Guide To Learning Cybersecurity Online     

cyber-securityCybersecurity remains an in-demand occupation with an increasing need for qualified professionals. More and more aspects of our lives are being stored on servers, and this is leading to a commensurate rise in the prevalence of data breaches, cybercrime, cyberattacks and identity theft. Cybersecurity professionals don’t necessarily start out with a particular aptitude in information technology, and not only is it possible to complete online cybersecurity training and learn the foundation of information security, but acquiring these skills can provide a lucrative and meaningful career in this $120 billion dollar a year industry.

What Do I Need to Learn Cybersecurity Online?
People think of cybersecurity and information technology in general as a field where a high I.Q and an intimate knowledge of technology and computers is absolutely essential to become an expert. The good news is you don’t need to be a genius to be good at cybersecurity, but there are certain skills that will give you a greater chance of being successful in the field. If you have a mind for problem-solving and enjoy working with computers and technology, you have all the tools necessary to thrive in the field of cybersecurity. The key to success is not in aptitude, but in the willingness to commit and put in the time and effort necessary to understand how the technology works, plus the inclination to find that effort enjoyable and engaging. You need to enjoy the work, so if you don’t feel that genuine interest in cybersecurity, this may not be the field for you.

Getting Started

The field of cybersecurity is a diverse terrain, and there are all sorts of disciplines that fall under the definition of cybersecurity. Getting informed about the various paths available is a fantastic place to start learning. Eventually, you will naturally gravitate toward a particular facet of the industry that resonates with you. In broad strokes, the field of cybersecurity falls into four general categories:

  • Coding
  • Systems
  • Applications
  • Networking

Coding – Coding is about the languages necessary to create web pages and executable applications. HTML is one of the more common languages in coding, but languages like JavaScript and Python also have their place, to name just a few.

Systems – This discipline focuses on the administration of two of the most common operating systems, Linux and Windows. Most people have heard of Windows to be sure, but the ability to administer a Linux system including scripting, is one of the powerful and useful skills a cybersecurity expert can acquire.

Applications – This part of cybersecurity focuses on how to configure and maintain applications like DNS servers and databases.

Networking – Learning to understand how computers communicate with each other, and particularly how to analyze network traffic is an invaluable skill, given how commonplace networks have become in recent years. Most people have a home network that is linked to any number of devices.

Formal Cyber Security Training Online

It is reasonable to wonder whether or not formal training is the best approach to learning cybersecurity. The answer is that while it isn’t the only approach, it is likely to be the most direct avenue to gaining the skills to prepare for the necessary certification exams like the CompTIA Security+ examination. Cybersecurity is a complicated discipline, and while it is possible to garner all of the skills needed on your own, doing so through an accredited education provider that has been vetted by outside cybersecurity professionals will make the process vastly easier and much faster.

The downside to this approach is the amount of time and money that factors into a formal cybersecurity education. A four-year college education can be incredibly costly, and even a community college may not be feasible depending on individual circumstances. A more viable solution may be a fully online curriculum that is both less costly, and can be more easily integrated into what may be an already hectic schedule. There are even programs that cover the basics of cybersecurity completely free of charge. All that is needed to take advantage of these programs is access to a computer with up to date specifications and capabilities, and a quiet place to study.

Cybersecurity is an amazing and rewarding field of study that will continue to present exciting new opportunities for those committed to mastering its intricacies. At HackEDU, we encourage anyone with an interest in cybersecurity to pursue learning the skills needed to succeed at it. We believe the effort will pay dividends that can literally transform lives.