Towards a career in Cyber Security

Hello Everyone,

If you are here that means you are looking for something like “How to start career in Cyber Security?”.

Although the tips/resource given in this article can work for every one who is a noob in this line but it will be most effective if you are here looking for studying from basics and not for some tips about “how to hack FB, Gmail etc in minutes?”.

First of All what I write is what I do, So I guess you will come to know the result of what happens if you follow my blog, even before you follow it.

Who am I?

  • Indian Engineering College student (cliché), Wanted CSE but got ECE.
  • Internet Junkie, tech lover, tweaker, Windows 10 mobile Fan.
  • Somewhat “less” social.
  • Linux lover, CLI Fan although still a noob.
  • I have a “not good” Grade point and well as per my plans I don’t intend to go for any job in Electronics OR Communication.

So lets move!

If you are serious about a career in cyber security then you will have to put a lot of time and effort, it is not something that you can master with a one month course. If you are a student and can’t leave your current education then the best way to start preparation is by going through free courses available online, watching DEFCON, BlackHat etc videos in free time on you tube, you won’t understand much but as in my case these have worked in motivating myself as the new stuff always amazes me.

Start from Basics! You will find a million videos explaining how to use a particular tool for a particular hack but these will not teach the whole thing and how to think like a hacker, for that you need to know about the systems in question, how they work, how they communicate and their breaking points.

Here is how to start your CyberSec journey

  1. Start allotting time to it and remove distractions.
  2. Get on Twitter, you will find most of the famous CyberSec Professionals there, follow them and other Cyber Security related accounts.
  3. Look for twitter id’s of CyberSec Pro’s in DEFCON presentations on youtube etc and follow them.
  4. Set up an account on Github and if you don’t know how to code, start with youtube tutorials by “thenewboston” his tutorials are small and to the point or you can follow tutorials from “Darek Banas“, great tutorials but longer as these have more hands on exercises. If you want something more structured then go for Code school etc
  5. Get linux on your machine and if you are buying a new laptop don’t burn a hole in your parent’s or your own pocket, my laptop has a Pentium quad core 6th gen processor and 8GB RAM(Upgraded from 2GB) and a 256GB SSD. Even after running 4 VM’s (WinXP, Metasploitable, Backtrack and Kali Linux) OS’s on Virtual box my laptop works super fine and stays responsive. If you are going for a pentium cpu laptop do make sure it is Quad core, more cores preferred over higher clock speeds (atleast higher than 2.1GHZ).
  6. Learn about Linux from this tutorial by “thenewboston” and after that look for more.
  7. Practice and try to use Command Line Interface (CLI) only for all of your daily work (wherever possible).
  8. Once you get a hold on CLI and some programming language (personal recommendation Python, as it is easy and has plethora of applications, also there are a hell lot of pre-built function modules) move on and start learning a second language like php, javascript etc
  9. Along side learning new languages get yourself registered on Cybrary (THE BEST PLACE FOR FREE CYBER SECURITY CERTIFICATE TRAINING) and start the course for CompTIA+ and complete it.
  10. After CompTIA+ start this Free course from “SANS Cyber Aces online“.
  11. Now you have enough basic knowledge so join a worthy Cyber Security training  Course someplace around you, this is important as you will get plenty of time for clearing your doubts with instructors and also you will get better hands on practice.
  12. After this keep practicing and go for other higher level courses which also provide certification.

If you are going to enter a College and in a course not related to Computer science then here is the best possible time frame, assuming you found out about Cyber Security as a profession only now.

  • First Year

1) Semester 1 -: Follow Step 1,2,3 and 4.

2) Semester 2 -: Follow step 5,6 & 7 along with practicing programming

3) Summer breaks -: Learn some other language along with step 9

  • Second Year

1) Semester 3 -: Step 8 along with practicing previous language and working on CLI.

2) Semester 4 -: Step 10 and practicing programming.

3) Summer Breaks -: Step 11 along with Cybrary’s Cryptography Course.

  • Third Year

1) Semester 5 -: Learn some more programming languages. Contribute to Open source projects on Github, make and upload your own scripts and program sources. Look for Internships is all companies possible.

2) Semester 6-: Look through the courses you like in Cybrary and take up any number of courses but without over burdening yourself. Apply for Internships you have selected.

3) Summer Breaks -:  Go for Internships and give your best!

After all this, you will automatically find what to do next and if followed seriously you will ,by the end of your college degree end up with a bunch of valuable certifications and some experience on your side. A perfect combo for an Entry Level Job in Cyber Security Industry.



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