A Digital Frontier

Tyler Dortch is a 17-year-old with a passion to become a cyber security engineer.


Isaiah Escamilla, Staffer

“Everyone is attacking everyone: China, America, Brazil, India, UK, Russia. There is no good or bad side, however, someone’s attack could be in someone’s interest or someone’s destruction. Everyone is attacking everyone, all the time,” said Tyler Dortch.

Dortch, a 17-year-old high school student whose interest in computers pushed him into something bigger. During the day Dortch is in classes working and studying. But at home, this senior is hardworking and watching the world’s cyber network.

Being around computers and tech throughout his childhood, he gradually gained interest while being around his grandfather. “[He] Was involved with computers so I naturally learned a lot from him,” said Dortch. 

“I got involved in the message boards around 2012 – 2013,” he said. He soon became involved in, “more obscure things on the internet, [and] one thing led to another and naturally that’s where we are now,” he said. Dortch now focuses most of his excitement and skill on cyber security.

Choosing this career path Dortch had made it obvious this is a one-man thing for him stating, “I want to participate only for me, I don’t want to participate on behalf of someone else or an interest of another company or entity.” This profession is as interesting as it is scary.

The cyber network is full of people doing what they think is right, there aren’t exactly heroes in the life of these CSEC engineers. The people involved are always trying for something bigger and exposing what they feel is wrong, and it seems inspirations wouldn’t be too hard to come across as the more skilled work on a larger scale.

“Someone who inspires me is Edward Snowden, who learned a lot of classified information and leaked it. Information from the NSA, the program data about prism, the patriot act, all phone calls are surveilled by them, they have an essential back door to everything we do and most Americans don’t realize that they are being surveilled by a government agency.” 

This shows the goal of security of the American people being breached and another person trying to make it right. This is exactly the goal of Dortch, “protecting yourself and securing your data and involves basic knowledge to protect your privacy, data, and interests online.” 

Dortch plans on graduating high school and continuing into community college to get an associate’s degree of applied science in cyber security also planning to get his bachelor’s through the University of Colorado Denver.