How to Get Into Cybersecurity, Regardless of Your Background
A career in network security starts from the basics of networking like — fundamentals of computer network, networking concepts, architecture, design, communications, components, technologies, devices, layers, and many more, all of which you can learn in the Certified Network Defender Training Program by EC-Council. To start your Career in Network Security, you need to know how a Network Operates Basically. Doing a certification like CCNA would be the First step. Then choose a Firewall like Checkpoint for example and specialize on that. This would give you an idea about Perimeter security.
It has been updated to address new ways to get started in cybersecurity. As a result, there's a growing demand for people to be trained in cybersecurity to help defend against this increasing threat. In fact, a report by ISC 2 estimates there are almost 3 million openings globally. Additionally, the U. Cybersecurity is a fast paced, highly dynamic field with vast array of specialties to choose from, allowing you to work almost anywhere in the world, with amazing benefits, and an opportunity to make a real difference.
Absolutely not. Many of the best security professionals bring non-technical backgrounds from english, pre-Med, or psychology majors to auto-mechanics, artists, and stay-at-home moms. Speaking as a history major who rode Main Battle Tanks for a living, I can attest to the notion that you can have a successful career in cybersecurity, even if you bring a non-technical background how to put a mohawk on a crochet hat the table.
In many cases, having a non-technical background can actually be an advantage in the industry. How so? A dedicated passion to learn and understand how technology works goes a long way. Many people think cybersecurity is all about hacking into or breaking things, but cybersecurity is actually all about learning how technology and people work.
The key is not a technical background, but your willingness and desire to learn how technology works and to never stop playing. In addition, there are a growing number of fields in cybersecurity that do not focus on solving technical problems, but instead more human focused how to use single sided laminating sheets. These require softer skills, such as privacy, security awareness and training, governance, security communications, or cyber law and ethics.
Findings in the SANS Security Awareness Report showed that while there is a clear majority of awareness professionals stemming from highly technical backgrounds with a solid understanding of technology and human-related risks, they may lack some necessary skills to excel at implementing a program, such as strong communication.
In fact, new fields and opportunities in cybersecurity continue to develop and expand, opportunities that did not exist five or even 10 years ago. Undergraduate certificate programs like the Certificate in Applied Cybersecurity at the SANS Technology Institute offer a rapid pathway for college students and career changers who want to enter the cybersecurity workforce. No prior cybersecurity experience is required for that program and how to start a career in network security gain the foundational skills need to enter the workforce in 7 to 18 months, studying online or at live weeklong SANS events held across the country and around the world.
For the younger learners who want to get a head start on their career path, there are several programs available to help you get started. CyberStart America is a free national program for high school students to master cybersecurity as a gateway to the industry, up their digital skills, and compete for college at what time does the narwhal bacon College students have free programs designed specifically for their needs as well.
Once you develop a deep understanding of how things work, the hacking and defending side easily follows.
Even more exciting, you can learn how many technologies work directly from the comforts of home. For example, you can take classes online, build your own lab, or interact with others through the Internet.
In many ways, cybersecurity is similar to engineering or healthcare. There are so many different paths you can specialize in, from mobile device forensics and incident response to penetration testing, endpoint security or security awareness.
In fact, the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST has created a framework listing all the different jobs and opportunities in cybersecurity. If you are interested in learning about many of the different fields and specialties that exist, this is a great place to start exploring. Give yourself grace and time to play with and understand all the different technologies options.
Over time, your interests will guide your path. Interject Yoda voice here. Here are some areas you can start learning, begin in whatever area you feel would interest you the most.
Not sure where to start with any of these four areas listed? Start by searching on Google or YouTube. There is no single site or resource where you can learn everything you need, so over time you will use a variety of different resources. Start with the basics and grow over time it takes years to really learn all this stuff. However, the skills you develop now in searching and learning from others are critical not only for starting, but a key part of how to make a surfboard rack for bike entire career.
One of the best ways to learn all of the above is to set up your own lab at home. Do a quick search on Google or YouTube. There are numerous sites that can walk you through how to set up your lab properly. Another option is to identify all the different devices on your home Wi-Fi network. Once you setup your lab or map your home network, start interacting with the different computers or devices and learn everything you can.
Have a browser on one computer connect to a webserver you setup on another computer. The possibilities are endless. However, don't start hacking into and breaking things until you first understand the fundamentals of how these technologies work. The other key element toward launching your career in cybersecurity is to meet with and learn from others.
Try attending a cybersecurity conference in your area. Just about every major city has several events a year. One of the best series of conferences is Bsideswhich most likely has an event near you. Many cities have monthly cybersecurity community meet-ups. Once you attend one, your network and opportunities will flourish. You can also join online communities, however I highly recommend you attend an actual event and meet people face-to-face first. In addition, there are numerous cybersecurity professionals you can follow online and learn from.
As you begin to learn what areas interest you the most, you will find experts in that field you can follow. Here are some how to start a career in network security leaders I follow on Twitter, for example:. No matter what your background is, you bring something unique and special to this field, which we desperately need.
