How To Start A Career In Cyber Security? – Before We Get Into The Topic, let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic
You will have a wide range of job opportunities as a cybersecurity expert in a variety of businesses (e.g. finance, government, retail, etc.). IT security, on the other hand, is a specialised field. It’s doubtful that you’ll begin your career as a penetration tester or a security architect. So, how do you get your foot in the door in the first place?
Begin with this guide. It’s designed to assist anyone considering a career change from a non-security field. We’ve included information on how to pick a first IT job, how to design your résumé, and how to get hands-on experience. We’ve also included a list of hard IT skills and non-security certifications that will prepare you for the future.
Where to Start?
Career Path Options
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a career in cybersecurity. People approach it from a variety of perspectives, including arithmetic, computer science, history, and philosophy. Despite this, they all have a keen interest in how technology works. This, according to security experts, is crucial. You must understand exactly what you’re safeguarding and why things are insecure.
Train In General IT
To that aim, several experts recommend starting with an IT job, internship, or apprenticeship. This course will teach you the foundations of system administration and configuration, networking, database management, and coding. You’ll gain an understanding of IT protocols as well as real-world business operations.
Focus Your Interests
Because it’s hard to be an expert in every field, companies recommend focusing on one (for example, networking security) and doing it well. Consider your “ideal security career” in 5-10 years and then look for entry-level IT jobs that will provide you with the necessary abilities. The following are some examples of possible career paths:
- Email security for Exchange administrators
- Network administrator responsibilities include network security, forensics, and other related tasks.
- System administrator, security administrator, forensics, and other positions are available.
- Web developer, security software developer, and so forth.
Gain Practical Experience
Finally, we advise you to get as much hands-on experience as possible. Even if you’re not in IT, self-directed learning and guided training can help you achieve a lot.
Starter IT Jobs
These are some of the IT jobs that can lead to a cybersecurity career:
- Programmer (computer)
- Engineer in Computer Software
- Specialist in Computer Support
- Analyst for Computer Systems
- The administrator of a database
- Technician in Information Technology
- Technical Support for IT
- Customer Service in Information Technology
- Administrator of a network
- Engineer, Network
- Data Analyst and Network Systems Analyst
- The administrator of the system
- The administrator of the Internet
Are you trying to narrow down your choices? Make sure that your entry-level IT job will provide you with some security experience. If the job description isn’t clear on this, you’ll have a great question to ask the hiring committee during your interview.
Building Your Cybersecurity Resume
The Ideal Cybersecurity Candidate
The ideal candidate for cybersecurity has a mix of technical and soft skills. Most employers, on the technical side, want proof that you are:
Networking, systems administration, database management, web applications, and other IT topics are covered.
Physical security, networks, server equipment, enterprise storage, users, apps, and other day-to-day activities are all covered.
They’re searching for people with the following soft skills:
Know how to operate in a team and communicate with non-IT colleagues.
Recognize corporate procedures and processes.
I enjoy untangling obstacles and solving complex challenges.
What To List On Your Resume?
1. College Degree
Although a college degree isn’t usually required to secure your first cybersecurity job, it is extremely beneficial. Communication, writing, business, and project management are all talents you’ll need in college, and they’ll come in handy later on. Furthermore, having a solid academic background will make it easier for you to advance to management roles. Before considering candidates, several firms now require confirmation of a bachelor’s degree. In Choosing a Cybersecurity Degree, you can learn more about your options.
2. Relevant Job Experience
List any past IT jobs you’ve held, as well as any other IT-related work you’ve done. Volunteering, internships, and apprenticeships are all examples of this. Any military or law enforcement experience will be valued by hiring committees for government employment.
3. Hard IT Skills
Below is a list of some of the most useful hard IT skills.
4. Professional IT Certifications
You don’t have a security certification for beginners, such as Security+? Employers will look to check whether you have any relevant IT certifications. Just be sure to back up your credentials with evidence of real-world experience.
5. IT Achievements
Make a list of any IT or cybersecurity accomplishments you believe your potential employers will value. Standings in Capture The Flag (CTF), contest trophies, training course certificates, and scholarships are just a few examples.
How to Gain Practical Cybersecurity Experience?
- Learn to code on your own. (This is something that experts keep recommending.)
- Make your own computer and security lab with old PCs, a wireless router with firewall, and a network switch, among other things. After you’ve mastered securing the computer and network, try hacking it.
- Make a project that is open source.
- Take part in cybersecurity competitions and games. e.g. Wargames, Capture the Flag competitions (CTFs), and other similar activities are popular.
- Look for flaws in open source projects and websites that offer bug bounties. Keep track of your progress and findings.
- Exams in cybersecurity should be combined with side projects that use the same abilities.
- Offer to assist your lecturer or employer with chores relating to security.
- Take a free cybersecurity MOOC online.
- Invest in educational opportunities (e.g. SANS).
Networking and Volunteering
Join LinkedIn groups, professional networks, and security organisations to learn more about what’s going on in the world of security.
- Attend security organisation meetings and events in your area.
- Make friends with those who enjoy CTFs and wargames.
- Work on a cybersecurity project with a group (at work or at school).
- Participate at IT and cybersecurity conferences as a volunteer.
