If you’re interested in cybersecurity and looking for a career transition, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the top five skills you need to learn to get into cybersecurity. Whether you’re new to the field or have some experience, we’ve got you covered.
Building and Using Virtual Machines
Virtual machines are operating systems that run on top of your existing or “host” OS. The virtualized OS is commonly referred to as a “guest,” and it is managed by software called a “hypervisor”. Popular hypervisors you may have heard of include Hyper-V by Microsoft, Virtualbox by Oracle, VMware, and KVM. Virtual machines let you become platform-agnostic, meaning you’re no longer limited to any particular operating system and tools available for it.
Virtual machines also give you the flexibility to train and research in an isolated environment without affecting your main driver. You can quickly take snapshots of a guest OS and restore it to an earlier state. Virtual machines also give you the ability to practice configuring a server or to sling exploits at a target in a safe and isolated environment.
Learning the Command Line
The command line interface, commonly referred to as a SHELL, is the simplest and arguably the most efficient way to interact with an operating system. The command line gives you the lowest level access to software functionality that comes with an operating system. Many of the most useful tools don’t have a graphical interface to point and click. Mastering the command line expands your arsenal and lets you get more done with less. It lets you use scripting and automation to tackle repetitive tasks that would otherwise waste lots of time.
We recommend starting out with Bash, or the “Bourne-again Shell” since it comes default with almost every Linux distribution. macOS used it in its Terminal app, but has since changed to Zsh, or “Z-Shell,” and has some nicer features.
Learning Networking Concepts
As a cybersecurity professional, you must have a solid understanding of networking concepts such as TCP/IP, DNS, and routing. Understanding how networks work is critical to understanding how attacks occur and how to defend against them. Knowing how to configure a network and analyze network traffic will be essential for your success as a cybersecurity professional.
Understanding Security Concepts
Understanding security concepts is essential in the world of cybersecurity. Familiarize yourself with security principles, including confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA triad). You should also understand the differences between various types of attacks such as denial of service (DoS), distributed denial of service (DDoS), phishing, and social engineering.
Learning Programming Languages
While there’s some value going through the process of studying for certifications, what’s important are your skills and experience. Because in this field, what you can do will make you so much more successful than what you know. So, start building virtual machines, learn the command line, networking concepts, security concepts, and programming languages. With these skills, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a cybersecurity professional.