4 Min Read • March 22, 2024

Techforce by Design Testimonial: Troy Allen


We sat down with Troy Allen, Cybersecurity Engineer at Truist, to learn more about his time in SkillStorm’s Techforce by Design program. Troy was part of a cybersecurity cohort that deployed to EY in 2022. Since then, he has accepted a full-time position at Truist, where he utilizes his cybersecurity knowledge and team lead experience he gained at his EY deployment. 


How did you start your career and how did you learn about SkillStorm?

Before I started at SkillStorm I was actually studying physics. Life decided to throw me a little bit of a curveball in my senior year. And long story short, I fell into an IT career and it turned out I loved it. 

Before I came to SkillStorm, I had about three years of experience doing network engineering and network architecture, but I wanted to transition into the cybersecurity field. Although there were a lot of positions open, I wanted to work at SkillStorm. It seemed like a company that was trying to do something different with regards to their training. So I applied, and I got accepted for a SOC Analyst cohort that was deployed to EY after training. During the deployment I did a lot of work for Truist and was put as one of the leads of regulatory matters. Then I got an opportunity to transition from SkillStorm to work at Truist full-time.


How was your experience with SkillStorm?

I loved the training that we did. Eli was my trainer for my cohort, everybody loved him, he was a really awesome guy. I really enjoyed the training, especially the parts about how they required us to dress business professional and present information in a fast paced environment. I think that's something that is important, knowing that you need to be fast and knowing how to articulate yourself a little bit better. 

From a technical perspective, the most important part about the training was the last few weeks, we did a tabletop exercise, where everyone in the cohort was split up into teams. And we had to build a virtual environment. Each group had to do their specific job and one of the people inside of our cohort was a Sacred Insider. And their job was to get in and mess a bunch of stuff up. Everyone else's job was to come together as a team and try to figure out who it was. Everyone got to see how cybersecurity happened from a big picture perspective rather than just one specific role.


How long into your role at EY were you asked to be a lead and take on a leadership role? 

SkillStorm said there is a SOC analyst position that they originally thought wasn't coming through, but did. And long story short, they wanted to know if anyone was interested in doing some project management, just to get on an engagement. I said, yes, I'm pretty open minded, and project management for a large company wasn't something I had done. So I was interested to see what that was about. It was about four or five weeks of being on the engagement when they asked me if I wanted to lead one of the regulatory matters. 


What does a typical day look like for you at Truist? 

The department that I work in is cyber threat detection services. In a nutshell, we make sure that all technology assets across all of Truist are logging centrally into Splunk. That means that if someone stands up a new server, and they might have skipped a step that wasn't seen by their management, we've created an automated process that will alert that department and I'll go and fix it.

I've worked on adding more cybersecurity controls to help progress Truist, documentation, procedures, and frameworks. I’ve also created controls to hold people accountable, and make sure that the process is actually doing what it's supposed to.


How have you grown since your time at SkillStorm? 

A senior manager brought me on full-time at Truist, he knew that I had technical experience and I was helping with the regulatory matters. He wanted me to help finish up as a lead position. I'm currently in a position where it's half technical, half regulatory, and the plan is once we get a lot of these regulatory matters out of our way, towards the end of this year, I'll transition over into a more hands on keyboard technical position. I'm classified as a cybersecurity engineer currently and I think at the end of the year, I'll progress into a senior cybersecurity engineer role.


What was an important lesson you learned while at SkillStorm?

When we would take a quiz, about one in every four or five questions I would think, “I'm kind of sure on what the answer is, but not 100%.” One of the things I still think about to this day is something that Valerie, one of our instructors, said that in situations like that, you don't have to exactly say, “I don't know the answer.” You say, “that's an interesting question. Let me do a little bit of research and come back.“ That little kernel of knowledge was really useful when I got to EY. They would ask questions that I didn't know, right that second, but I knew that I could go and get it. And I use that statement a lot.

If you’re interested in accelerating your career in tech through SkillStorm’s Techforce by Design program or would like to learn more, email apply@skillstorm.com

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