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Drashti Patel

Pen tester

The University of Adelaide has provided Drashti Patel with the cyber security tools she will need to succeed in the space industry.

Drashti Patel has her mind set on a career in the space industry. “Cyber security related to space, that would probably be my dream job,” she says. Studying computer science (advanced) at the University of Adelaide – which she describes as “a great university, where you meet amazing people, great lecturers and you get all the support” – has brought her a big step closer to making that dream a reality.

Her well-structured course has provided Drashti with the foundations to branch off into any area of computer science. At the same time, it has given her more specific cyber security knowledge. “I learned about different attacks and participated in a few ‘capture the flag’ hacking competitions,” she says.

But it was through the ECMS (Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences) Internship program that Drashti really got her feet wet. Spending a semester at Simbiant, a defence and space company, she became a ‘penetration tester’ and was given one task: hack into the company’s systems and network.

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“I was basically acting as an ethical hacker, to make sure their system doesn’t have any loopholes or backdoors where anyone can enter,” she says. “It was quite tough at times but it matched well with my skill sets and I really enjoyed it.”

So, did she find any weaknesses? Well, that’s highly classified.

Drashti’s study and career pathway

This article is brought to you in partnership with The University of Adelaide and originally appears in Careers with STEM: Tech 2020.

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