Digital Forensics and Cyber Security BSc (Hons) student György Antal took some time to talk to us about his degree and how it’s helping him find his place in the world.
What makes the course a valuable degree for you?
I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities so far, that I otherwise would not have had if I hadn’t been at London Met, such as attending competitions, getting involved in real projects and being appointed a Success Coach. As a Success Coach I mentor first-year students and provide them with extra support, such as helping them fully understand their coursework and gain confidence with it. Most recently, I was part of a group of five students who were involved in an online capture-the-flag competition.This involved different challenges such as weak password guessing, pin number cracking and SQL injection, which ranged from easy to difficult. In the qualifying round, my team managed to achieve third place. We completed an extra challenge, which was called Boot-to-Root where we had to discover vulnerability of a machine and acquire administrator privileges. We finally placed in second position. It was a great experience. The competition ran for five days!
What are your lecturers like?
I found my lecturers to be approachable, friendly and very supportive. Generally speaking, the lecturers are always there to help you with your progress. It’s always easy to engage with them on the subject they teach.
How do you find the facilities at London Met?
My favourite place is the University’s library, which provides the perfect environment for groups who want to work on their projects together, or individual students who want a quiet place to focus on their studies. I go to the library pretty often; if I have a break between my classes I go over to have lunch and relax at the coffee area for a bit or to catch up with my work – it’s the perfect environment to do both.
What do you do outside lectures when you have free time? Any favourite London spots?
Apart from constantly working on my problem solving and programming skills, which I try to do every day, I love taking part in sports. I like everything relating to sports. I follow mixed martial arts and football. I also like being in nature. I really enjoy mountain climbing. Recently, I went to the Tatras in Poland to climb a 2,093 metre peak called Szoliszko. On another day of the trip I did a 17-km hike as well. It was an amazing place and I will definitely return to climb a different point of the mountain. In London, I like to visit parks – one of my favourites is Kyoto Garden in Holland Park.
Can you tell us what your career plans are?
My career goals constantly change as I discover new areas of interest within cyber security. My aim, however, is to become a professional penetration tester, where I would be a security professional hired to test the security infrastructure of the hiring company. I would be basically simulating an attack and trying to gain access to the system. I think it’s exciting because this is a constantly evolving field, and penetration testers need to keep finding creative ways to try to trick users or exploit the logical flaws of the system.
Can you tell us how you've found things as a mature student at London Met?
I’ve found the London Met community to be diverse and a welcoming environment where everyone can be themselves. I had the usual fears about it being the right time to start a degree, but I’ve never regretted my decision and in fact I am really enjoying the challenges the course brings me.
What led you to choose to study in London, and at London Met specifically?
I attended an open day and liked how the lectures introduced the content of the whole course. The University also had a Digital Forensics and IT security course, which is quite rare, and only provided by a few universities.
Are you a member of any clubs or societies? Can you give us details if so?
I’m a member of the Computer Society which provides frequent emails about upcoming talks regarding to IT. I’ve attended several interesting ones which was mostly related to security, but they also organise talks relating to other aspects of computing. I like to attend talks where the guest speakers come from big companies such as Lloyds, Met Police or Google, where you can speak to the guests and network.
Did anything surprise you about London Met?
I was surprised to see the amount of support available to students. There’s a rich supply of study materials and lecture notes, and also additional extra materials from workshop tasks, which are of vital help and very useful when preparing for exams.