christian espinosa

The Cybersecurity Status Quo Needs to Change

cybersecurity certificationsThis is a transcript of the video at the bottom of the post.

In 1997, Apple came out with the commercial Here’s to the Crazy Ones. 20 plus years later, that commercial still resonates with me. Steve Jobs came up with a lot of the material for that commercial based on his life. He always felt like he didn’t quite fit in or was a misfit. He felt like he wanted to challenge the status quo. He also was called crazy a lot for dreaming too big, but instead of trying to follow the status quo or fit in, he embraced his uniqueness and ended up changing the world and having a huge impact. I feel the same way about cybersecurity, because, with cybersecurity, there is a status quo, this movement that we just keep following, but it’s not helping. A lot of people would call me crazy for wanting to challenge the status quo, but the status quo was not working.

And we know this. There’s plenty of evidence of this because of the different data breaches every day. One of the reasons the status quo is not working, or I believe it’s the primary reason is we’ve overly complicated cybersecurity. Instead of focusing on a few things and doing those few things very well, that few things that will reduce the risk the most, we try to get everyone to do hundreds of things. We can’t do hundreds of things very well, and what happens is we ended up doing them all half-assed, really.

I used to work with this guy and I always think of this scenario. I used to work with him and he was working these two projects once, and he was having a little bit of trouble figuring out which one took priority or which one took precedence. So he went and asked his boss, which one of these two projects takes priority? His boss told him they’re both an equal priority. His response was, “Okay. Well, I guess I’ll do both of them half-assed.” It’s the same concept as cybersecurity. If we try to do too many things, we ended up doing them half-assed. We should focus on just a few things and do them very well. Most data breaches are caused by a misconfiguration or an unpatched system. These are two simple things to fix, but you can’t focus on those things if you’re focusing on the other 98 stuff, 98 items that don’t really matter. This time, we challenge the cybersecurity status quo. What we’re doing is not working. We need to think different, as Apple would say. Here’s to the crazy ones.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Are You Caught in the Success Trap?

cybersecurity certificationsThis post is a transcript of the video at the end of this post.

I was at a Tony Robbins event, maybe five or six years ago, where Tony said, “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.” A lot of us fall into this thing that I call the success trap. This means we’ve achieved success, at least according to how society defines success, but we’re unfulfilled and we feel trapped. I think a lot of us fall into this area. This means you may have a job you don’t particularly like, but you’ve been doing it for 10 or maybe 15 years. So you feel vested or invested in this career. And you’ve built up a decent pay structure over these 10 or 15 years. Then you’ve bought a house that you are barely able to afford. Or maybe as you got a new pay raise or promotion, you bought a bigger house. You have a nice car. You have a nice family.

This video excerpt from Up in the Air, says it well:

So you look very successful from the outside, but inside you’re empty and unfulfilled and you feel trapped. The longer in this success trap, as I mentioned, the harder it is to get out. And that’s primarily due to people’s mindset. The idea that keeps you in this trap is if I’ve been at this career for 10 or 15 years, I’ve invested this amount of time in that career. So if I switched careers to do something that I really want to do, you’re going to have to take a step backward, is how a lot of people perceive it, rather than taking a different step. It’s worth asking yourself, “Is a little bit of discomfort to switch careers or to make less money worth your sanity?”

And a lot of people, if they’re in this trap too long, they get out of it. But often not in a pretty way. Some people have a midlife crisis where they just have had enough of the trap and they no longer want to be a lawyer, for instance. They’re going to now become a skydiving instructor or whatever. Some people get addicted to drugs and alcohol or sex, or they have some addictive behavior that’s typically tied to being in that success trap. Some people will actually go as far as killing themselves.

Robin Williams is an example of this. He was very successful, but he wasn’t fulfilled. Kurt Cobain, many celebrities, they have this happen to them. They’re very successful, but they’re not fulfilled. It’s important that what you’re doing with the majority of your time every day aligns with who you are and where you want to go. And it’s never too late to get out of that trap. The sooner you can get out of the success trap and live a life of fulfillment, the better because you will be more centered and your achievements will be in alignment with who you are.

I realize it takes courage. There’s going to be some risk involved to get out of the success trap. But I feel it’s extremely important, especially for people’s mental health. One of the biggest shifts that will benefit you is to shift your mindset. Just because your friends or your family think you’re successful if you don’t feel fulfilled and you want to do something else who gives a shit, what they think about it? It’s your life. You’re the only one that can tell if you’re fulfilled. They can’t.

