Show No Weakness

There I stood on the peak of Mount Elbrus in Russia, having triumphantly ascended my second of the 7 highest summits on Earth. A profound feeling of accomplishment filled my being, yet deep inside was a small but real feeling of isolation. Because my whole life, I let my ego get in the way.


I was born in Riverside, California, and at 12, we moved to Arkansas and shortly after my parents divorced. I lived with my mom who was addicted to pain meds and other drugs, didn’t work and so we lived below the poverty line. We relied on food stamps, welfare and W.I.C.

For reasons I’m unsure about, I was afraid to get close to people. I played football, but I was also smart, but I also liked heavy metal, so I felt out of place from each particular clique.

My internal response was, ‘Well if I don’t belong, I’ll be the best at everything.’ And I built my life on that premise. I took a position that I’ve got everything covered, that I’m an entity unto myself.

I didn’t want to show any weakness and I pushed myself to be the best.

I lived in the relentless pursuit of achievement.
I rose to a VP position in the intellect-ego driven world of cybersecurity. I stood atop mountain summits. Did 23 Ironmans. 300 skydives. 200 scuba dives. 50-mile ultramarathons. Traveled to 70 countries. I even trained on survival with the legendary Bear Grylls.

But as my life went on, I was slowly realizing that projecting myself as the best and smartest was a lonely proposition. I did a lot of amazing things, but I didn’t belong anywhere.

Until 2014.

Christian Espinosa - Ironman

2014 is the year I started my own cybersecurity company. And entrepreneurship was forced personal growth.

Christian Espinosa - Alpine Security

Cybersecurity is a field where people want to be seen as smart or they pretend they’re smart. Continual posturing as “The Smartest Guy in the Room.” A lot of ego. And I had this M.O. mastered. I avoided joining groups, and if I went to a group function it was only to demonstrate myself as the best or smartest. Embarrassing to admit, but true.

But suddenly here I was, an entrepreneur with other entrepreneurs offering me good advice, and I was closed to everyone’s ideas, trying to maintain my image as having all the answers. It wasn’t good. And it forced me to take a long hard look at an important question:

What is it costing me to always posture myself as The Smartest Guy in the Room?

I realized it was costing me growth. Costing me great solutions that could come from others. And deepest of all, costing me a sense of belonging. The very thing I’d never felt my entire life.

So I made a conscious choice to change my whole M.O.

I decided to achieve belonging.

I changed from always taking the position that I’ve got everything covered, to seeking the council of others. And I joined groups, not to demonstrate I was smart, but rather to belong, to add value – and to receive support.

Today, I belong to many groups that benefit me tremendously. My cybersecurity company is a place where everyone knows their brilliant ideas are wanted. And I’ve found new purpose in coaching highly intelligent technical people who have hit a glass ceiling, or who wonder why their less-capable peers get promoted instead of them, to breakdown the ego and master the soft-skills that really move the needle.

Oh, and I still climb mountains, run far distances, dive deep into oceans, and jump out of airplanes, but now I do these things with friends for pleasure.


About Christian

Christian Espinosa is Alpine Security’s CEO/Founder.

He holds over 25 certifications, including the CISSP, CCISO, and PMP. Christian is a US Air Force veteran with a BS in Engineering from the US Air Force Academy and MBA from Webster University. Christian holds multiple patents on cybersecurity attack and defense.

Major recent projects include completing his book, “The Smartest Person in the Room“, selling Alpine Security to Cerberus Sentinel, penetration testing and assessments of commercial aircraft, medical device penetration testing, and numerous incident response projects.

When Christian isn’t protecting us from cybercriminals, he climbs mountains, travels the world, teaches outdoor wilderness survival, and competes in Ironman triathlons.

Alpine Security (“Alpine”), now part of Cerberus Sentinel, provides full-spectrum cybersecurity services and training, under the Cerberus Sentinel brand. Cerberus’s goals are to help organizations reduce cybersecurity risk and empower cybersecurity professionals with the skills necessary to effectively assist their organizations.

Cerberus’s cybersecurity services include penetration testing, incident response, risk assessments, virtual CISO, and auditing. Our highly certified and experienced team uses a proven and trusted methodology.

Cerberus has experience assessing, testing, and working in complex and high-risk environments, such as offshore drilling platforms, commercial and military aircraft, medical devices (deployed and in-development), blockchain, ICS/SCADA, and embedded systems. Our medical device penetration division aims to improve patient safety, while reducing medical device manufacturer and healthcare provider risk.

Cerberus’s cybersecurity training focuses on cybersecurity certifications, such as Certified CISO, CISSP, CEH, Security+, and Advanced Penetration Testing.

Cerberus Sentinel is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ.

Certifications, Non-inclusive List

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Roles, Non-inclusive List

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Air Force Officer

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DoD Contractor

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Cybersecurity Trainer




Freelancer Cybersecurity Consultant


R&D Director

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Vice President

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Owner / Founder

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