How to Start a Career in IT Security
Getting into IT Security takes time… Lets get you started
In today’s world of increased data consumption, cyber threats and security vulnerabilities are on the rise. Luckily, the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity is there to help mitigate these risks. Now more than ever, the demand for IT security professionals is growing at a staggering pace.
There is no simple recipe, but a few key ingredients can help carve your path into this sought-after field.
Let us discuss these important aspects:
An analytical mind: A strong desire to understand technology and analyze critical situations is a must if you want to dive into the world of IT security. The ability to think critically and problem-solve a wide array of complex situations is a requirement for this field. Analyzing a situation and converting the interpreted information into action is a necessity especially for security analysts and security managers.
A background in Technology: Most people who head into this field already have a background in networking or IT support/Helpdesk and may have a special interest in security. Since a decent IT background is important, it helps to get some hands-on experience in IT before entering this field.
IT certifications: Attendingcybersecurity courses and getting a few IT and security certifications under your belt is helpful especially if you lack the hands-on experience. Any voracious learner who is willing to expand their learning skills continuously will find it easier to enter this field.
Love for troubleshooting: Cybersecurity is a world full of threats, data breaches, hacks, and risk assessments. A person putting his foot into the door should not only be able to solve problems but also have a passion for solving them. This trait is especially important if you are tilting towards going into security incident response or considering penetration testing as a career option where you would assist the organization with their Red teaming or Purple teaming exercises during annual security compliance audits.
A strong belief in ethics: People who work in IT security deal with the most sensitive and confidential data of an organization. From critical systems, financial data, human resources records to personal information of the employees, these individuals are bestowed with high-level accesses. Therefore, it is pertinent that anyone entering this field has a clean background and a true willingness to not misuse the ample data accesses. This especially holds for people applying for positions like forensics analysts, penetration testers and security engineers, and auditors.
Finding your area of passion: Many paths converge under the umbrella of IT security but before you delve deeper into this world, it is important to discover your true passion. Do you love to analyze and troubleshoot problems, or do you like to prevent and mitigate threats better? Can you break into systems and think like a hacker or would you rather analyze complex situations and drive them to completion? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself before applying for this field. Doing a self-analysis beforehand is important as you are the best judge of your skills and talent pool.
Launching a successful career in the world of IT security does not have a straight path.
However, there are many ways to help achieve your goals of landing that dream job. Whether you choose the path of obtaining certifications, getting on-the-job training, or expanding your hands-on troubleshooting skills, the real key is to stay persistent.
With hard work, dedication, and a quest for technology, you are bound to find a way into this field. For now, good luck and happy job hunting! Joe Holbrook