And I know there’s a lot of peer pressure about playing a safe and having a stable job. But if you’re miserable, what is it really costing you? You’ll be much happier, probably having a job, making less money, maybe even living in a smaller house, maybe driving a less expensive car. If you’re living something more in alignment with your purpose.

I’ve talked to many people over my career. Many people I’ve met at events, many people that I’ve known that have had this high paying job. They’ve had all these nice things they look successful. But then they did decide to take a step in a different direction. They let all these things go. They have fewer things over here. But they’re much happier because they’re living a life that’s intentional and is in alignment with what they feel is their purpose, rather than what society feels or defines as success. So I encourage you to get out of the success trap. The sooner you can get out of it, the better.

I hope you found value in this video. If you are currently in the success trap or you’ve made it out of the success trap, please tell us a little bit about your story in the comments for this video. Have a great day.

The Hero’s 2 Journeys – Achievement & Transformation

cybersecurity certificationsThis blog post is a transcript from the video at the bottom of the post.

Pretty much for any endeavor or goal, we try to achieve in life, there are two journeys we’re on. I first heard of these two journeys, I think, from this book called The Hero’s 2 Journeys. It’s also a course by Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler. But these two journeys are critical to storytelling, but they’re true to life as well. And that’s why with storytelling, they help so much, because people want a story that relates to real life. The two journeys are the outer journey and the inner journey. So if you’re pursuing something and it’s a massive goal, from the outside, people can see the steps you’re taking. They can see the things that didn’t work. They can see your journey towards that goal. So if this is a cybersecurity certification, they can see the studying you’re putting in, the videos you’re watching, the bootcamp you take. They can see all the activities. So that’s one of those hero’s journeys, and it doesn’t have to be a hero’s journey, it is just called the hero’s journey.

The second one, which is more important, is the inner journey. So the first one I described as the outer journey, the one everyone can see as you’re moving towards some goal or achievement. The inner journey though is what’s really important. That’s the transformation you make along the way. So how you change internally, how your belief system changes, how your identity changes, et cetera, et cetera. Because in order to achieve your goal, if it’s a big goal, you may have to change internally to become a different person capable of achieving that goal. So that’s the second journey, and that’s the transformation. So really, if you want to think about the two journeys, there’s the journey of achievement, which is external, and there’s the journey of transformation, which is internal. And for any good story, we need these two elements.

Because I think a lot about how this applies to life, for life, when you pursue something, people can see if you achieve it or not. But really what happens if you’re pursuing a new career, a new certification, a college degree, the most important part, and I think people lose focus of this sometimes, is the transformation of you through that process. Because often to achieve a higher goal, or if you set a higher standard for yourself, through that process, you become a better person or you develop different capabilities, or you change your belief system to support this new thing you’re trying to obtain. And sometimes through this journey, you may realize that this thing you’re trying to obtain, this achievement or goal, isn’t actually that important anymore. Because through this process, you’ve grown and figured out what really matters to you. That’s the transformation. I urge you if you’re pursuing a goal, to think not only about what you’re trying to achieve, but think about the journey you’re on, and how this changes you as a person.


How The Confidence Competence Loop Can Benefit You

cybersecurity certificationsThis blog post is a transcription from the video at the bottom of the post.

What is the confidence/competence loop? I’m Christian Espinosa with Alpine Security, and that’s the topic of this video, competence, confidence, and the loop that ties those two together. So confidence is our belief we can do something. Competence is the ability we can do something. The confidence/competence loop means if we believe we can do something, we’ll actually take action to do it, which increases our competence, which then increases our confidence, which allows us to take more action.

So it’s sort of like the chicken and egg scenario because, without the initial confidence, we’re not likely to take a step to gain the competence. Without the confidence, we sort of step back in fear and we’re afraid we are not going to be competent. So we don’t take the action that’s required to become competent. That’s where the confidence/comes into play. The hardest part for most people is getting up over that initial fear.

Initially, when we start some sort of endeavor like the Security+ certification or anything in life that’s a challenge, we don’t have the confidence yet. So we have to get over the fear or put the fear aside and take the first step or the first action to build some competence, which will then increase our confidence. Once we get this cycle going, that will propel us forward to achieve the objective.

I’m really curious about your experience with the confidence/competence loop. Please note your experience if you’d like as a comment to this video. Also, please subscribe to our channel. You can click on the little bell as well to get notified when we have cool videos come out, actually notifies you when we have any video come out. So you can decide if they’re cool or not, but you’ll get notified when a new video comes out. Thanks for watching, and I hope this video helps you take that first step to become competent and then confident and spiral forward to achieve your goals.


cybersecurity certificationsThis post is a transcript from the video at the end of this post.