- Volunteer to help a non-profit or charity with IT security.
- Read periodicals, news sites, and blogs about IT and security.
- Make a list of useful cybersecurity resources.
- Keep an eye on message boards dedicated to cybersecurity, such as Information Security Stack Exchange.
- Run a background check on yourself to see if any red flags exist, and then figure out how to deal with them. Employers are looking for ethical employees in the security area because it is a sensitive field.
Useful IT Skills and Certifications
Hard IT Skills To Cultivate
Work on gaining hard IT abilities like the ones listed below while you’re preparing your cybersecurity résumé (see above). Employers frequently have a strong demand for these. Because technology is continually changing, we recommend that you seek assistance from your coworkers, mentors, and/or lecturers for the most up-to-date information.
Operating Systems & Database Management
- The operating systems Windows, UNIX, and Linux
- Environments for MySQL/SQLlite
Programming & Coding
- C, C++, C#, and Java are examples of programming languages.
- Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, and/or shell are examples of programming languages.
- Disassemblers and assembly language
- Skills in Regular Expression (regex)
- Bash shell scripting on Linux and Mac
- Configuration of the system and network
- TCP/IP, computer networking, routing, and switching are all examples of TCP/IP.
- Tools for packet analysis and network protocols
- Protocols for intrusion detection and prevention and firewalls
- Knowledge of packet shapers, load balancers, and proxy servers
Security professionals frequently specialise in a certain area of interest due to the nature of their job and industry. Consider the following scenario:
- Cisco is a networking company.
- Cloud computing is a type of computing that uses the
- Microsoft products and services
- Modeling a database
- Applications that are free and open-source
And so forth. You can volunteer for duties at work, collaborate with a mentor, and/or invest in self-directed study and guided training to get additional experience in these areas.
Helpful Non-Security IT Certifications
Check out the following IT qualifications before diving into security-focused certifications. These acronyms are frequently found on security experts’ LinkedIn accounts. However, we’d be the first to admit that there are plenty more. To determine which ones are worthwhile, ask around or look at security discussion boards.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing And Switching
For entry-level network engineers and specialists working with Cisco routers and network systems, this is the “go-to” certification. The capacity to instal, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks has been demonstrated by CCNA qualification holders.
This certification is comparable to the CCNA Security, which focuses on core security technologies, confidentiality, data/device availability, and expertise in Cisco’s security structure’s technologies. Cisco engineers with more experience might aim for the Professional and Expert levels.
One of the most prevalent baseline certifications for IT professionals, particularly IT support specialists and technicians, is CompTIA A+. PCs, mobile devices, laptops, operating systems, and printers are all included in the tests.
The A+ certification is required by Dell, Lenovo, and Intel service technicians and is recognised by the US government. Defense Department. Many people go on to Network+ and Security+ after that.
The second of CompTIA’s three certifications (the others being A+ and Security+). Network+ is an ISO-17024-compliant certification that assesses a professional’s data network competence. Building, installing, running, maintaining, and safeguarding networking systems are all part of this process.
Network+ satisfies the needs of the United States. Nearly half a million people around the world have DoD Directive 8570.01-M. For network managers, technicians, and installers, it is frequently suggested.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation
ITIL certificates concentrate on best practises in the ITIL framework. The foundation level is the most common ITIL credential found on job criteria.
The exam assesses candidates’ knowledge of important aspects, concepts, and terminology found in the ITIL service lifecycle, such as the relationships between lifecycle phases, processes, and their impact on service management techniques. Foundation is worth considering if your firm uses ITIL methods to conduct internal/external client services.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
The Microsoft Certificate Solutions Associate (MCSA) and the expert MCSE are recommended for anyone working with Microsoft technology. Before attempting the MCSE, you must first complete the MCSA.
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) credential indicates a professional’s competence to design, deploy, manage, maintain, and optimize Microsoft-based systems. You can choose from nine different certification pathways for the MCSE, including Server Infrastructure, Private Cloud, SharePoint, and others.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
PMP is a project management certification for mid-level project managers. Candidates without a bachelor’s degree must have at least five years (7,500 hours) of project management experience; bachelor’s degree holders must have at least three years (4,500 hours leading and directing projects).
Successful PMP holders have proved that they have the necessary experience, education, and skills to manage project teams. It’s not a “must-have” by any means, but it can help you breeze through the résumé screening process and into salary negotiations.
Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
Do you want to learn how to use Linux? Take a peek at RHCA, which is the Red Hat certification program’s most difficult qualification. Red Hat Certified Engineers (RHCEs) must pass at least five examinations and demonstrate their competence in performance-based tasks to achieve RHCA designation. The RHCAS and the CompTIA Linux+ certifications are good options for beginners.
VMWare Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)
The VCP6-DCV certification is pricey, but if you’re interested in virtualization, it’s probably worth it. Candidates must demonstrate hands-on experience with VMware technologies, complete a VMware-authorized training course, and pass an exam to earn this foundation-level certification. The ability to instal, deploy, monitor, scale, and manage VMware vSphere environments is demonstrated by this certificate.
After you’ve earned the VCP6-DCV, you might want to look into more advanced VMWare DCV certifications. VMWare also offers credentials in the cloud, end-user computing, and network virtualization, in addition to data centres.