Reflecting on my year as an intern with Solis

Dive into Josh Lipscombe's blog in which he shares his experience at Solis

Is he a CIM? A DFIR Analyst? An MDR Analyst? A CTA Analyst? No, he’s an Intern!

When you hear the words “a firm based in central London,” what comes to mind? If you're like me, you might picture a sea of grey suits, infinite spreadsheets and endless meetings. My experience at Solis flipped those expectations on their head. I found myself working in a team of highly motivated people focused on helping businesses avoid or recover from cyber-attacks. All of them shared the same passionate determination to make a meaningful impact. 

My Experience at Solis 
So, what exactly did I do at Solis? Was I the typical intern fetching coffee, punching values into spreadsheets, and getting stuck with menial tasks? Not even close. I had the chance to dive headfirst into four different teams: Cyber Incident Management (CIM), Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR), Managed Detection and Response (MDR), and Cyber Threat Analysis (CTA). And no, those aren't just random words strung together to sound impressive!

Cyber Incident Management (CIM)
My journey began with the CIM team, which comprises seasoned Incident Response consultants, many of whom had previous careers in law enforcement. This team’s role was helping clients recover from cyber-attacks and get back to business as usual. I was involved in creating threat reports, conducting vulnerability assessments, and monitoring the dark web for clients we knew were going to have their data published on a leak site.

Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR)
Next up was the DFIR team. Imagine getting paid to do what feels like the digital equivalent of detective work - minus the trench coat and fedora. With the DFIR team, I learned how to dive deep into various logs to uncover the root cause of incidents and trace the threat actor’s every move while inside the client’s network. It was like solving a massive jigsaw puzzle, only sometimes there were pieces missing. At the end of each investigation, we compiled an easily digestible report for the client, with recommendations on how they could reduce the likelihood of similar incidents in the future. 

Managed Detection and Response (MDR)
My third rotation was with the MDR team, where I found myself on the front line of our 24/7 Managed Detection and Response service, monitoring networks and endpoints for potential threats. During one threat-hunting session, I vividly remember working alongside a Senior Analyst when they spotted a backdoor into a client’s network that was pinging a Command and Control (C2) server for further instructions. Our team swiftly removed the backdoor and other persistence mechanisms. It was an unforgettable experience.

The role wasn’t all technical. I also took part in customer success meetings and sales calls. These interactions gave me a holistic view of how Solis supports its clients and tailors its services to meet their needs. Plus, I got to see firsthand how our Managed Services Lead presented our work to clients and educated them about new malware trends.

Cyber Threat Analysis (CTA)
My final rotation was with the CTA team, where the focus was on proactively preventing cyber incidents within client networks without installing any software on their devices. This involved researching numerous vulnerabilities, providing expert responses to client queries, and collaborating with other development teams in the Proactive Cyber department. I even got to help develop an internal tool used by the CIM team for dark web monitoring. 

Reflecting on my time at Solis
The internship wasn’t all work and no play. We had top-tier team socials - massive thanks to the execs for budgeting and Yvette planning them! We explored different places, shared stories, and built strong friendships. These moments were just as valuable as the work experience itself. Here are some of my favourite memories:

Josh 2

Looking back, my time at Solis has been an incomparable gift. I’ve learned a huge amount about my field of interest, got involved in genuinely meaningful work, and developed a strong sense of purpose. Most importantly, I’ve had the privilege of working - and building relationships - with an incredible team.