Cybersecurity is a hot topic, but do you realize why it’s so important? We now live in a digital era in which data is king. We must recognize that personal information is far more sensitive than ever. We frequently hear about data breaches and identity theft cases affecting millions. For example, the WannaCry virus encrypted millions of machines two years ago. Businesses and organizations strive to secure their data from hackers and thieves, and you can help. Cybersecurity affects businesses’ and individuals’ personal computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
What is the definition of cybersecurity?
Before we start with this cyber security for beginners guide, let’s define cyber security and why it’s important. Cybersecurity is the technology and method for preventing assaults, damage, and illegal access to networks and devices. Because data is now the cornerstone of any organization, cybersecurity is critical for a country’s military, hospitals, huge firms, small businesses, and other organizations and individuals. However, there are numerous concerns if that data is exploited. Now that we’ve defined cybersecurity let’s look at the CIA triad and how it relates to cybersecurity.
To pursue a career in cybersecurity, you must first learn about the various areas of speciality, which this cyber security for beginners guide will assist you with. There are nine of them:
- Access control systems and methodologies are concerned with preventing unauthorized modification of vital system resources.
- Telecommunications and network security: This section focuses on communications, protocols, and network services, as well as the possible vulnerabilities that each poses.
- Practices in security management:<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”> This area effectively deals with catastrophic system failures, natural disasters, and other service disruptions.
- Security architecture and models: This section focuses on putting security rules and processes in place. This security sector entails policy development for a wide range of security concerns.
- Law, investigation, and ethics: This section deals with the legal aspects of computer security.
- Security for application and system development: This person is responsible for database security models and implementing Multilevel Security for internal applications.
- Cryptography: Designed to teach you how to use encryption and when to utilize it.
- Security for computer operations: This refers to anything that occurs while your computers are in use.
- Physical Security: This section mostly deals with physical access to your servers and workstations.
What Kinds of Jobs Are Available in Cybersecurity?
Many firms will develop roles across particular disciplines to fit their needs. However, some of the important tasks and responsibilities in the field of cybersecurity that are open at an entry-to-intermediate level include the following.
Security Analysts operate in a Security Operations Center or on a security-focused IT team. The primary responsibility of an analyst is to discover and respond to incidents. Cyber security incidents will require analysts to triage, analyze, contain, and remedy them. In addition, they’ll have to learn how to use and operate EDR equipment. Threat hunting and incident reporting will most likely be part of their responsibilities.
Penetration Tester: a “pen tester” is someone who simulates real attacks to uncover flaws in an organization’s security. They can be freelancers or in-house employees. On the other hand, pen testers do more than look for flaws in the system’s defences; their duty is to demonstrate that the flaw can be exploited actively.
Digital Forensics Investigator: After a digital crime or breach has been discovered, professionals participating in DF/IR (digital forensics/incident response) go to work. Typically, the cybercrime investigator will collaborate with law enforcement officers to find direct proof of a crime, collect any evidence that could be used in attribution, and examine digital artefacts to learn as much as possible about the attackers’ actions while on the device.
Malware Researcher: The malware researcher’s or analyst’s job is to take threat actors’ code and figure out what it does, how it does, and how the security team can detect it. The ability to reverse engineer malware, which entails understanding a program’s internal processes without access to its source code, is critical to a malware researcher’s work.
There are various specializations among these entry-level to intermediate-level occupations. Still, there is a lot of overlap, and most persons working in any of the above areas will have a basic awareness of the abilities required in others. Furthermore, once you’ve gained some experience, broadening your skill set will allow you to advance to more senior positions, such as Senior Threat Analyst, Security Architect, or even CISO (Chief Information Security Officer).
Aside from monetary gains, cyber security also provides employment satisfaction. Indeed, job happiness in the United States is high, according to workforce research. Around 71 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with their job in cyber security, with 36 per cent saying they were extremely satisfied. Furthermore, 84 per cent of respondents stated that, based on their experience and skills, they are where they intended to be in their profession.
