RIOT Solutions

Defence to Cyber – it works!

17 January 2022
Published by Rob Merkwitza

, Managing Director

Defence to Cyber Security

At RIOT, we are passionate about cross-skilling Defence Force veterans into the world of cyber. We find the trained mindsets and mannerisms correlate very well into the world of cyber security. Our most recent veteran explained his story below.

After being medically discharged from the defence force, I spent almost 12 months working with the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) work rehab program, trying to find my feet in the civilian world. I was unable to use military trade qualifications to secure a position within the trade industry due to the injuries I had suffered during my time in the army.

There was a lot of pressure on me to find employment and due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was impossible to find companies that were willing to take on new employees or volunteers.

Due to my physical injuries, I also required ongoing support and understanding from any company that was to employ me. I am unable to sit or stand for long extended periods of time, which subsequently ruled out a lot of job potentials that were physically intensive or demanding.

The DVA work rehab program supported me in exploring new job opportunities and after lengthy discussions, I decided that I wanted to enter the world of cyber security.

“It is my opinion that it is the future and while many industries were going backwards with COVID-19 it had grown substantially therefore being a safe and secure career path.”

It is my opinion that cyber security is the future, and while many industries were going backwards with Covid-19, IT had grown substantially, therefore being a safe and secure career path.

It was also my understanding that this career would give me opportunities to work from home and manage my injuries. After coming to this decision, I got in touch with RIOT and expressed my interest in their company and line of work. In return, RIOT offered me a three-month internship, which allowed me to find my feet within the industry, being able to learn and experience the cyber security world.

While I had reservations about being unskilled in this industry, RIOT didn’t have any hesitations in taking me on as a full-time employee.  They were confident that my skills and experiences from the military would be a sufficient foundation for them to build on. RIOT was very understanding and compassionate towards my injuries and provided me with the flexibility to work within my limitations. They liaised with work rehab for me and set up a workstation that met all my physical requirements such as a sit/stand desk and an ergonomic chair. This made integrating back into the workforce so much easier for me, as it allowed me to self-manage my injuries throughout the day.

“RIOT has provided me with the flexibility to work within my limitations.”

During my employment with RIOT, I have been given several different training and learning opportunities such as online courses, hands-on learning, shadowing other employees, ongoing support and guidance from other team members. The support and training has been invaluable, as I am constantly being taught new skills to keep up with the growing industry.

RIOT has allowed me to work from home on days that I require and have been supportive and flexible for me so that I can have a healthy work-life balance. I have had continuous support from my team members as I began my new career in cyber security. The senior members of RIOT liaised with DVA to afford me the opportunity of joining this great team.

“The support and training from RIOT has been invaluable.”

The best part of my job is being able to see and be a part of triaging real world events in real time. Getting to see experts in their field combatting ever-growing threats, and learning from them has been an eye-opening experience.

I would encourage fellow veterans that are looking to make the jump into cyber to do so. This is a rewarding career, that will provide a vast number of opportunities that can be tailored to your needs”.

Ben Mitchell – Graduate Engineer | Former RAEME Fitter Armourer