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Beginners Tips for Cracking Into the Cyber Security Industry

Beginners Tips For Cracking Into The Cyber Security Industry

Have you been thinking of entering the cybersecurity industry? If yes, you have made a sound decision. The reality is, the demand for that particular skill is at an all-time high.

Cybercriminals are increasing every single day. The sophistication levels of their attacks are mind-boggling. Security experts have to keep up in providing workable solutions to clients.

Take a look at the following statistics. Every day there are over 100,000 malicious attacks on websites. Industry Giants like Google reported over two million fishing threats in January 2024. This signifies a 27% increase from 2024. During the Covid pandemic outbreak, there was a 420% increase in supply chain attacks.

Our article explores some tips beginners need to get into the cybersecurity industry. Let’s dive into it.

1. Start With An Understanding Of Cyber Security

Cybersecurity covers the protection of digital assets from hackers. Such include networks, databases, and applications. The aim is to ensure the confidentiality, information availability, and integrity of the systems. Cybersecurity is critical for everyone in the online space.

It does not matter whether we are talking about it at an individual or corporate level. There are individual/company/industry-specific cybersecurity needs that need expert management.

Take this NERC CIP policy document as an example. It highlights the need for proper cybersecurity measures for bulk electric systems (BES). It provides detailed guidelines for critical infrastructure protection. Such include personal training, system security management, and recovery plans for cyber systems.

When you start learning about cybersecurity, get ready to read and do a lot of research. Clients will call upon you to develop such policy documents. They will use them to guide all their cybersecurity processes.

2. Know The Core Skills

Some specific skills will give you a leg up in the industry. They include knowledge of:-

  • Coding and scripting languages like JavaScriptPython, Shell, and HTML. It will make it easier for you to understand web applications and script development.

  • Networking systems like LAN, WAN, and VPN.

  • Configuration and maintenance of computer applications and software

  • Operating systems like Windows, iOS, and Linux

  • Preferably, an IT background

But, if you don't have any of the above, don't stop reading just yet. Some top security professionals have zero technical background. A look at their resumes will show diverse skillsets.

You will find English Majors, pre-med, stay-at-home mums, artists, and so many more. You do not even need to have a university degree to work in cybersecurity. What they all have in common is that they were willing or had the desire to learn. The other thing you should know is that you do not have to go into the technical field. There are many opportunities in human-focused areas. For this, you need critical thinking and attention to detail. The ability to communicate quite well is also critical.

You don't have to wait to graduate high school to go into cybersecurity. There are free programs like Cyber Start America. It provides an excellent gateway into the industry for those who have an interest.

3.Decide On Your Career Path

As we have already hinted above, there is a lot of opportunity in cybersecurity for beginners. It is important to choose a career path by narrowing down your focus. Some of the things that will help you decide include:-

  •  Evaluating your skills and interests while looking at your strengths and background.

  •  Look at the options available to you depending on your skill-set. Some areas include incident response, security engineering, mobile device forensics, and penetration testing. Other areas are security awareness and endpoint security.

  •  Get ready for tons of research on your preferred areas. Also, get comfortable with specific terminologies like the internet of things (IoT). Others are Cloud, encryption technology AI, and machine learning. The good news is that there are tons of resources both online and offline.

  •  Network and build connections with others already in the field. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have groups you can join. Make time to attend some of the cybersecurity conferences. With the ongoing Covid pandemic, many industry events are happening online. It saves you from having to travel from location to location. Scour the internet for such opportunities and sign up as a participant.

  •  Follow industry leaders and other professionals online. Many of them maintain a very robust presence on the online platform. They are always giving fantastic titbits that can help beginners. Also, reach out to them with questions or comments.

  •  Check for open source projects and volunteer for an opportunity to learn.

4.Create A Home Lab

You can create a home lab without too much effort. All you need is your computer and you can set up virtual operating systems. The other option is to go for Cloud on platforms like Microsoft azure or Amazon AWS. Set aside some time to go through the how-to tutorials on Google or even YouTube. All you need to do is type in how to build a home cybersecurity lab and you will get so many ideas.

Once you set up a home lab, start exploring what you have right within the home. Map the home network and see how different devices or computers interact. To start, capture traffic from smart devices and decode the information. Take time to get the basics right before scaling any of the projects.

Final Thoughts

Still thinking of getting into the cybersecurity industry? If yes, you should take the plunge. Even at an entry-level, you could take home anywhere from $67,000 to over $90,000 per year. The opportunities are plentiful, depending on your area of interest. Best of all, you do not even need a degree or technical background.

But with that said, it is important to know that the field can be quite demanding. You are dealing with cybercriminals who are very smart. They also have access to some of the best resources and technologies. It means they will keep on improving upon their trade.

You should be willing to work hard. Keep up with improving your knowledge base to succeed. But, the one thing you can be sure of is boredom will never be a factor in your career. There will be plenty to keep you busy and on your toes.

Good luck with your career!

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