Why I'm Leaving Cybersecurity Consulting after 8 years of experience

May 15, 2023

Why I left my job as a lead DFIR analyst 7 months ago?


In this blog post, I aim to share a part of my personal journey and provide motivation to readers who may be contemplating similar career choices. While I understand that I talk extensively about myself in this post, rest assured that I'm not a narcissist! So let's dive into why I decided to leave my job as a lead forensic analyst seven months ago.

Background and Experience

Over the past five years, I have had the incredible opportunity to work as a forensic analyst, handling approximately 200 cases of major cyberattacks for prominent companies. Prior to that, I served as a pentester and engaged in security research projects spanning defense and various industries. Along the way, I had the pleasure of participating in and organizing numerous Capture the Flag (CTF) events with the Hexpresso team, who are now cherished friends. Exploiting vulnerabilities, such as heap buffer overflow, has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of my work. I also dabbled in bug bounty programs and freelancing, both of which added to my professional growth and excitement. An attentive reader would say that I did too much stuff to be good at something, which is true in a way. Oh, I had an incredible experience creating a free online cybersecurity school to support those in need. It was absolutely amazing to have 60 students from 10 different countries join us on this journey.

Reflecting on the Hacker Spirit

Although my experiences in cybersecurity consulting have been rewarding, I have come to realize that they may not entirely align with the hacker spirit I hold dear. As a consultant, we often find ourselves bound by the confines of the system, limiting our freedom to explore unconventional solutions. This realization prompted me to explore other avenues that allow for more creative problem-solving. Also, when working for companies, our life's path is often at the mercy of people who, for the most part, don't care about you—especially in the case of large corporations.

« …I am the hacker of my fate : I am the captain of my soul. » - W. E. Henley

The Appeal of SaaS Development

One particular challenge that captivated my interest was creating successful Software as a Service (SaaS) products to generate revenue. Developing a thriving business requires meticulous consideration of various factors beyond the technical realm. It demands strategic thinking, encompassing aspects such as marketing, user experience, and scalability. In the past seven months, I wholeheartedly devoted my time to working on two SaaS projects:

   Hacker AI (https://hacker-ai.ai): This platform leverages AI to assist auditors and developers in identifying vulnerabilities within source code.

   AI Cartel (https://ai-cartel.com): AI Cartel focuses on bringing voice-enabled AI solutions to diverse industries. One noteworthy offering is AI Closer, an AI assistant designed to help close deals efficiently.

Early Success and Transition

Fortune smiled upon me with Hacker AI, as I gained some traction on Twitter and received valuable feedback from the community. Until this month, a premium option was not available. However, I'm thrilled to announce that I recently secured my first two customers! It's an exhilarating feeling to witness the growth of these projects. Though the monetary gain may seem modest at 100€ per month, the satisfaction derived from SaaS revenue surpasses that of consulting, freelance or bug bounty earnings. Even so bug bounty money is a bit addictive because there is an adrenaline rush... But it's not best for your mental health.

Final Thoughts and Future Prospects

I wanted to share my journey with you, and I invite you to reach out if you have any questions or require further information. As I continue on this path, I'm eager to see how my SaaS ventures unfold. If you want to participate to this journey, feel free to share https://hacker-ai.ai or https://ai-cartel.com to people that might be interested or just RT. If you've read this far, you can contact me on Twitter, and I will share a special discount code with you for Hacker AI.

Until then, stay safe.

@chaignc Twitter

Sanson Chaignon Linkedin

AI Cartel CEO