised how many of my professors and administrators are known throughout the local industry—great to see.

What were some of the highlights of your experience as a student?

Attending the RSA conference as a Student Scholar, participating in various cybersecurity capture the flag competitions, and getting involved in research groups.

What were your most enjoyable classes?

Every class I took with Brent Lagasse. Also, my classes that focused on teaching offensive security tools.

What has been the most challenging part of being a student?

Picking classes and finding life-work balance. Being a student, I sometimes felt guilty taking time off for personal health and relaxation. It seemed there was always an academic paper I should be reading, or a project to be coding. However, by the end of my time at UW Bothell, I learned to enjoy my free time to the fullest. There will always be more papers to analyze, and more lines of code to debug. Find balance on both sides of the equation.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a student?

The time to explore and learn. Whether it was analyzing malware, penetration testing web applications, or developing mobile applications, I felt empowered and supported to investigate whatever I wanted to learn.  My time as a student has been an amazing experience that I will always cherish.

What advice do you have for future students?

Don't waste your time. Work towards learning something new every day.

Where are you currently working, and what is your job title?

Currently, I work at Rhino Security Labs as an engagement manager. Rhino Security Labs is a boutique penetration testing and security assessment firm focused on networks, applications, IoT, and social engineering. Leading the industry with top-tier security research and endorsed by industry leaders, Rhino Security Labs is a trusted security advisor to the Fortune 500.