Demond Cook Is On A Mission To Create A Gateway For Minorities To Tap Into Cybersecurity
Photo Credit: Demond Cook

Demond Cook Is On A Mission To Create A Gateway For Minorities To Tap Into Cybersecurity

This consultant leveled up his career to tap into cybersecurity and wants to kick open the door for more to follow suit.

Demond Cook transformed his finances shifting from corporate security at the National Basketball Association (NBA) to cybersecurity.

Finding his footing took time and Demond Cook relied on self-study, networking, and trial and error before securing his first green light.

While venturing into the field, Cook recognized a striking disconnect between hiring managers and recruiters in the cybersecurity space. This led to the creation of Cook Consulting Group (CCG) in June of 2020 to address the knowledge gaps. Now, Demond Cook operates as a beacon of hope for others, opening the doors for more minorities looking to venture into the field.

“I noticed the disconnect between hiring managers and recruiters in cyber security,” Cook told AfroTech. “Most recruiters have no idea what cyber security professionals do for a living, so I started CCG to bridge the gap. This would also put me in a position of influence to help more people of color break into the field of cybersecurity.”

He continued: “I also wanted to use my skills to help companies the same way I have consulted for other Fortune 500 companies in my career. I figured if I was qualified enough to do consulting in cybersecurity for them, why not do it for my own company?”

Cook Consulting Group

Cook Consulting Group vets cybersecurity candidates for top companies. Small businesses hoping to incorporate cybersecurity hygiene can land highly qualified candidates. Alongside recruitment, Cook Consulting Group aids candidates by providing awareness training to prepare participants for cyber security audit checks. In addition, the company provides risk assessments, leadership services, and manages security services.

Furthermore, Cook Consulting Group recently expanded to diversify the cybersecurity space further by launching the Cyber Security Launchpad. The company currently has two offerings priced at $1,500 and $3,500. Onboarding participants will receive services including a roadmap featuring nine practice areas to guide in decision making for solidifying a career path. In addition, resume writing, LinkedIn optimization, networking strategy, job search strategy, certification planning, live shadowing sessions, and mock interview preparation will be service features on the launchpad. Students will also be assigned homework to add relevant work experience to their resumes.

The company’s formula seems to already be working. One participant recently secured a position in cybersecurity after partaking in the launchpad offerings despite having no certifications or educational background. Demond hopes to see more testimonials and believes the launch pad will break down existing barriers for people of color by simplifying the field.

Most people of color I speak to view cybersecurity as an intimidating field of choice,” Cook said. “They think that you have to be a hacker or a coder to break into cyber. I personally do not know how to hack or code, but cybersecurity has changed my life. It was the best decision I have made for my career.”

The company’s efforts are being backed by companies such as CompTIA, Sans, Cyversity, ISACA, and Cybrary to assist with providing students free or low-cost certifications, and networking events to combat the current shortage of cybersecurity skills.