Photo by Mike Swigunski
As artificial intelligence begins to automate many of the entry-level jobs in IT, the cycle of automation started by the first industrial revolution is disrupting a sector previously thought a safe haven. It has become more important than ever to find opportunities for knowledge workers where demand for skills outstrips supply and where machines cannot yet replace humans. One such sector is cyber security.
As a subject matter expert at Jumping Bean, I am often asked how one gets started in cyber security. What is the suggested learning path to acquire the skills necessary to be a cybersecurity professional? What cyber security courses should one attend?
To start a career in cyber security one needs a basic understanding of computing concepts, administering operating systems and an understanding of the fundamental network protocols. If you are completely new to the field I usually suggest doing a self-paced CompTIA A+, followed by a self-paced N+ course from CompTIA. CompTIA's A+ covers basic computing concepts such as hardware, operating systems and security. CompTIA N+ covers networking concepts in more detail and is essential for cybersecurity specialists. To get the knowledge to administer operating systems we suggest Linux Essentials from the Linux Professional Institute or Linux+ from CompTIA for self paced study .
It is not necessary to get the certifications but one should master the objectives of these certifications to make sure one has the right foundation for tackling cybersecurity. If you already have these skills, either from your previous job experience or tinkering with computers you may already have the foundation to start the process of becoming a cybersecurity specialist.
The first cyber security-specific training course we suggest is CompTIA's Security+. This course is a basic cyber security course but will make sure your foundations are solid for undertaking more in-depth cyber security courses. Once this has been accomplished it's time to decide if one wants a more technical or managerial career path in cyber security. By this I mean does one want to manage the IT information security function, and ensure cyber security risk is addressed in a compliant way with appropriate organisation governance structures and procedures or does one want to be more technical and be a Red/Blue team member that undertakes penetration tests, test control compliance and configure secure infrastructure?
Tune in to the second part of this series where we cover the managerial certification path and in part 3 we look at the technical certifications. We will update this page with links once they are published.