The 5 Skills Needed To Start In Cybersecurity
Admittedly there is no firm, all-inclusive list of everything a person would need in order to get started in or be successful in such a vast field as Cybersecurity. The goal of this article is not to tell you how to become a cybersecurity master, but instead to outline the skills needed to be successful.
5. A Strong Desire to Learn
Anyone in cybersecurity will tell you that if you want to succeed you will never stop learning. From degree programs and certifications to learning new programming languages and frameworks, there is an incredible amount to learn and know. The good thing is, you don’t have to know it all (and honestly, it may be impossible for you to know everything). The best practitioners are those who never stop learning, but also leverage those around them that have already learned and specialized in one field or another.
4. Attention to Detail
Being able to spot the smallest of vulnerabilities within code or a networked system can be the difference between securing the corporate infrastructure, and having to respond to an incident. Having strong attention to detail will also aid in ethical hacking, such as bug bounties and penetration tests, where you need to be able to spot small discrepancies in code to leverage for code execution during a pentest.
3. Communication Skills
This doesn’t necessarily mean verbal or written explicitly. Being able to convey your ideas, concerns, findings is a valuable skill no matter what specialization or level of management you may find yourself. When delivering a brief or writing a proposal or report your ability to effectively communicate will set you above others in the field.
2. Critical Thinking Skills
Given a problem, how do you come to a solution? Is the solution a brute force effort (try everything) or is it an efficient and effective solution that can be standardized and repeated? Being able to think critically and develop unique solutions to problems is incredibly important to anyone within cybersecurity from the most junior network analyst to the senior CISO of a large company.
1. Be Personable
The standard image of someone working in cybersecurity is the stereotypical “hacker” loner who wears a black hoodie and sits in a dark room with the green font on a black terminal, feverishly typing away against their next target. For better or worse, that is not at all what the modern cybersecurity professional looks like. Today, cybersecurity professionals work in teams to accomplish the job, and being personable aids tremendously in that effort.
You may have noticed that there isn’t any mention of specific programming languages, penetration skills, or server technologies listed above. This is intentional. The skills listed above are called soft skills and refer to the human aspect. They cannot be easily taught or learned, and are rather developed over time. There are certainly hard skills such as knowledge of computer networking and programming that are needed to be successful as well, but having a firm grasp on these five elements will land you firmly on the path to success.
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