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First Steps In Cybersecurity


Introduction

A very high increase in cybercrime, a high demand for quality personnel and a low supply are factors that make IT security a real mine of opportunities and is becoming increasingly attractive. If all these factors lead one to believe that it is easy to find a place, the reality is quite different.
In this article we will discuss topics such as: Getting started in cybersecurity, how to stand out from other candidates and what type of position to aim for when taking your first steps.

Getting started in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a specialty that requires skills in all areas that make up the computer world. From networking to programming and from prevention to physical protection of machines, the security specialist must have a solid knowledge of the concepts that surround him. The rapid evolution of attack methods will push the specialist to keep up to date with new threats and how to protect against them.
As you can see, computer security is not an easy field to start with. It is strongly recommended to have a few years of experience before diving into it. Among the interesting positions to occupy to quickly gain experience we find :

  • Help Desk Analyst: Starting at Tier 1, this will help to understand the issues that users face on a daily basis.
  • Technician: Assembling, disassembling and installing machines, diagnosing problems and offering solutions are part of the technician’s tasks. Once again confronted with frequent problems, you will develop useful knowledge for your future career.

These few years of experience will allow you to develop a general view of how an IT infrastructure works as well as the common problems and solutions. In addition to the personal enrichment and experience, you will have the opportunity to study and prepare for your big jump into security!

How to stand out?

In addition to experience and degrees, an essential element to stand out from the crowd when applying for a job will be certifications. As explained in the previous chapter, working in IT is great, but it may not be enough to find a position. Here are some additional tips to improve your visibility on the market.

  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a valuable tool when it comes to connecting with people in the field. That’s why it’s recommended that you create an account and keep it updated with all your degrees, certifications or training.
  • Layout of your resume : Because of the sheer number of applications recruiters are now facing, they are now using software to sort out the applicants’ files for them. I have seen many cases where qualified people could not find a place until they reviewed their resume. There are tools like Job Scan that will allow you to see how well your file matches the desired criteria for certain positions.
  • Put your connections to work: The best advice I can give you is to make your connections work as much as possible. Word of mouth is still the most effective way to find a position. I speak from experience as this is how I got my first position as a Cyber Security Consultant.
  • Pass certifications: In IT we love certifications and there are a plethora of them. Some of them are highly prized and will bring recruiters to your door. But let’s not get carried away because before you can get one, you’ll need very solid knowledge. Certifications are so important that I have decided to dedicate an entire article to them.

What type of position should I aim for my first experience?

Once you have your certifications and the confidence that you have enough knowledge, it’s time to take the plunge! A big mistake you should avoid at all costs is aiming too high. Your first position will certainly not be pentesting. You have to start at the bottom just like any other field. Here are some positions that will allow you to use your knowledge and open doors later on.

  • SOC Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Safety auditor

Hopefully this article will help guide your decisions about your career in cybersecurity!

Published inCyber Security