learning and training goals for 2023

It’s already June, which means almost half the year is over. But, I’d still like to post about my thoughts and goals and ideas for 2023. I should probably slow down and spend more time on other things, but even if I do that, these are still things I’d like to pursue or think I can get to this year.

I have a shorter list this year. Due to gentle life changes and getting older, one habit I’ll go on record (to keep myself accountable) is getting physically active again. I’ve already been going down this path, but it needs to be continued and expanded.

Formal Training/Certifications

Renew GIAC GWAPT (SEC542). This is completed already, though I still have an need to go through the new material and course recordings.

Renew AWS Security Specialty certification. This is completed already.

Renew CISSP. Also already done. This is just a fee plus CPEs, but I keep this on my list every year as a reminder

Antisyphon course at WWHF. I’ve been doing training through Antisyphon for several years now, and there are still courses on offer that I want to attend. I may opt for a subscription format someday, but if not, I’d like to take something later this year with WWHF, either virtually or in person.

That’s really it for formal things. I only had one renewal exam to take this year, and no other major certifications on tap to pursue, though there are some topics that I could pursue, such as some red team courses/certs, or access to Offensive Security via subscription, or MS Azure/M365 certs. But, I just don’t want to commit time and/or money to them at this time. I suppose those could all be stretch goals or something to slot in if I feel the bug.

Informal Learning

Defcon. It’s been more than several years since I’ve been to Defcon. I’m going this year.

Books. I have lots of books to go through on various topics.

Courses. I have lots of course materials and/or things that I would like to get to on a more informal basis.

BlueTeamLabs.online. I still go through new content they release, but this is super infrequent and I otherwise have all of their content solved.

Purple team home lab. I’d actually like to stand up the Splunk Attack Range or Kali Purple or another blue team lab setup in my home lab. I already have a lab, but I don’t have, say, a full SIEM stood up or an attacker emulation environment set up at any given time (do you run the leaked and untrusted Cobalt Strike code on your home network?). I’d like to hone that process and then also consume it with self-directed activities like further C2 and attacker emulation practice. Basically, I want to be able to practice all aspects of purple teaming (blue and red) at home, including malware analysis and red team tradecraft. The key is being able to do this efficiently. It’s one thing to want to study advanced topics, but too often students like myself spend all their time on the environment and burn out before getting to the real juice. Standing up this environment needs to be as painless to me as standing up an AD environment or a Kali attack box or my normal home lab with firewalls and isolation. And often this comes down to rote practice, familiarity, and the right level of automation that isn’t itself onerous to maintain.

Parting Thoughts

That’s also really it on the informal side. This is the first year in a long time I’ve not had a subscription to some learning content that I was paying for on my own. I’ll get back to that for sure, but I’m taking a small break from pre-scheduled things.

And it’s not like I don’t get plenty of learning and geekery otherwise. I’m in year 23 of an IT and infosec career and work daily as a senior analyst with my blue and red feet in many ponds at the same time. There are really no days that go by where I’m not learning something new, practicing skills, or sharing my knowledge to someone.

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