Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Nick: Packt got in touch with me to do a Technical Review for a book called “Cybersecurity Leadership Demystified”. My knack for research and love of writing got noticed by Packt and afterwards the Packt Team made me an offer to write a book. I was excited but I did not choose to write the book at this time. I was approached by a team in Dubai, who asked me what my hobbies were and I was a bit reluctant to answer. I told them that I loved writing but I haven’t written a book with my name yet. I said it was a future dream and having this dream made me curious so I asked the Packt Team during December 2021, about any books that they had on their list to be written for 2022. They said that they had a Blue Team Strategies book lined up for writing, This gave me an opportunity to share my experience in Blue Teams, having orchestrated a Blue Team in a startup where I led Information Security as a whole. However, being considerably new in my new job at a big pharma organization, I asked Packt to send me a contact and to include a second author someone who I did not know personally. This is how Kunal Sehgal came into the picture. After a while and writing an exceptional outline with Kunal, our journey for this book started.
Q: What is the name of your book?
Nick: CyberSecurity Blue Team Strategies.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Nick: What matters most at every writing escapade is a well-turning wheel of research and experience combined. This research included my notes on different organizations, I got in touch with as a CISO. During that phase, I also learned how to communicate Cyber-Security to my peers and why that was important. Placing all that combined research and experience into a book is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone.
Q: What key takeaways do you want readers to come away with from the book?
Nick: As mentioned previously, the key takeaway that I would like someone to come away with is our deep love for Security and a general awareness of how Blue Teams work in an organization.
Q: Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Nick: Yes. Here they are: 1. https://thehackernews.com/
Q. Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Nick: Sometimes there was a writing block. However, I feel that a writer should take his time and face the storms that are winding in his mind, in order to bring something to the world.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Nick: What I really enjoyed working with Packt, was the welcoming spirit that motivated the team to help two aspiring authors complete a book. I would definitely recommend Packt to other authors because they might be demanding when work needs to be done but they always offer a solution.
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Nick: Our book was the combination of experiences of myself and Kunal, and I can’t unfortunately compare it with others but my understanding is that a book should be like a well of knowledge, some people may like it while others will not, but our work will hold its ground with others of its kind, because it focuses on how to defend a company against people who may want to harm it. Our book is quite easy to understand, and it can teach you all the concepts and methods for Blue Teams. Highly recommended to any IT person or organization who wishes to specialize in Blue Team Security. Our love for Information Security was placed in this book, and I feel this as the only reason why this book should be bought by anyone who wishes to learn about Information Security.
Q. What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Nick: My specialist tech areas are Cyber Security, Research, Compliance, Risk Management, Risk Assessments, Risk Evaluations, Exception Management, Asset Monitoring, Asset Management, Incident Response Management.
Q. What advice would you give to readers jumping into this technology? Do you have any top tips?
Nick: One of the biggest tips that I want to give to our readers is that when you focus on learning about Information Security or Cyber Security, never focus solely on one subject. Always build your knowledge of new areas, that you see around you. Never stop learning! And always be open to hear reviews of your work, but stand firm behind your values and never give up on anything you do.
Q. What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Nick: As mentioned in the book, technologies will always change and our understanding will change with them. There are some main points in Information Security that may change shape but they still remain the same. We are still trying to ensure that an organization will have confidentiality, integrity and availability and everything else that comes from those values is what we should strive for.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Nick: At first we did an outline, then we separated the work according to our collective experience in which field we’d offer more to our readers. Then we set a timetable with the Packt Team and we started writing. We weren’t always on time but we made it right on time.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Nick: My favorite tech journals are: 1. Hacker News
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, mention them below.
Nick: Yes, of course. Here you go: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikolaosthymianis/.
Q: What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Nick: Have an easy understandable example in your mind with which you can use to write a story. For me that was the castle paradigm, I represented an organization as a castle. In order to secure the castle the Blue Team had to build walls, mount the ballistae and make sure the borders of the organization are not attacked by placing different controls, those being detective or preventive. This was the example used mostly across the book to describe the difficultly understood world of Information Security.
You can find Nick’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here