Can I teach myself Cybersecurity?

In this age of the Internet, almost everything is online and connected to the internet and the topics of data safety and online security have never been as important as they are today. However, not a lot of people are aware of the importance of online safety!

And in this era of the internet, You can teach yourself cybersecurity, thanks to the learning material available online for free. Most experts in the domain are self-taught or have acquired skills in a non-academic way. And the best part is they are willing to share their experience and knowledge online.

If this sounds interesting keep reading and makes yourself more comfortable with this field.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cyber security is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. It’s also known as information technology security or electronic information security. Application security focuses on keeping software and devices free of threats.

Importance of Cybersecurity!

Cybersecurity is important because it protects all categories of data from theft and damage. This includes sensitive data, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), personal information, intellectual property, data, and governmental and industry information systems.

How to learn cybersecurity by yourself?

Before you start self-learning cybersecurity, define your goals or what you’re trying to accomplish via the learning. There are tons of individual paths to choose from in cybersecurity. Having a clear objective would make the learning process easier and a lot more streamlined.

Ask me or any cybersecurity personnel about how to learn cybersecurity on our own and everyone will reply with the same type of answer something like “I learned it from Google, Stack overflow, YouTube, and other online courses!

Well, it’s true but only to some end, everyone needs some kind of guidance.

NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD LEARN!

But before jumping directly into this field there are a few things you have to learn, although these are part of cybersecurity too!

Computer networking:

Computer networking may sound basic but believe me it’s not, one can’t master cybersecurity if he/she doesn’t know the nut & bolts of networking.

Covering 70% of the CCNA syllabus would be more than enough.

OPERATING SYSTEM:

As a cybersecurity enthesis, you should be comfortable with using a different kind of OS ( operating system ). Such as ( Windows, Linux, and Mac OS )

Learn about how the operating system works, learn topics like Processes, threads in windows & Linux, files, Windows Registry, Windows and Linux logs, learn about CMD, and many more things.

Programming Languages:

Why learning programming is important for cyber security?

Simply put, it makes you better at your job. Understanding programming helps cyber security experts examine software and discover security vulnerabilities, detect malicious codes, and execute tasks that involve analytical skills in cyber security.

One thing to keep in mind, not every cybersecurity job requires programming knowledge, you can start your career without or just basic knowledge of programming.

When talking about Programming start with basic HTML then Python, Javascript, PHP, and soo on.

Network Administration

Focus on designing, configuring, and troubleshooting networks. Learn the skills that are needed for running and monitoring a network efficiently and securely.

You might be thinking “How Network administration is related to Cybersecurity”

Network administrators work closely with cybersecurity analysts and experts. Even though your primary goal is to become a cybersecurity analyst, understanding the fundamentals of network administration is crucial for the following reasons:

Cybersecurity is all about the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from cyberattacks and malicious threats. To protect a network from attacks, you need to know how the network is designed, its structure, and what issues are essential to detect.

Network structures are designed with multiple procedures and protocols that attackers can potentially exploit. Therefore, to detect attackers and prevent them from exploiting network procedures, you need to know their purpose and how they work.

Cybersecurity analyst responsibilities involve simulating attacks to identify vulnerabilities, testing new programs to help protect the company data, and implementing security regulations and processes to ensure a network is safe and protected. You need to know a network’s structure to simulate attacks and find breaches.

These are the main reasons cybersecurity analysts must learn and understand the network administration environment.

In-Network Administration learn about topics like —

Network Configuration — LAN, WAN, Segmentations, VLANs, and Subnetting, Network Mapping Tools, Troubleshooting and Monitoring Networks, Network Devices — Switches, Routers, Telecommunication, etc…

Basics of Cybersecurity:

Learn and research ‘how organizations implement cybersecurity and introduce yourself to different roles in the industry. Additionally, try to make yourself familiar with the history of famous hackers and their patterns. Then try to explore modern hackers and their motives, capabilities, and techniques, as well as the different types of malware they use to attack their victims

While learning Basic try to cover these topics:

NIST Framework, Malware Types, Social Engineering, Vulnerabilities, Risks, and Exploits, Famous Cyber-Attacks.

Network and Application security

Learn about network and application security defense methodologies. try to identify which tools are required based on the network and the needs of the organization. Also, cover the topics like construction of secure network architectures. Learn how to detect and eventually block malicious actors from carrying out cyber-attacks and crimes.

In-Network and Application, security learn about topics like:

Cryptography — Symmetric vs Asymmetric Keys, Encryption/Decryption, Hash functions, Security Architecture, Security Tools — Firewalls, Antivirus, IDS/IPS, SIEM, Access Control Methods, Multi-factor Authentication, Authentication Protocols, Honeypots, and Cyber Traps.

Ethical hacking:

Learn how to perform cyber-attacks, which will provide you insights on cyber defense best practices, vulnerability assessments, forensics, and incident response processes.

Cover Topics like:

Ethical Hacking Processes and Methodologies, Network Hacking, Reconnaissance, Google Hacking and Locating Attack Vectors, Exploitation Techniques, Web Application Hacking, OWASP Top 10 — XSS, SQL Injection, etc. Manual and Automated Attacks, Post Incident Activity

Talking about resources to learn cybersecurity ( Ethical hacking, Pen-testing )

In this era of the internet, you can learn anything for free-

Online academies or platforms:

Hackthebox

Tryhackme

Port swiggers academy

Books:

The web application hacker’s handbook

Web hacking 101

Mastering web pentesting

Hackers Playbook 2 & 3

Penetration Testing ( A hand-on approach to hacking )

YouTube Channels

Bitten Tech

CyberMentor

Hackersploit and many more…

Don’t forget to read Blogs on a daily basis ( medium and HackerOne etc )

Making connections: Making connections on Twitter and LinkedIn is the best thing you can do, many peoples are sharing their knowledge and looking for people to mentor them, you simply need to find them and contact them.

Hopefully, this blog may help you in starting your career in this field.

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0xhavoc

0xhavoc

Cybersecurity Researcher | Penetration Tester