Never lose that desire to learn. Once you start to develop your skills and you begin to develop a network of people, trust me, the opportunities will come.
Getting Started In many ways, cybersecurity is similar to engineering or healthcare. Coding : Explore the basics of coding, which can help you understand markup language for creating web pages and web applications. Not sure where to start? Systems : Learn the basics of administrating a system i. The two most common systems are Linux and Windows. Learning how to administer a Linux system from the command line, to include scripting, is an extremely powerful skill that will help you no matter what path you take.
Applications : Learn how to configure, run and maintain common applications computer programssuch as a webserver, database or DNS server. Networking : A network is a group of computers or devices that communicate with each other, to include capturing and analyzing network traffic. Learning how a network works is an invaluable skill. Think of all the devices connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
Learn from Others The other key element toward launching your career in cybersecurity is to meet with and learn from others. Copy url Url was copied to clipboard. Related Content. Security Awareness. April 22, Lance Spitzner. Check out these graphic recordings created in real-time throughou. Alison Kim. April 16, Establish a strategic roadmap to both plan and communicate the impact of a security awareness program.
Where to Start
The best way to make your career in Network Security is by pursuing an online course! An online certification course will not only train you in the needed skills but also provide you the certification that will make you stand out of the crowd during the interview process. I suggest you check some of the best recognized courses by Krademy! Nov 05, · Think ahead years to your “ultimate security career” then look for starter IT jobs that will supply you with the right skills. Sample career paths could include: Exchange administrator > Email security; Network administrator > Network security, forensics, etc. System administrator > Security administrator, forensics, etc. Sep 08, · If you have experience in networking or have a network security certification in any network security program, you can join the network security program to kickstart your career. However, if you are new to the computer network niche, you will need to enroll for certifications like Network Security Fundamentals (NSF). The NSF program is an entry-level program designed by EC .
November 5, Staff Writers. As a cybersecurity expert, you will have a huge range of career options across a wide variety of industries e. But IT security is a specialist field. So the question remains — how do you get your foot in the door? Start with this resource.
There is no one true path to working in cybersecurity. People come at it from all angles — math, computer science, even history or philosophy.
Yet all of them share a deep and abiding interest in how technology works. Security gurus say this is critical. To that end, many experts suggest that you begin with a job, internship or apprenticeship in IT.
Sample career paths could include:. Finally, we recommend you gain as much practical experience as humanly possible. Trying to narrow your options? Make sure your entry-level IT position will give you some security-related experience.
The ideal cybersecurity candidate has a mixture of technical and soft skills. On the technical side, most employers want proof that you are:. Learn more about your options in Choosing a Cybersecurity Degree. Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level. List any previous IT positions plus any other work related to IT security.
That includes volunteer work, internships and apprenticeships. For government jobs , hiring committees will be interested in any military or law enforcement experience. We catalog some of the most useful hard IT skills below. Employers will still be interested to see if you have relevant IT certifications. Just be prepared to back up these qualifications with proof of real-world experience. List any IT and cybersecurity achievements that you think your employers will respect.
These are often in high demand by employers. Thanks to the nature of their job and industry, security experts usually end up specializing in a specific area of interest. For example:. And so on. Before you get too deep into security-focused certifications , check out the following IT credentials. Ask around or visit security message boards to decide which ones are worth the investment.
CCNA certificate holders have proven their ability to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks. Experienced Cisco engineers can aim for the higher level Professional and Expert levels. The exams cover the maintenance of PCs, mobile devices, laptops, operating systems and printers.
Department of Defense. This includes building, installing, operating, maintaining and protecting networking systems. DoD Directive Foundation is the basic level and the ITIL credential most frequently seen on job requirements.
The exam tests candidates in key elements, concepts and terminology used in the ITIL service lifecycle, including the links between lifecycle stages, the processes used and their contribution to service management practices.
PMP is aimed at mid-level project managers. Successful PMP holders have demonstrated they have the experience, education and competency to handle project teams. Interested in becoming a Linux expert? To obtain this foundation-level certification, candidates must demonstrate hands-on experience with VMware technologies, complete a VMware-authorized training course and pass an exam.
In addition to data centers, VMWare also offers credentials in the cloud, end user computing and network virtualization. An information systems security degree can lead to high-paying IT jobs. Use our ranking to find the best information systems security programs. A cybersecurity master's degree can lead to a high-paying career. Learn about some of the best programs in the U. Learn about the most common cyber attacks on college campuses, from phishing attempts to social media hacks, and how students can protect themselves.
Find the right education path to take advantage of this fast-growing industry and join the front-lines on technology and security. Gain Practical Experience Finally, we recommend you gain as much practical experience as humanly possible. On the technical side, most employers want proof that you are: Grounded in IT fundamentals : e.
Versed in day-to-day operations : e. Advertisement CyberDegrees. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. Recommended Reading.
Internet Safety and Cybersecurity Awareness for College Students November 5, Staff Writers Learn about the most common cyber attacks on college campuses, from phishing attempts to social media hacks, and how students can protect themselves.
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