I rubbed my eyes and read the message again.
"Sir, I can't afford the ten dollars for your computer forensic course. Can I please get it for free?"
By that point in my life, many people had come with their hand out asking to get free access to training.
But, this guy was different. He was from Bangladesh.
You see, up to that point everyone else asking for free access had been located in the U.S. and their social media profiles showed them buying the latest phone and eating at expensive restaurants, but they claimed they could not afford a $10 course that would improve their lives.
I researched the salary in Bangladesh and found out that $10 USD was the average monthly salary at that time, so I gave this gentleman a coupon to take the course for free and told him to "make me proud".
Six months later, I received another message from him, thanking me and letting me know the course helped him get a job working as a computer forensic investigator and that he now had the money to send his two young daughters to school for the first time in years.
This was my wake up call into how we enjoy economic empowerment here in the U.S. that others can only dream of.
It was also the start of my journey to democratize cybersecurity education.
We have a huge shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals around the world to fight the bad guys and as society, we can't afford to keep charging individuals thousands of dollars for cybersecurity training that should be low cost or free.
That's why I created my company, Cyber Life LLC, where we offer the Cyber Life School.
All of our courses in the Cyber Life School are under the "Pay What You Can" model.
This means if you don't have the money to pay for the training, it's free. Forever.
We can do this because we don't have outside investors that are solely focused on profit and less focused on the human element (or Layer 8 of the OSI model as we call it).
A cybersecurity training school. Built by real cybersecurity professionals with decades of experience.
Some people call us crazy.
Maybe we are crazy.
I mean, a cybersecurity training school that everyone can attend and afford. Who does that?
Well, WE did it because helping you is the right thing to do.