Job Prospects in Cybersecurity
The future of cyber security appears to be bright. Jobs in this industry are in high demand, and it does not appear that demand will decrease shortly. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, cyber security will rise at a 31 per cent annual pace between 2019 and 2029. The rate is higher than the national average for all other jobs.
What Is the Best Way to Get Into Cyber Security?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful career in cyber security. Some people begin their preparation early and pursue college degrees in cyber security, while others may migrate from other IT positions. So, how do you get started in cyber security? So, let me walk you through a few steps you can take. If you are determined, you can succeed in this field regardless of when or where you begin your career in cyber security.
Obtain a diploma.
Getting a degree is the most typical road people follow when looking for a job in cyber security. Typically, such individuals engage in a bachelor’s degree programme in cyber security, information technology, computer science, or information assurance. However, some employers may require a master’s degree if you pursue a better job.
What Are Cybersecurity Skills Required?
With such a diverse range of jobs and positions, there is an equally diverse collection of KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) needed to fill them, and each field of expertise has its own set of prerequisites. However, a few key talents apply to almost any cybersecurity profession, and the more you can check off, the greater your chances of landing a position among these essential talents, your knowledge of operating systems, programming languages, and networking. So let’s look at each one in more detail. Unless otherwise specified, all of the materials we recommend are free.
What Are the Benefits of Cybersecurity Certification?
You should be able to find someone ready to give you a start if you’ve gained some skills on your own, but things will move much faster if you pursue certification.
None of the resources listed here is free, and you should consider them only if you are confident in your existing abilities and your capacity to learn at your speed. On the other hand, these certifications will lend legitimacy to the talents and experience you’ve gained and are a good method to persuade an employer that you’re capable of doing the job.
Offensive Security, the company behind the Kali Linux operating system, is one of the most well-known brands in penetration testing and ethical hacking. They have a variety of paid courses that have a reputation for being both challenging and practical.
Penetration Testing Training with Kali Linux is a useful learning resource (OSCP)
CompTIA certification has been around longer than others, and the Security+ test assures you a good foundation in security threats, vulnerabilities, technologies and tools, secure network architecture, and more.
CompTIA Certifications are a great learning resource.
The SANS Institute is undoubtedly the most well-known name in the field of security certification. They have a vast selection of courses for just about any role you can think of. But, unfortunately, they may also be out of your price range unless you already have a job that will cover the cost of your training.
Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits, and Incident Handling as a Learning Resource (SEC504)
Just keep in mind that at the beginning level, certification doesn’t always trump experience, and not all certificates have real-world application, so make sure that any course you pay for is both from a respected trainer like those listed above and teaches up-to-date, applicable skills.
Where Do I Begin With No Prior Experience?
So, you’ve decided to pursue a career as a Cyber Security Specialist, but you have no prior IT experience and are unsure where to begin, correct? Then continue reading…
I strongly advise you to visit the CompTIA Cyber Security Career Pathway website first, as it contains a wealth of information on how to get started in this sector. The following is a link to the website: https://www.comptia.org/blog/the-comptia-cybersecurity-career-pathway-employable-skills-found-here
I strongly advise you to start with a CompTIA A+ course. You will learn the following as a result of taking this course:
Identifying, using, and connecting hardware components and devices is referred to as hardware.
Install and support Windows operating systems, including command line and client support. Learn about Mac OS, Linux, and mobile operating systems.
Software Troubleshoot PC and mobile device difficulties, as well as application security support.
Explain the many types of networks and connections, such as TCP/IP, WIFI, and SOHO.
NETWORK & HARDWARE TROUBLESHOOTING: Resolve difficulties with devices and networks.
SECURITY: Identify and defend devices and their network connections against security risks.
