How To Get Started In Cybersecurity In 2023

Cybersecurity is an emerging career trend, and it will continue to be increasingly important and in-demand. Many with such skills are well sought after and in-spite of its lucrative career growth many are also unsure how to get started in this field.In this newsletter, I will work with you as your guide to get you up to speed from ZERO to HERO in this field. Before we get into all of this, one may ask “What is Cybersecurity and How Do I get started”. Cybersecurity is a branch of IT that is concerned with the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks and unauthorized people.

The defense side of cybersecurity is just one of the many areas of expertise within the field. The use of technologies, protocols, policies, standards, frameworks, governance among others are deployed in defending critical infrastructure and data. Having a good understanding of these will go a long way to help you on your journey as a security professional.

With this simple definition, let dive deeper into how you can get started. To start or level up a career in this field, you need to be proficient in seven key areas of technical skills. You don’t have to master each of them, but you need to have a good understanding of them to get your foot in there. Whether you want to defend or attack computer networks you will need to be functional in these seven areas.

“Mastering the basics will make you exceptional”. These are the seven areas or roadmap to get you from ZERO to HERO.

  1. General Computing
  2. Computer Networking
  3. Security Concepts
  4. Programming
  5. Linux
  6. Windows OS
  7. Traffic/Packet Analysis

These are what I call the 7 pillars of cybersecurity. I know you may be thinking this is a mountain of knowledge to consume but DON’T be scared! While you won’t learn it all overnight you only need the fundamentals. Another thing to make mention of, If you want to excel in this industry you MUST also love learning. It takes a lot of time and dedication to understand concepts and technologies in this field so make sure your family and friends get time with you.

WAIT! WHERE IS THE HACKING? Correct. These are the base knowledge that both defense and offense require. I will talk about a more focused path later. For now, as a beginner, build the foundation and then the house. I see a lot of people been excited anytime I talk about hacking and straight out of the box, they jump in to the wild to learn without having any foundation or base knowledge. Later, they get overwhelmed, give up and quit learning. This won’t be your story because you have a clear path laid up for you to follow in this guide. Stick to it!

YOU DON’T NEED A DEGREE IN I.T. Yes, you don’t need a degree in IT or cybersecurity to get into this field. There is sadly an overwhelming amount of people with degrees in computer science who do not know their way around a keyboard and only academic theory…they can only talk the talk without being able to walk the walk. Most degree programs do not provide enough hands-on fundamentals to set someone up for success.

This newsletter is a path forward to new and experienced cyber professionals obtaining a concrete foundation of knowledge to enable them for success in the industry. Mastering the basics of each functional area is required to operate in a cyber team in a meaningful and effective way. A lack of fundamentals in any one pillar can quickly render you ineffective during dynamic and rapidly evolving situations.

Follow and stick to the seven pillars listed in this post. You can use this as a reference and a guide. Remember, you are not expected to master each pillar. The intent is to master the fundamentals which are simply primal blocks of knowledge. In the next newsletter, I will share with you topics within each pillar and courses you can take to cover all of the foundations listed here.

By: Prince Carl Tuffour Frimpong

Security Manager, Slamm Technologies