Cybersecurity: The Starting Line

Cybersecurity: What is it?

Definition: The practice of protecting internet-connected systems and data from cyber-threats using various methods.

A mindmap of the roles within the cybersecurity domain

Starting in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity offers a wide variety of opportunities for both technical and non-technical individuals; Doing security well requires a mix of technology, sociology, law, politics, and organizational sciences. And to do security well, you don’t necessarily need a Cybersecurity degree or 10 years of experience in tech.

  1. Make sure that you love to learn! You can check out some courses on these platforms:
    - Coursera
    - Udemy
    - EdX
    - Udacity
    - Skillshare
    - Pluraslight
  2. Design your own home lab. Learn, test, grow, break, and rebuild.
    For example: (other ways of building a lab are available, but this is something I have personally done) Download VirtualBox and create 2 VMs; 1 web server, and 1 database. Link the two together to create a website that can display items from the database.
    The reason I say this is so you learn to research, try new things, find resources, and learn how systems & tools work and interconnect before you can secure them.
  3. Certifications are great and should be pursued but only once you know which area in cybersecurity you are interested in. You also do not need to sit the exam; you can simply use the study material to learn a new concept. If you want to know which certificate is best, research for your desired topic and ask questions.
  4. Get involved in the community. This includes contributing to the conversations, contributing to open source projects, speaking at conferences, conduct research and share (create a blog), etc.
  5. When picking a cybersecurity career path, identify your interests and strengths, and be honest with yourself. I recommend listing our your preferences (ex: policy writing, and people management, or networking and app development) which will help pinpoint the type of roles you’ll want to focus on.
  6. When focusing on your technical skills, don’t forget about your soft skills! You need to be able to work well with a team.

Conclusion

Although this can’t be considered as a guide to winning that Cybersecurity position you’ve been aiming for, I hope it comes to some use to those starting out and needing a small light of hope.

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