Breaking into the Information Security field might seem impossible from the outside, but in reality, all it takes is training and practice. If you’re interested in pursuing a role within this exciting field, we’ve compiled some key points to know as you kickstart your career.
Understand the Different Threats
Technology continues to advance at lightning speed, and with this also comes the advancement of threats putting security at risk. From the devices we carry in our hands to those kept stationary at our desks, there are countless points of access for bad actors and black hat hackers looking to break in. As an aspiring IT Security professional, it is crucial to be familiar with the threat landscape as well as the ways threats can be mitigated.
- Network Security: Any activity designed to protect the usability and integrity of your network and data is considered network security. This includes hardware and software technologies. Effective network security personnel manage access to an organization’s network and target a variety of threats to prevent them from entering or spreading on a network.
- WiFi Security: There are a number of main threats that exist to wireless LANS which include Rogue Access Points/Ad-Hoc Networks, Denial of Service (DoS), configuration problems (misconfigurations/incomplete configurations).
- Web Applications Security: The process of protecting websites and online services against security threats designed to exploit vulnerabilities in an application’s code is referred to as web applications security. During this process, high value rewards are often targeted, including sensitive private data collected from successful source code manipulation.
- Mobile Applications Security: Testing software applications developed for mobile devices for their functionality, usability, security, and performance, is all involved in mobile applications security. This includes authentication, authorization, data security, vulnerabilities for hacking, session management, and more for iOS applications and Android applications.
- IoT Security: The technology area concerned with safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of Things (IoT) is referred to as IoT Security. Allowing devices to connect to the internet opens them up to a number of serious vulnerabilities, if they are not properly protected.
- Human Risks: The use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information is more commonly called Social Engineering (or Human Hacking). Human risks play an integral role in the development and deployment of security tactics, and while they can’t be avoided, they can be understood and adapted to.
Understand the Different Roles
There are many Information Security roles to discover as new technologies evolve every day. Whether you’re interested in daily system operations or educating others, the opportunities and possibilities are endless in this field of work. Below are just a few of the job opportunities you can pursue!
- System Administrators (SysAdmins) are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.
- Penetration Testers, also known as “ethical hackers,” are highly skilled security specialists who attempt to breach computer and network security systems. They do this by trying to hack into networks to identify potential vulnerabilities in the system.
- Security Researchers keep current with all the new malware that can be used to exploit application and system vulnerabilities. They collect the malware, examine its functions and how it executes attacks, and then present those findings in a format that can be consumed by a larger audience.
- Security Advocates are responsible for advancing the cyber security profession around the world. Their responsibilities might include educating policymakers about key security issues, promoting the necessity of a competent cyber security workforce, building awareness about cyber security as a rewarding career opportunity, and more.
- Security Engineers, also called Security Analysts, help safeguard an organization’s computer networks and systems. They plan and carry out security measures to monitor and protect sensitive data and systems from infiltration and cyber attacks.
- Incident Responders, sometimes referred to as Intrusion Analysts or CSIRT Engineers, are cyber first-responders. Their role involves providing a rapid initial response to any IT Security threats, incidents or cyber attacks on an organization, as well as proactively hunting for threats and strategically planning for future potential attacks.
- SOC Analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increase.
Build Your Skillset
Because IT Security is a highly practical industry, each job requires a variety and specific set of skills. However, there are some skills every security professional should have, a few of which have been included below.
- Networking and development skills (preliminary skills, understand the basics)
- Penetration Testing (Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Networks, Systems, WiFi)
- Threat Hunting (DLLs and Executables loaded into an endpoint’s memory, Reverse Engineering)
- Threat Intelligence (How to collect and what to do with it)
- Digital Forensics (How to analyze FAT file systems using hex & disc editors)
- Incident Response (How to detect, analyze, handle and respond to security incidents)
- Social Engineering (How the human brain works and how to take advantage of it)
When learning new skills, it’s important to have access to the tools and resources to help you become proficient in your area of study. Getting hands-on is one of the best ways to become ready for the job of your dreams as well as real life threats. With our practical approach to learning, we offer a variety of hands-on resources including virtual labs, quizzes, and practice exercises so you can reinforce your knowledge and perfect your skills.
Are you ready to kickstart your education and take the first step in becoming an Information Security professional? Learn more about our Cyber Security training, which has helped thousands of students and businesses around the world achieve their training goals.