Some of the alarming facts you must be unaware of to date:
- 88% of organizations across the world experienced spear-phishing attempts in 2019.
- On average, only 5% of companies’ folders are properly protected.
- Data breaches compromised 36 billion records in the first half of 2020.
- The top malicious email attachment types are .dot and .doc that make up 37%, the next in the list is .exe at 19.5%.
The facts mentioned above are enough to understand why Gartner has predicted the worldwide information security market to be worth $170.4 billion by 2022. As businesses can no longer avoid digital transformation, cloud computing, big data analytics, and other emerging technologies, the importance of cybersecurity has increased manifolds. The term ‘cybersecurity’ basically refers to the technologies and activities designed to secure networks, computers, information, and digital assets of an organization from unauthorized access and cyberattacks.
Companies are having a hard time dealing with the security threats and the harm that can be caused due to them. Moreover, they are open to having a cybersecurity team but unable to find the right candidates for their positions. So, if you are planning to start a career in this domain, then now is the best time to do so. You can gain expertise in cybersecurity and command high salaries when applying for jobs. Even the entry-level professionals in this domain earn handsomely.
Now, there are various ways people grasp the concepts of cybersecurity and make themselves ready to take up jobs in this field. One of the most popular ways is to achieve an industry-recognized cybersecurity certification. Today, the exams of all such certifications are conducted online, and you will also find the training materials over the internet. Suppose you want to pursue a cyber security certification in Chicago; then there is no need to separately look for any study materials or go to a physical location; you can access them online just like simple websites.
Before you decide to pursue any certification, it is important that you understand the cybersecurity basics first. Many are confused and have this common question in mind – How can I learn cybersecurity from scratch? If you too are looking for an answer, then this article is for you. Find out how you can gear up to learn cybersecurity concepts from scratch.
A Beginner’s Guide to Learn Cybersecurity
Before directly jumping into how to learn cybersecurity, you should first analyze whether this career is right for you or not. Take some time to understand your own skills and knowledge and find out whether they align with a cybersecurity career. If you are concerned about your educational background, you would be surprised to know that even professionals from the non-technical field can become skilled cybersecurity experts. So, a specific college degree isn’t mandatory to get started in this domain. However, people with computer science or related backgrounds find it easier to grasp cybersecurity concepts.
Next, it’s time to choose a career path that matches your career preferences. Cybersecurity is a broad field, and you cannot become a master of everything; deciding one learning path will help you focus on the right skills to gain. Find out if you are interested in coding, developing applications, networking, ethical hacking, or any other area. Based on the job role and path you choose, research what skills are associated with them.
Now it’s time to gain the skills that will help you become ready to take up the responsibilities of a cybersecurity job role. There are many ways people can start learning cybersecurity from scratch. Some prefer reading through books, while others enroll in a cybersecurity Bootcamp and learn through video lectures or live classes. Some of the basics that any cybersecurity tutorial will cover are:
- system administration – operating systems like Windows and Linux along with command line interface, scripting, etc.
- Configuring applications – running and maintaining common applications like a database, web server, or a DNS server.
- Networking basics – working of networks, common network vulnerabilities, improperly installed hardware, etc.
- Types of cyberthreats – malware, ransomware, adware, spyware, phishing, trojans, etc.
We would recommend you to take an online cybersecurity introductory course to learn all the above concepts along with advanced topics. Learning from a subject matter expert through visuals will help you build a strong foundation in cybersecurity and understand what are the current trends and best practices followed by security pros across the world.
Lastly, when you have gained all the right skills and knowledge, it’s time to benchmark them through a cybersecurity certification. There are many renowned cybersecurity certifications for entry-level professionals that give you an extra edge in the highly competitive IT industry. Some of the most preferred certifications include:
- CompTIA Security+
- Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Security Fundamentals
- GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)
- (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- ISACA CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate
By pursuing any of the above certifications, you will join a group of elite professionals who speak the global language of cybersecurity experts. Apart from landing your dream job, these certifications will also help you command higher salaries and promotions later on.
So, when are you starting your cybersecurity journey?