Installation And Configuration Of Laptops And Other Mobile Devices
CLOUD COMPUTING & VIRTUALIZATION: Compare and contrast cloud computing ideas and set up client-side virtualization.
OPERATING PROCEDURES: Adhere to industry best practices regarding safety, environmental effect, communication, and professionalism.
As you can see, following this course will provide you with a thorough understanding of computer systems’ backbones and how they connect with other computers and systems, as well as the fundamentals of networking and security. Most importantly, once you’ve learned everything, you’ll be able to sit for two exams and obtain your certification.
If you’re looking for a free resource, look no further than Professor Messer, who has dedicated his life to teaching millions of students for free on YouTube, and whose course is educational and simple to follow.
THE NEXT STEP
If you’ve completed A+ and want to advance, take N+, a networking certification. N+ certifies that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to design, configure, maintain, and troubleshoot wired and wireless networks. I can assure you that this certification is very valuable in the eyes of employers. In addition, because it is a vendor-neutral certification, you are not tied to a specific brand like Cisco or Netgear. Instead, you learn every aspect of how networks work, and then you decide if you want to specialize in a particular area, such as Cisco Routers, and study for that at Cisco.
You must first understand how your network works to best support and safeguard the systems that share information.
Also, before you can secure a network, you must first understand how it works to identify system weaknesses and devise a strategy to defend and safeguard them.
THE FINAL STEP
Congratulations on earning both the A+ and N+ certifications; you’re on the right route!
Next, you’re ready to take on S+ “Security” certification, a very well-known certification in the IT industry today.
What exactly is Security+?
CompTIA Security+ is a global certification that verifies the fundamental abilities required to perform basic security responsibilities and pursue a career in information security. To best explain what S+ is, it’s as simple as that.
This course will teach you how to:
VULNERABILITIES, THREATS, AND ATTACKS: Understand the fundamentals of penetration testing and vulnerability scanning and detect various types of compromise.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS: To support organizational security, install, configure, and deploy network components while assessing and troubleshooting difficulties.
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN: Implement secure network architecture and system design concepts.
MANAGEMENT OF IDENTITY AND ACCESS: Set up and configure identity and access management services and management controls.
RISK MANAGEMENT: Implement and summarise risk management best practices and their impact on the business.
Install and configure wireless security settings and install public key infrastructure.
As you can see from the bullet points above, it’s one of the most advanced certifications available, teaching you pretty much all you need to know about security in systems and networks.
You should have A+, N+, and S+ under your belt at this point. At this point, you can very much refer to yourself as an “IT Professional” and pursue whatever IT-related career you want. Remember, now you can decide whether security is still a thing for you because you may decide after studying security plus certification that it is not the right thing for you. Still, because you have gained so much knowledge, you can easily change to a different career path, such as IT Administrator, IT Network Engineer, etc. There are so many out there that I can’t name them all.
Now that you’ve completed the Core Skills in IT, you can move on to the Cyber Security Pathway, where you can study for the Cyber Security Analyst certification (CySA) or the PenTest+ certification. Once you’ve completed either of these two, you can move on to the CASP certification, which stands for Advanced Security Practitioner.
There are many FREE materials available; search for them on Google. In the IT world, Google and YouTube are your best friends because they can provide you with a wealth of information.
UDEMY.com, on the other hand, is a site that I utilize. This site has several videos on technology, IT, and Cyber security. In addition, every other day, the site has a promotion where courses range from £199 to £9.99-to £14.99, and you may buy multiple courses at once.
Remember, unlike most others, you’re aiming to build a rewarding professional career, and you must invest time and expertise in yourself, so don’t rely on freebies. To get things started, watch and use free resources, but once you’ve gained that foundational knowledge, it’s time to move things to the next level and start purchasing course material and investing in yourself.
After examining what I’ve seen in this group, it’s evident that everyone wants free stuff, but only a small percentage of you want to invest in yourselves with quality training. So, if you can’t spare a few hundred dollars for your career, you should examine whether this is the correct job.