FOMO is the fear of missing out. JOMO is the joy of missing out.

Many of us focus on FOMO, which is basically trying to keep up with the Jones’s. We see if somebody else is going on a vacation, if they’re buying a new house, buying a new car, getting a new job, going to a specific event, we feel like we’re missing out if we’re not doing the same thing, but the reality is you’re chasing somebody else’s desires rather than your own.

For me, I focus on JOMO, which is the joy of missing out. I really don’t care what other people are doing. If people are going on a vacation somewhere or they’re living this great lifestyle on social media, that’s great. I’m happy for them, but it doesn’t mean I should feel anxious about it or have anxiety because I do the things I want to do, which I need to focus on. And, if I focus on what everybody else is doing and have this fear that I’m missing out, it’s going to detract from me accomplishing the things that I want to accomplish and live into my full potential.

If you are looking at social media and you have FOMO, the fear of missing out, and you constantly live in a state of anxiety because you may not be living up to the Jones’s or “keeping up with the Jones’s” as they say, I recommend you consider JOMO and maybe get some joy in missing out. I don’t really care what other people are doing. I don’t care about the news. I don’t care about people going on vacation somewhere. I mean, I like it and I’m glad people are happy, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out just because somebody else is in Hawaii or Acapulco or wherever, I don’t feel jealous or “jelly” as they say, because I’m doing my own things. If you constantly feel jealous about somebody else and what they’re doing, because you have FOMO, it’s not really serving any purpose. It’s really just making you depressed and making you hold back on what you’re capable of. So, embrace JOMO instead of FOMO.


How to Get More Time in Your Day Without Waking Up Earlier

cybersecurity certificationsThis blog post is a transcription from the video at the bottom of the post.

How to get more time in your day without waking up earlier. In this post, we’ll cover three tips to make you more productive, to give you back more time in your day without having to cut into your sleep. I’m Christian Espinosa. I’m the CEO of a company. I do Ironman triathlons. I climb mountains. I travel a lot. So productivity is extremely important to me and I’m constantly striving to become more productive. I’ve learned these three techniques over my lifespan and that’s what I’m sharing with you today. So number one is monotasking. We live in this world where everyone thinks it’s normal to multitask, but multitasking is inefficient. There are many studies that show it’s inefficient.

So you should be monotasking, which means you’re focused on one thing, 100% focused on one thing at a time. This way you can get one thing done before you move on to another one or make significant headway on one task before you move on to another one. Your brain can’t really focus on two things at once. Hence, monotasking. The second thing is time blocks. Some people call it block time. You should set your day up so you have blocks of activities scheduled and each of these blocks is set up where you monotask on a specific project or activity for that block of time. Then between each block of time, which is the third thing, you have active breaks. It’s too easy to just sit at your computer or at a job for hours at a time.

But what happens after roughly 50 minutes is your focus starts to wander and you’re less effective. Even if you’re monotasking, you still need a break every 50-60 minutes or so.

time block example - christian espinosa
Time Block Example

Here’s an example of some time blocks:

  • Time Block 1: Between 7:00 am and 8:00 am, you do email. This is a time block with monotasking. You only do email between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning. That’s it. What most people do is they’ll start a project, and while they’re working on the project, they’ll answer emails, answer text messages, answer the phone, and they make zero progress on the project. So only do email on this time block, and this is just a suggestion. You can do it however you want to
  • Active Break: Then between 8:00 am and  8:10 am, you notice I have a 10-minute break between these two, that 10 minutes is where you take the active break. You do something like get up, walk around, maybe do some pushups, whatever you want to do to get the blood flowing because we sit for too long in front of the computer most of the time.
  • Time Block 2: Then the next period of time block or block of time, I have project one. So I only work on project one during this time block. I don’t do email. I don’t answer the phone. Only project one.
  • Active Break: Next time block I have a break between them. I do something active, walk around, go for a walk, go outside.

Then I do personal development, as the example, then another break, then project two. Some people say, “Well, I’ve got a lot of work to do on a specific project.” That’s okay. You set up two blocks of time for that project, but make sure you take that 10-minute break between the two so you don’t start zoning out or getting distracted or losing your focus. That’s where the active break comes into play. Even if it’s as simple as going outside for a short walk, that will help get the blood flowing and often clear your head, and then you come back with a fresh perspective and can often make more progress on that particular project. So the three things to get a quick review, monotasking, time blocks, and active breaks.

I hope you found these three tips useful. Good luck with your productivity. Take care.