Becoming a Cybersecurity Journalist and Working in the IT Security Industry with Casey Crane by@casey-crane

Becoming a Cybersecurity Journalist and Working in the IT Security Industry with Casey Crane

Casey Crane HackerNoon profile picture

Casey Crane

Casey Crane is a tech lover and cybersecurity journalist for Hashed Out and Infosec Insights.

So let’s start! Tell us a bit about yourself. For example, name, profession, and personal interests.

My name is Casey Crane and I’m a cybersecurity journalist and Content Manager at The SSL Store. As a writer, my background is rather varied as I’ve worked everything from journalism to higher education marketing and digital marketing. But cybersecurity and IT security are an industry that I love writing about in particular.

When I’m not working, I spend the majority of my time with my family and “fur babies,” cooking, baking, and exercising. (Gotta work off all those goodies somehow, right?)

Interesting! What was your latest Hackernoon Top story about?

From A-Z: The ABCs of Secure Authentication for Enterprises” is an article that I thought would be fun and kind of challenging to take on (in the sense of having to have something that corresponds well with each letter of the alphabet). It provides an overview as well as some specifics of things to keep in mind to make authentication more secure for businesses.

Privacy and data security are two related topics that are near and dear to my heart. Authentication is a critical component that helps make both of those things possible.

Do you usually write on similar topics? If not, what do you usually write about?

You could say that my writing is all over the map in terms of cybersecurity and IT security-related topics. Some days, I’m writing timely articles about new cyber security incidents or regulatory changes. Other days, I’m writing in-depth technical pieces relating to the specifics of how the various aspects of public key infrastructure work or how specific types of cyber attacks are carried out.

Great! What is your usual writing routine like (if you have one?)

Not really sure I can say that I have one. I approach every piece of content from the perspective of writing topics that I think my readers want to know and providing them with useful information they can apply to make their lives easier. One of my personal goals is to educate myself each and every day because there’s always something new to learn… this is something I want to help others achieve as well through my content.

Being a writer in tech can be a challenge. It’s not often our main role, but an addition to another one. What is the biggest challenge you have when it comes to writing?

Honestly, the challenges are two-fold. The first is trying to unload my brain enough to focus on it initially as my brain always goes back to other projects I need to get done. In my role as Content Manager, I wear a lot of hats — in addition to managing content for our different sites, I’m also a writer, editor, SEO, graphic designer, and publisher. As the most technical writer at my company, it means I always need to bring my A-game to every piece of content.

The second is that once I get started writing, it’s hard for me to stop. I am a highly analytical person and a perfectionist by nature; this means that I want to be able to share as much information as I can in a way that’s as technically accurate as possible. On one hand, this is great for creating in-depth, highly technical pieces. On the other hand, it also makes it challenging as well to simplify topics in a way that makes sense to less technical readers. This requires really pulling myself back to ensure that I’m not overlooking any of the basics and am using simple analogies to help explain things in a way that makes sense to both types of readers.

What is the next thing you hope to achieve in your career?

I do a lot of research to expand my knowledge within the field of IT and cybersecurity. However, my plan is to start getting some professional cybersecurity certifications under my belt, too. This way, I can expand my knowledge even more and have the cybersec acronyms after my name that back that knowledge.

Wow, that’s admirable. Now, something more casual: What is your guilty pleasure of choice?

Researching the behaviors and psychologies of serial killers. My master’s thesis was an analysis of the relationship between serial killers, the police, and the media and how serial killers are portrayed in the media. While that topic was focused on one specific serial killer and analyzed his letters and messages more from a communications perspective, there is definitely an interesting psychological aspect to consider as to why he did what he did. (Note: I’m not praising him or his actions in any way; rather, for me, researching serial killers it’s about trying to understand the different mindsets of these types of individuals.)

To me, there’s definitely some overlap between serial killers and cybercriminals. They’re both predatory individuals, they often use social engineering tactics to trick, manipulate and coerce people, and they don’t care about the damage they cause (or they even get off on it!).

Do you have a non-tech-related hobby? If yes, what is it?

Coming up with new recipes, biking, music (listening to and performing), and reading.

What can the Hacker Noon community expect to read from you next?

Depends on my mood (i.e., what I feel like writing) or what I think will be of interest to your audience at the time! :)

Thanks for taking time to join our “Meet the writer” series. It was a pleasure. Do you have any closing words?

Yes. Thank you kindly for the honor of being interviewed for one of your “Meet the Writer” articles. I hope that everyone who reads my articles here finds them informative, useful, and interesting. If there are any particular topics you’d like me to “hash out” relating to cybersecurity, public key infrastructure, or other related topics, definitely let me know!