Jan 06, 2024 By Priyanka Tomar Back

Best Way to Learn Cyber Security in 2024

Have you ever pondered the optimal approach to delve into the world of cybersecurity and cultivate the essential cyber security skills required?

This is a common inquiry of students aspiring to venture into the captivating domain of cyber security. Today, I delineate a systematic and practical plan comprising strategic steps. Initially, we emphasize the significance of building a strong foundation in IT and computer networking skills. Subsequently, acquire general cybersecurity knowledge and choose a specific subject within this expansive field.

If you're eager to commence your journey, let's embark on step one:

Step 1. Establish Fundamental Knowledge in Computer Networking, IT, and Operating Systems

Before digging deep into cybersecurity, it is imperative to lay the groundwork with foundational knowledge about Information Technology. This includes acquiring insights into operating systems, basic IT principles, and fundamental computer networking concepts.

Now you may ask- why is it crucial to learn these skills before venturing into cybersecurity? Wouldn't it be more efficient to dive straight into cybersecurity education?

So answer is- while it may seem tempting to skip foundational knowledge and jump directly into cybersecurity but doing so can pose challenges in front of you. Understanding cybersecurity concepts, comprehending the interactions between different elements, and discerning how hackers exploit vulnerabilities become much more challenging without a solid foundation in IT and networking.

Initiating cybersecurity training prematurely often results in frustration and wasted effort, as it necessitates connecting disparate pieces that rely on core IT and networking fundamentals.

Learning foundational skills involves acquiring knowledge in areas such as:

Computer Hardware Fundamentals:

  • Understanding components like motherboards, CPUs, memory, and storage devices.

Operating System Basics:

  • Installing/configuring various Windows and Linux OS variations.
  • System administration skills such as managing users, assigning appropriate rights, file systems and applications etc.

IT Support Skills:

  • Troubleshooting issues.
  • Managing data backups and recovery.
  • Monitoring the health of IT infrastructure.

Networking Principles:

  • Grasping concepts such as IP addressing, subnets, routing, and network layers.
  • Familiarity with key networking devices like switches and firewalls.
  • Understanding common protocols like TCP/IP, HTTP(S), and UDP.

Basic Computer Security:

  • Comprehending security concepts such as authentication and encryption.
  • Implementing security controls like access controls, logging, and backups.

The most effective way to acquire these skills and obtain certifications simultaneously is by pursuing industry certifications in these areas. This not only equips you with the knowledge required for foundational skills but also provides certifications that can enhance your resume and showcase your understanding to potential employers. Consider certifications such as CompTIA A+ for IT skills and CompTIA Network+ (or CCNA) for networking knowledge.

Step 2 Acquire Comprehensive Knowledge in Cyber Security

Having established a foundation in IT and computer networking, the next step is to delve into general cyber security knowledge. This understanding is pivotal in grasping key concepts and it enables you to engage in informed discussions with security professionals on topics like encryption, cloud security, IoT security, AI and cyber security, the CIA triad or the zero trust model etc.

A valuable resource for gaining this knowledge is the comprehensive coverage provided by CompTIA +. Leveraging this training course not only equips you with the necessary insights but also it helps you to successfully undertake the associated exam.

The key areas of knowledge essential for a holistic understanding of general cyber security encompass:

Cyber Security Fundamentals:

Basics of securing computers, networks, and systems.

Threat Landscape:

Understanding various types of cyber attacks and identifying cyber threat actors.

Security Protocols:

Knowledge of common security protocols and adherence to best cyber security practices.

Risk Management:

Identifying, analyzing, and mitigating risks in cyber security, including strategies for countering identity theft.

Incident Response and Management:

Acquiring skills to respond effectively to cyber security breaches.

Ethical Hacking Basics:

Introduction to penetration testing and ethical hacking methodologies.

Encryption and Cryptography:

Grasping the basics of securing data through cryptographic methods.

Identity and Access Management (IAM):

Understanding control of user access and effective identity management.

Network Security:

In-depth knowledge of securing networks against various cyber threats.

Cloud Security:

Basics of securing cloud-based platforms and services.

Upon attaining a solid understanding of general cyber security, you set a robust foundation for your long-term career goals. This knowledge aids in identifying specific career paths aligned with your interests and strengths.

At this stage, pursuing additional certifications becomes optional, depending on your career aspirations. For instance, opting for certifications like CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) can pave the way for a career as a penetration tester. Alternatively, certifications such as CompTIA an be pursued for a more defensive-minded role, such as that of an information security analyst.

Step 3 Choose Your Path

Now that you have the general cyber security knowledge, it's time to choose domain of your interest. You could look at becoming a specialist in either an offensive means red team or a defensive means blue team role. Alternatively, you could look at moving into an advanced cyber security professional role that may be more into management side.

Cyber Security Job Profiles:

For your convenience I am listing some cyber security job profiles here :

Basic Education required to begin with- Graduation Followed by a course into Computer Networking. This will make you eligible for the role of

  • Network Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • System Administrator
  • IT Support Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Security Intelligence etc.

If you pursue General Cyber Security course then you may apply for these job profiles:

  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Cyber Security Architect
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Cyber Security Sales
  • Malware Analyst
  • SOC Analyst
  • Cyber Crime Analyst
  • Cyber Security Researcher
  • Data Protection Officer
  • Incident and Intrusion Analyst
  • Penetration Tester
  • Cyber Threat Intelligence Specialist
  • Cyber crime Investigator etc.