In the coming months, I’ll launch my own “Cybersecurity Bootcamp course” on UDEMY, which will essentially teach anyone with no prior expertise in IT what Cybersecurity is, how to safeguard your home and personal gadgets, and how to enter into a profession in cyber security. I’m planning to create over 5 hours of content, so if you have any recommendations for what you’d like to see in this course, please share them in the comments section below. Any requests and recommendations are welcomed. Also, the course will not be free, but it will be reasonably priced.
How to get started in Cybersecurity without any prior experience?
Starting a career in Cybersecurity without prior experience is not as difficult as you would imagine, and it does not require a significant time or financial investment. With some baseline training, you can transfer to a position in Cybersecurity regardless of your background or experience. The demand for IT security specialists is tremendously high, and there are numerous chances for anyone interested in pursuing a career in this industry. A foundational cybersecurity course for beginners that covers the foundations and primary areas of IT security and data protection is the ideal place to start. After completing a cybersecurity course, you will be prepared to serve as part of an organization’s IT security team.
Several specialized and advancement opportunities will become more available as your abilities, expertise, and career progress, as well as the digital world, evolves. Cybersecurity Specialists or Technicians, IT auditors, and Incident responders are examples of entry-level professions. As a starting point, anyone interested in Cybersecurity for beginners should look into these positions. Cybersecurity Consultant and Penetration tester are mid-level professions, whereas Cybersecurity Engineer and Managerial positions are upper-level positions in Cybersecurity. Regarding IT security, there are many responsibilities available at each level, with lots of room for advancement down the road. The demand for cybersecurity training is steadily increasing. It’s possible that you’d like to expand into this field inside a company where you already work or that you’d prefer to make a total career change.
How to Start Learning Cyber Security on Your Own
The first step in learning cyber security on our own is deciding what we want to learn and in what order we want to learn it. This is an important step that should not be skipped. Understand that investing one minute now to plan your study path will save you at least ten minutes later since you will be on track and more efficient with your time.
Step 1: Decide what you’d like to learn. The field of cyber security is vast, with numerous specialties always changing and expanding. The first step in learning cyber security is to decide what you want to concentrate on. You can alter your mind or pivot later, but it helps if you narrow down an area that you believe would interest you. Consider whether you want to specialize in programming, penetration testing, network security, forensics, or anything else. Making a decision now will assist you in determining your best course of action.
If you’re unsure what the domains listed above signify, conducting your due diligence is one approach to learn more about them and make a wiser conclusion. Please find out more about these careers and what they require. Look at job advertisements to get a sense of what the job entails, and see if you can chat with people doing the job to learn more.
Step 2: Identify high-quality resources. Now that you have a general concept of what you want to achieve look for free or low-cost resources to help you get started. O’Reilly’s Safari, Cybrary, and Pluralsight are just a few of the online cyber security learning platforms. Many courses are accessible on Udemy, and your local library should have several books. Make sure that any content you choose, particularly novels, is new and no more than three years old. Avoid platforms like YouTube that do not maintain a high level of quality control. While YouTube is a fantastic tool, there is no quality control, so you can quickly obtain inaccurate information.
Step #3: Decide what you want to learn first. You won’t be able to study everything in one sitting, and certain topics may require some past knowledge. Examine some of the stuff and see what you can locate that is appropriate for you. There are many online courses available that would be a wonderful place to start. Intro to Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Essentials, or something similar is common titles. Don’t make the mistake of planning too far in advance, jumping ahead, or jumping about.
In recent years, threat actors have become more numerous and destructive, and this trend is only expected to increase. The need for firms to engage qualified staff to battle the threat means that anyone with the determination and skills to get involved in cybersecurity has many chances. This is a perfect time to pursue a profession that will be challenging, satisfying, and provide a vital contribution to the community, with a wide range of prospective roles and plenty of available learning materials, as we’ve detailed in this piece.