In this episode, you'll meet your host, Jason Nickola, a leading cybersecurity practitioner who also happens to be GSE certified and a SANS SEC560 instructor. We'll also discuss the focus of our podcast - overcoming imposter syndrome - and the format of each episode, featuring distinguished guests, along with practical tips for combatting feelings of not belonging in the workplace.

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Jason is a Senior Security Consultant and COO at Pulsar Security, specializing in pentesting and red teaming. Equally passionate about enabling others in their journeys as he is about security and technology, Jason is an organizer of the BSides NH conference, a frequent speaker and trainer at both local and national events, and a founder of TechRamp, a nonprofit which aids in the transition to technical careers. He is a three-time Core Netwars Tournament champion and one of just 23 people in the world named by the SANS Institute as both a Red Team and Blue Team Cyber Guardian.

Jason has earned a long list of technical certifications including GIAC Security Expert (GSE), Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE), GXPN, GWAPT, GPEN, GREM, GCIA, GMON, GMOB, GNFA, GCUX, GCIH, GCWN, GCCC, GAWN, GSEC, GPYC, GSNA, GDAT, GCFA, GCDA, GCFE, GLEG, Certified Ethical Hacker, Security+, Network+, and OSCP.


Jason Nickola: Hey everyone, thanks so much for joining us on "Trust Me, I'm Certified," the new podcast from GIAC Certifications. I'm Jason Nickola and I'll be your host as we interview special guests about building your skills and an overall career in InfoSec. We'll cover topics such as imposter syndrome, training and certifications, mentorship, and so much more that I hope you all enjoy and really find some value in.

I'm a senior security consultant at Pulsar Security, a SANS instructor for SEC560 and the GPEN cert, and I'm also GSE number 218. But my path to this point in a career in InfoSec has been fairly non-standard, and I really can't overstate the role that some of the things we'll explore together on the show have played in my own personal development. Whether it's pushing myself to engage with the larger community by operating events such as BSides New Hampshire or building confidence and skills through training, certs, and the mentorship of some truly talented practitioners out there in the field, there's so many lessons and tips from my own journey that I can't wait to share with our listeners - to share with you.

But it's not always easy to build a career in InfoSec, especially with some of the complicated technologies that we deal with and the speed at which things change. So, one of the biggest reasons why I'm excited about hosting this show is that we have the opportunity to make things even just a little bit easier for anyone who might be discouraged or is still struggling to build their skills and break into the field, or even anyone who's just trying to manage their growth in their own career.

To do that, we have some truly fantastic guests lined up for the show, including Phillip Wiley, Chris Elgee, Ayman Elsawah, Chris Cochran, and Lesley Carhart, who will join us on our first full episode and deep dive into the world of imposter syndrome, which is something that we're starting to hear a lot more about in the InfoSec industry. But it's actually a lot broader than that, and 70% of people across the board admit to feeling like an imposter at some point in their careers. So, we'll cover this topic with Lesley and revisit it with other guests in an effort to really show that even some of the most accomplished and well-known people in their industry have grappled with the same feelings of inadequacy and kind of internal gatekeeping that are really hallmarks of imposter syndrome.

We'll also look at some of the ways that our guests have dealt with these feelings, including things like finding community and mentorship or the role that continued education, training, and certification can play in building confidence and just becoming more secure in your skills and abilities. So, we're really excited to have you along with us for the show and for this journey. Please do subscribe to the show so that you can get updates and new episodes as soon as they hit the air. And you can do that wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting Thank you so much and we'll see you next time with Lesley Carhart for our first full episode. Thanks!