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:
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:
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.
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:
Basics of securing computers, networks, and systems.
Understanding various types of cyber attacks and identifying cyber threat actors.
Knowledge of common security protocols and adherence to best cyber security practices.
Identifying, analyzing, and mitigating risks in cyber security, including strategies for countering identity theft.
Acquiring skills to respond effectively to cyber security breaches.
Introduction to penetration testing and ethical hacking methodologies.
Grasping the basics of securing data through cryptographic methods.
Understanding control of user access and effective identity management.
In-depth knowledge of securing networks against various cyber threats.
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.
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.
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
If you pursue General Cyber Security course then you may apply for these job profiles: