Cyber Security vs Web Development: Which is the Best?

Cyber Security vs Web Development: Which is the Best?

Trying to choose between cyber security vs web development can be a hard choice.

So, in this article, we’ll look at the differences and similarities between these two career paths to help you decide which one is right for you.

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Table of Contents

Cyber Security vs Web Development: Which is Better?

Cyber Security vs Web Development: Which is Easier?

How Are Cyber Security and Web Development Similar?

How Are Cyber Security and Web Development Different?

Why Choose Cyber Security Over Web Development?

Why Choose Web Development Over Cyber Security?

Cyber Security vs Web Development Salary: Which Pays More?

Cyber Security vs Web Development: Which is Better?

Choosing between cyber security and web development really comes down to your preferences.

If you want to spend your days protecting data and creating robust information systems, then go for cyber security.

But, if you like the idea of coding websites and applications from the ground-up (or redesigning them), then web development is a better option.

If you’re still unsure, my advice for you, aside from reading the article below, is to learn website coding first.

Why should I learn coding first?

You’ll find that many cyber security professionals come from various backgrounds, some of which aren’t even related to IT or cyber.

In fact, 53% of cyber professionals didn’t even start their careers in cyber.

That means your experience in web development, should you choose to pursue that career path first, will give you an edge over other cyber security professionals.

The best part is that you’ll only need a few short years of experience as a web developer.

That’ll give you the background necessary to make that move into a security-related role, if you’re interested.

Once you’ve got the experience, you can apply to application security-type roles, or you can even become a system administrator. This is a great starting point for a career in security!

By going this route, you get the best of both worlds, and then you don’t really have to choose.

But at the end of the day, I get it. There are many reasons (e.g. salary, location, work/life balance, etc.) that’ll go into your final decision, so it really depends on what interests you.

Cyber Security vs Web Development: Which is Easier?

With web development, you have a much faster learning curve than cyber security.

Although there are ways to work in cyber security without a degree, it’s much easier to get started quickly in web development without needing a college degree!

That’s because the skills you learn are based in practical knowledge not theoretical; you begin coding as soon as you learn it. That’s not the case with cyber security.

By the way, if you’re looking for a free open-source coding curriculum, try Odin Project. The Mozilla Developer Network also has excellent resources for developers want to know more.

Much of what is taught and learned in cyber security is theoretical knowledge. I can’t just apply my theory as soon as I’m hired, I need practical experience.

For example, I might know what cross-site scripting is and how to mitigate it, but if you ask me to code it (or perform a code review), I wouldn’t have a clue.

This is where learning web development has the advantage, after you learn the concept, you can immediately apply it!

Even the actual scope of work is simpler; in web development, you’re responsible for building websites and applications that are hopefully free of bugs or flaws. It doesn’t work the same way in cyber.

Cyber security has a much broader scope of work which makes it more complex.

How Are Cyber Security and Web Development Similar?

Will I solve problems and need to learn new things?

It goes without saying that any technical field requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills to address challenges.

Web developers solve design and functionality issues, while cyber security professionals identify and mitigate security risks.

Of course, problem solving also requires you to stay up to date with the latest trends, tools, and best practices.

As a web developer, you’ll need to adapt to new web technologies and design trends.

In cyber security, professionals must be aware of emerging threats, mitigation techniques, and regulations.

Will I work alone or as a team?

Other than small projects, working in either professions will require you to work in teams and collaborate with other experts.

Web developers may work with other developers, designers, content creators, quality assurance personnel, and project managers.

Cyber security personnel will almost always work with a team comprising of personnel from various backgrounds: other security personnel, developers, engineers, administrators, and management.

Do keep in mind that as a web developer your position may be remote. If that’s the case, you still have a team, but you may end up working at home alone. For security workers, working remote may or may not be allowed depending on your role.

How Are Cyber Security and Web Development Different?

Cyber security and web development are distinct fields with very different objectives, skills, and focuses.

Let’s look at some of the key differences between the two:

What are the core objectives?

Web development primarily focuses on creating, maintaining, and optimizing websites and applications using computer languages such as (e.g., HTML, CSS, and JavaScript).

The goal here is to ensure a smooth user experience, attractive design, and efficient functionality.

Cyber security, on the other hand, is concerned with protecting information systems from various threats, including unauthorized access, data breaches, and cyberattacks.

Though cyber security professionals do use computer languages, their goal in using them is the detection and prevention of malware.

How are the skill sets different?

As a web developer, knowing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is an absolute requirement, among knowing other languages.

But you’ll also need proficiency in principles such as web design and user experience.

Now, it’s probably safe to say that most web developers have a very common core set of skills. However, cyber security is a field, not a job title; therefore, expect to come across a multitude of skills for each type of role.

Cyber security professionals, depending on their area of expertise, need skills in network security, cryptography, risk assessment and mitigation, vulnerability management, etc.

What about tools and software?

There are so many tools and software that have been developed for web developers and security personnel, that it would be crazy not to consider implementing them.

Web development tools not only help developers to get the job done, but they also help to optimize the development experience (e.g. Sublime Text, Vagrant, Ack/Ag, Git, Apache, etc.). A quick search of GitHub will list for you thousands of tools offered to web developers, many of which are free!

Security professionals do have tools to use, but their tools are less about optimization and more about getting the job done.

You’ll find common tools that security personnel couldn’t do without such as NMAP, Wireshark, OSSEC, OpenVAS, Nessus, etc. Cyber security researchers often use a vast array of cyber security tools necessary to do their job.

Whichever career path you choose, the use of third-party tools and software to aid in your job is very important.

Are there frameworks I need to think about?

Both web developers and security professionals use frameworks in the course of their work. But these frameworks don’t take on the same meaning.

For developers, frameworks standardize how applications are built and deployed.

You might use frameworks such as Express, Angular, Django, etc. Mozilla provides an excellent article if you want to learn more about client-side frameworks.

A security framework references the standard an organization has chosen to adopt in order to implement its security practices.

Since legal implications are involved, the chosen security framework depends on the organization’s country and industry. Examples include ISO 27001/2, NIST CSF, HITRUST, FedRAMP, and so on.

Are there any compliance requirements?

Security professionals, by the very nature of their work, are already focused on securing assets.

Although web developers should consider security when designing and building websites and applications, this isn’t always the case.

The clients and employers of security professionals or web developers are usually subject to various regulations and compliance requirements.

Regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS aim to protect users’ data and privacy.

Although it may feel like a nuisance for web developers when requested to do so, professionals in both fields must understand and adhere to these regulations in their work.

If you decide to become a web developer, the OWASP Top Ten is the first secure coding technique you should start learning and implementing in your applications.

What should be my mindset?

While web developers are not the same as UX/UI or graphical designers, you still need a creative mindset to design visually appealing and user-friendly websites.

You also need to be open to new ways of coding and be able to ask for help; there’s no expectation you’re going to know how to code every process.

Places such as Reddit and Stack Overflow are great resources to find web developers willing to help.

Cyber professionals require the ability to pick up information quickly and must be able to handle their jobs with patience.

That’s because cyber security is very competitive and is generally employed with fewer resources making it a very stressful environment.

Why Choose Cyber Security Over Web Development?

Let’s discuss why you might consider choosing cyber security over web development:

What can I specialize in?

In the web development field, specialization comes down to front-end, back-end, full stack, and UX/UI design.

There is some variety in the types of web applications and websites developers build.

However, after having several years of experience you’ll find the scope of your work can be repetitive.

In many ways, there’s more room for specialization in cyber security.

Different cyber security professionals will focus on areas like cloud-based security, network security, critical infrastructure security, etc. Here’s a full list of the cyber security domains you can research further.

Because it’s not realistic to know everything, you’ll have a lot more room to specialize in security.

For example, if you’re interested in computer networking, then network security is a fitting career for you.

Really like cloud-based systems? There are plenty of roles in cloud security, too.

What’s the work environment?

Cyber security offers a wide range of roles and responsibilities, from cyber analyst and penetration tester to incident response and risk management.

Professionals in this field are always learning and adapting to new challenges, keeping the work engaging and stimulating.

However, there’s an important consideration here.

Both web development and cyber security can be quite stressful. It’s not uncommon for security personnel to work long hours and burnout quickly.

The two reasons for this are that you’re either working for an organization with poor management skills or working in an industry that’s highly competitive.

While web development isn’t an industry that suffers from a supply-demand problem (unlike cyber security), it can be stressful when resource constraints exist.

You may find this to be a problem with smaller development firms, with fewer developers, as management prioritizes different projects at various times.

What’s the demand like?

Cyber security is a global concern, and the skills and knowledge gained in this field are valuable and transferable across borders.

This can open opportunities for international careers and collaboration.

That means that the demand for cyber security roles isn’t going away. To give you a quick statistic, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimated a 35% increase in the number of information security analyst jobs between 2021 and 2031.

Compare this to the 23% increase for web developers during the same time frame.

Why Choose Web Development Over Cyber Security?

What industries can I work in?

Web development obviously focuses on industries that rely on an online presence, such as e-commerce, services, media, and marketing.

Your talents won’t usually apply to businesses that have a very small online presence (i.e. WordPress websites) or mom-and-pop retail shops.

But you will be given the chance to work in different sectors throughout your career.

Within cyber security, you’ll tend to find that professionals are heavily present in specific industries.

In fact, 67% of security professionals work in seven sectors: IT Services, Financial Services, Military, Government, Consulting, Healthcare, and Telecommunications.

While both fields can cross over many industries, web development clearly gives you experience from a wider set of industries.

What’s the impact on user experience?

As a web developer, you also play a huge role in shaping the user experience of a website or application.

This can be rewarding for those who want to create enjoyable, accessible, and user-friendly digital experiences. This is the complete opposite of cyber security.

In cyber security, you’ll know you’ve done your job right when your client or organization isn’t knocking on your door asking what went wrong. This probably adds to the reason why many organizations underfund their security budgets.

Is freelancing an option?

Web development skills are valuable if you’re interested in freelancing.

This flexibility can be appealing if you prefer more control over your work environment and schedule. This isn’t possible with cyber security as it requires teamwork.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Freelancing in cyber security is usually reserved for subject matter experts that are experienced enough to act as security consultants.

Cyber Security vs Web Development Salary: Which Pays More?

Cyber security positions pay more than web development roles.

There are exceptions, of course, but cyber security is generally the more lucrative of the two.

The average base salary is $62,013 a year for a web developer. This is due to the high number of entry-level positions in web development, which brings the average down.

However, this increases to more than $90,000 a year at the higher levels of the field.

Since cyber security is a mid-career role, there are fewer entry-level positions, resulting in a higher starting pay.

For comparison, a computer security specialist makes $81,537 a year on average.

In some instances, base salary increases to more than six figures — with many top roles earning at least $130,000 annually.

Of course, these are all averaged numbers, and your skills and experience will play a significant role in your annual salary.

Interested in More…

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Cyber Security vs Information Security?

How to Start a Career in Cyber Security After 12th?

Cyber Security vs Computer Science: Know the Difference!

by Amit Doshi

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How to Start a Career in Cyber Security After 12th?

How to Start a Career in Cyber Security After 12th?

Wondering how to start a career in cyber security after 12th grade? If you’re a student who’s getting close to finishing off high school and interested in pursuing a career in cyber security, here are 20+ ways to get started:

Ready to Get Hired? Upload Your Cyber Security Resume Today!

Table of Contents

Click below to find out how to start a career in cyber security after 12th!

Build Up Your Resume

Consider a College Degree

Choose an Online Course

Attend a Cyber Security Bootcamp

Develop Your Technical Skills

Labs / Simulation Environments

Get Certified

Stay Up to Date with Latest Trends

Develop Speaking Skills

Develop Writing Skills

Build a Network

Pursue a Specialization

Join Cyber Security Clubs or Organizations

Participate in Cyber Security Competitions

Gain Experience with Security Tools

Volunteer for Cyber Security Projects

Attend Career Fairs

Read Industry Publications and Blogs

Consider Freelancing

Join Online Communities

Consider Cyber Security Apprenticeships

Participate in Bug Bounty Programs

Build Up Your Resume

Before we start, two things are absolutely necessary when job hunting: building a great cyber security resume and making sure your LinkedIn profile matches.

Make sure to include relevant projects, internships, or certifications to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field.

To really showcase yourself, you can even create a Wix site or utilize online platforms such as GitHub.

Aside from keeping your resume relevant, be sure to highlight your contributions and the results of any projects. This can help employers see the practical applications of your skills and how it’ll benefit their business.

Consider a College Degree

Getting a college degree is great way to get your foot in the door. To give you an idea how good it is, about 88% of cyber security jobs want you to have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.

The good thing about college is that it’s not all academic! You also have the opportunity to get some real-world experience with internships while you learn from some of the top experts in the field.

This can help you build a strong network of contacts in the field. You may even find a mentor who can provide guidance as you navigate your career.

Now, if you’re really passionate about cyber security and want to take your career to the next level, consider a PhD. A PhD can open even more opportunities, like teaching at a university or becoming a researcher in the industry.

Though a PhD is a significant commitment in terms of time and money, it can lead to a highly rewarding and fulfilling career.

If any of that interests you, there are many universities that offer cyber security degrees. You can use websites like BestColleges and Intelligent to help you narrow down your choices.

Choose an Online Course

Choosing the right course of study in college or university can help lay the groundwork for a successful career in cyber security.

However, if you need flexibility and convenience, online courses are a great option for learning skills at your own pace.

Several online learning platforms offer cyber security courses, including Udacity, Cybrary, Pluralsight, Udemy, and edX.

These platforms provide a wide range of courses, from introductory cyber security concepts to more advanced topics.

Develop Your Technical Skills

If you’re going towards the technical side of cyber security, knowing languages like Python, Java, C++, and JavaScript is a must!

These can be used to analyze vulnerabilities or malware, create custom scripts to automate security processes, or even develop security software.

Fortunately, websites like Codecademy or Coursera offer online courses that teach these skills in a practical, hands-on way.

These platforms can provide you with the guidance you need to gain proficiency in coding and software development.

Attend a Cyber Security Bootcamp

Bootcamps are a great way to break into cyber security. They offer an intensive, hands-on learning experience that can quickly help you gain professional skills.

Even better, they provide a supportive learning environment with access to experienced instructors who mentor you throughout the course.

Be aware of what each bootcamp offers. It’s important to find a bootcamp that offers career services and partnerships to help you transition into a security career.

If you’re interested, my article Are Cybersecurity Bootcamps Worth It? provides a more in-depth view of security bootcamps and how to find them.

Ultimately, it’s important to do your own research and choose a reputable bootcamp that aligns with your career goals and interests. Look for programs that offer a relevant and up-to-date curriculum, experienced instructors, and positive reviews from previous students.

Labs / Simulation Environments

Building a personal lab is another fantastic way to gain hands-on experience with cyber security tools and technologies.

You can set up your lab environment using virtual machines or cloud services, and experiment with various configurations and scenarios.

Building a personal lab can showcase your abilities while being a fun and engaging way to further your passion.

Now, if you don’t have the time or resources to build your own personal lab, consider working with an existing online virtual lab:

Hack The Box, TryHackMe, Vulnhub, PentesterLab, OverTheWire, Root-Me, Web Security Academy, Damn Vulnerable Web Application (DVWA), OWASP Juice Shop, Metasploitable

These platforms provide interactive simulations so you can experiment with different scenarios such as penetration testing, web application security, and network security.

They offer a variety of virtual machines and challenges that allow you to practice hacking in a safe environment.

Whether you choose to build your own lab or utilize a pre-existing simulation, they’re a great way to develop your skills and gain hands-on experience in a safe and controlled environment.

Get Certified

Many companies want students to possess security certifications. They’re an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge in a particular area of cyber security.

Organizations such as CompTIA, ISACA, SANS Institute, (ISC)², Crest, and EC-Council have been around for many years and are widely recognized as credible sources for cyber security certifications.

Cyberseek shows you some of the most common certifications requested. The top three are CISSP, Security+, and CISA. Start with the Security+ and move your way up from there.

To figure out which certifications are best for your career goals, visit the Security Certification Roadmap created by Paul Jerimy.

The cyber security landscape is constantly changing so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends.

One way to stay informed is by listening to cyber security podcasts or YouTube videos to hear from experts such as David Bombal, John Hammond, or NetworkChuck.

Another great way to stay informed is by following thought leaders such as Bruce Schneier or Brian Krebs.

Develop Speaking Skills

Having strong speaking skills is crucial for success in the field.

As a security professional, it’s essential to relay technical information, even to the non-technical members of your team.

One way to improve your speaking skills is to practice presenting technical concepts to your colleagues or clients.

This can help you become more comfortable with explaining complex concepts and ideas in a way that’s easy to understand.

If you need help, popular organizations like Toastmasters provide opportunities to practice public speaking in a supportive and friendly environment.

Develop Writing Skills

In addition to speaking, learning how to write clearly and concisely is also a vital skill. That’s because you’ll be expected to create detailed security documents throughout your career.

There are several resources available online to help you improve your writing skills.

Websites like Grammarly and the Purdue Online Writing Lab offer tips for improving your technical writing.

But if you really want to get good, take a technical writing course at your local college. If you’re lucky, some degree programs already have a technical writing course baked into your curriculum.

Build a Network

A great way to connect with other professionals in the field is to attend cyber security events.

Event such as RSA Conference or Black Hat provide opportunities to learn from experts in the field and connect with other professionals.

Of course, I know these events can be expensive! So, the best way to start is by networking with members of your local BSides or Meetup group.

It’s important to remember that building strong relationships takes effort, so make sure to stay in touch with your network and actively engage with your connections.

They can provide valuable insights and advice on how to succeed in the field and can even help connect you with job opportunities or other networking opportunities.

Pursue a Specialization

Specializing in one area of security is great way to build your expertise and increase your value to potential employers.

Whether it’s network security, risk and compliance, cloud security, or application security, there are many areas to choose from.

Websites like CyberSeek and NICCS provide information on the current state of the job market and the most in-demand specializations.

Choose a specialization that aligns with your career goals. It’ll help you stay motivated and engaged as you develop your skills to become a subject matter expert in your field.

Just keep in mind that the demand for specializations can change over time, so choose one that you’re passionate about and are willing to develop.

Join Cyber Security Clubs or Organizations

Joining a cyber security club or group is great way to find like-minded individuals, learn from each other, and collaborate on projects.

You can start by searching for local cyber security groups in your area or reaching out to your school’s cyber security club.

As a member, you can work on team projects, compete in cyber security competitions, and attend industry conferences.

Here’s a list of industry associations, put together by Cybersecurity Ventures, that you can join.

Actively engaging in these groups can provide opportunities to take on leadership or mentoring roles, which can also help you develop valuable soft skills.

Participate in Cyber Security Competitions

Participating in cyber security competitions is great way to challenge yourself in a fun and exciting way.

These are basically hacking competitions that simulate real-world cyber-attacks and defenses in a safe and controlled environment.

In addition to building your technical skills, you also get to meet and learn from other cyber security enthusiasts.

Competitions such as CyberDefenders, CyberStart America, National Cyber League, Plaid CTF, or DEF CON CTF are all examples of well-known security competitions to try-out.

There are many to choose from, ranging from beginner-friendly challenges to advanced contests that attract top professionals from around the world.

A comprehensive list is found at CTFtime.

Gain Experience with Security Tools

As a cyber security professional, you’ll encounter a variety of security tools. By gaining hands-on experience with these tools early, you become good at using them when it matters.

Different tools are used in different situations, so it’s really best to learn some of each. Here’s a short list of the popular tools:

Nmap (Network Mapper): A free and open-source tool for network exploration, management, and security auditing.

Wireshark: A network protocol analyzer that allows you to see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level.

Metasploit: A penetration testing tool that allows you to test the security of your network and identify vulnerabilities.

Snort: An open-source intrusion detection and prevention system that can help you detect and respond to security threats in real time.

Security Onion: A Linux distribution for intrusion detection, network security monitoring, and log management.

OSSEC: A host-based intrusion detection system that can help you monitor and respond to security threats on your network.

If that’s not enough for you, CISA created a list of free cyber security services and tools.

Volunteer for Cyber Security Projects

Start volunteering for cyber security projects with non-profit organizations or community groups. It’s a great way to gain hands-on experience in cyber security and make a positive impact in your community.

To find online volunteer opportunities, you can start by browsing platforms like VolunteerMatch, Center for Cyber Safety and Education, CyberUp, Charity Navigator, or even your state cyber security alliance.

If all else fails, reach out to your local community organizations and ask about any available opportunities. Even something simple as securing their network router, installing a web application firewall, or providing basic security awareness training helps everyone!

Attend Career Fairs

Attending cyber security career fairs is great way to kickstart your career.

These events offer an opportunity to learn about each company and be able to network with industry professionals. And, you have direct access to employers who are looking for students like you!

You can find these events either sponsored by your university or you can also checkout Infosec Conferences.

When you’re at the career fair, this is the best time to network! Introduce yourself, ask questions, and discuss your career goals and aspirations.

Additionally, you’ll find seminars focused on career development. You can even attend resume reviews, mock interviews, or workshops on developing new skills.

By the end of the event, you should have a good sense of each company’s security culture and what you’re comfortable with.

Read Industry Publications and Blogs

If you want to keep up with the ever-changing world of security, reading industry publications and blogs is a great place to start.

These resources can help you stay informed about the latest trends and techniques in the field.

You can find a wealth of information on topics such as threat intelligence, data protection, and incident response.

Websites such as Threatpost, Dark Reading, and HelpNetSecurity provide valuable security-related news.

Consider Freelancing

If you’re interested in gaining practical experience in the field, freelancing could be a good option for you.

Freelancing lets you choose which projects interest you and fit your availability.

Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer offer you the opportunity to work without requiring proof of education or experience.

However, freelancing can also have its challenges!

Finding clients and securing regular work and income is difficult in the beginning. So, before you start freelancing on these sites, it’s important to already possess some level of skill. You don’t want to be passed over because of a bad user review right as you’re starting out.

Weigh the pros and cons before deciding if freelancing is the right path for you.

Join Online Communities

Joining online communities, such as Discord, Quora, and Reddit give you a chance to connect with industry professionals, ask questions, and share knowledge.

Reddit forums (subreddits) such as r/cybersecuritjobs, r/netsec, r/cybersecurity, and r/hacking cater to specific areas of cyber security. There are over a dozen subreddits, so definitely dive in and do your research.

These online communities have become very popular because your questions are answered by experienced professionals willing to teach.

When participating in these communities, it’s important to be mindful of each platform’s culture. The last thing you want is to get banned for not following their specific rules.

Consider Cyber Security Apprenticeships

With an apprenticeship, you can learn from experienced professionals while working on real-world projects.

If you’re lucky, the apprenticeship can lead to a long-term job opportunity with the organization.

To find cyber security apprenticeship opportunities, you can check with companies or organizations in your area that offer apprenticeships.

You can also search for apprenticeships on websites like CompTIA, NIST Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program or

Additionally, some states and regions have their own apprenticeship programs, so it’s worth checking with local government agencies and workforce development organizations.

When applying for cyber security apprenticeships, be sure to highlight any relevant skills and experience you have, such as coursework or certifications.

It’s important to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the field making you stand out as a candidate.

Participate in Bug Bounty Programs

If you know how to identify security vulnerabilities in software, then bug bounty programs are the way to go! You get to work with real-world clients that’ll offer a monetary reward just for finding vulnerabilities!

In addition to experience, participating in bug bounty programs can also help you build your reputation in the industry.

If this sounds good to you, check out platforms like HackerOne, Bugcrowd, and Synack.

These platforms offer various programs with different reward structures and levels of difficulty.

Before you start, it’s important to thoroughly understand the rules of each program to ensure you’re staying ethical.

Interested in More…

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How to Get into Cybersecurity with No Experience?

Cyber Security vs Network Security: Which Is Better?

Why Study Network Security?

What Is the Best Job in Cyber Security?

Is Cyber Security Right for Me?

20 of the Best Cyber Security Activities for Students!

What Is an IAM Engineer?

19 of The Best Free Cyber Security Courses!

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The Future of Cyber Security: Overview of New Technologies

by Amit Doshi

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20 of the Best Cyber Security Activities for Students!

20 of the Best Cyber Security Activities for Students!

With the increasing use of technology in our daily lives, cyber security has become more important than ever before.

It’s crucial that we all have a basic understanding of cyber security, especially for students who spend a lot of time online for studying, communicating, and socializing.

But let’s be real, learning about cyber security can be a bit dry and boring.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of 20 cyber security activities that are both informative and entertaining.

These activities are perfect for students who want to learn about cyber security in a fun and engaging way.

Whether you’re a student or an educator, it’s important to prioritize cyber security education to create a safe and secure online environment for yourself and others.

So, let’s dive into our list of the best cyber security activities for students and learn how to protect ourselves and our information online!

Ready to Get Hired? Upload Your Cyber Security Resume Today!

The Best Cyber Security Activities for Students

Password Creation Exercise

Have students create strong passwords and explain why they are important.

Benefit: Helps students understand the importance of creating strong passwords that are difficult to guess or hack.

Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt that requires students to search for cyber security terms and concepts.

Benefit: Encourages students to learn about different cyber security concepts and terms in a fun and engaging way.

Phishing Simulation

Set up a fake phishing email and have students try to identify the red flags.

Benefit: Helps students recognize the signs of a phishing email and avoid falling for scams.

Role Playing Exercise

Have students role-play different cyber security scenarios and practice their responses.

Benefit: Helps students practice responding to different cyber security scenarios, which can be useful in real-life situations.

Risk Assessment

Assign a task to students to evaluate the risks involved in using certain websites, apps, or social media platforms.

Benefit: Helps students understand how to evaluate the risks involved in using different websites, apps, or social media platforms.

Hacking Challenge

Create a hacking challenge where students must find vulnerabilities in a system and patch them.

Benefit: Teaches students how to identify vulnerabilities in a system and how to patch them, which can be useful in a career in cyber security.

Guest Speaker

Invite a cyber security expert to talk to students about the latest trends and threats in the field.

Benefit: Exposes students to the latest trends and threats in the field, which can help them stay informed and up-to-date.

Research Assignment

Assign a research project where students must investigate and report on a cyber security breach.

Benefit: Helps students understand the impact of cyber security breaches and how they can be prevented.

Cybersecurity Jeopardy

Create a Jeopardy game where the questions cover various topics related to cyber security.

Benefit: Makes learning about cyber security fun and engaging, while also reinforcing important concepts and terms.

Mock Trial

Create a mock trial where students play different roles, such as judge, lawyers, and witnesses, and investigate a cyber security breach.

Benefit: Helps students understand the legal aspects of cyber security and how breaches can be prosecuted.

Security Awareness Posters

Assign students to create posters that promote cyber security best practices.

Benefit: Encourages students to think creatively about how to promote cyber security best practices and can help spread awareness among their peers.

Online Safety Quiz

Create a quiz where students can test their knowledge of online safety and cyber security.

Benefit: Helps students test their knowledge of online safety and cyber security and identify areas where they need to improve.

Security Incident Response Exercise

Have students practice responding to a simulated security incident.

Benefit: Helps students understand the importance of responding quickly and appropriately to security incidents.

Cyber Security Career Day

Invite professionals from different cyber security fields to speak to students about their careers.

Benefit: Exposes students to a range of career opportunities in the field of cyber security and helps them understand what skills are required for different roles.

Encryption Exercise

Have students practice encrypting and decrypting messages to understand how encryption works.

Benefit: Helps students understand how encryption works and how it can be used to protect sensitive information.

Threat Modeling Exercise

Assign a task to students to create a threat model for a specific system or application.

Benefit: Teaches students how to identify potential threats to a system or application and how to develop a plan to mitigate those threats.

Cyber Security Comic Strip

Assign students to create a comic strip that explains a cyber security concept or best practice.

Benefit: Encourages students to think creatively about how to communicate cyber security concepts and can be a fun way to engage students in learning.

Two-Factor Authentication Exercise

Have students set up two-factor authentication for a social media account and explain how it works.

Benefit: Helps students understand how two-factor authentication works and why it is an important security measure.

Digital Footprint Analysis

Assign a task to students to evaluate their own digital footprints and identify potential security risks.

Benefit: Helps students understand how their online activities can impact their privacy and security and how to minimize the risks.

Data Privacy Policy Exercise

Have students analyze a data privacy policy and identify its strengths and weaknesses.

Benefit: Helps students understand how data privacy policies work and how to evaluate them to ensure that their personal information is being protected.

Why Are These Good Cyber Security Activities for Students

Develops Critical Thinking Skills

Many of these activities require students to think critically about cyber security concepts and apply that knowledge to real-world situations. This can help develop their problem-solving skills and make them better equipped to navigate the complex digital landscape.

Promotes Collaboration

Some of these activities, such as the mock trial or role-playing exercise, require students to work together to solve a problem or achieve a goal. This can help promote teamwork and communication skills.

Builds Awareness

By participating in these activities, students become more aware of the risks and threats associated with using digital technologies, as well as the steps they can take to protect themselves.

Enhances Digital Literacy

Many of these activities involve using various digital tools and platforms, which can help students develop their digital literacy skills. This is an important skill in today’s digital age, where almost all aspects of life are influenced by technology.

Provides Career Preparation

Engaging in these activities can help students learn about different career paths in the field of cyber security and develop the skills and knowledge needed for these careers.

Fosters Creativity

Some of these activities, such as the comic strip or poster creation exercises, require students to use their creativity to convey cyber security concepts in a visually appealing way.

Increases Confidence

By learning about cyber security and participating in these activities, students can feel more confident about their ability to navigate the digital world and protect themselves from cyber threats.

Overall, these cyber security activities can provide students with a range of benefits, from enhancing their critical thinking and digital literacy skills to preparing them for future careers and increasing their confidence in navigating the digital landscape.

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How to Learn Cyber Security?

by Amit Doshi

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How to Learn Cybersecurity?

How to Learn Cybersecurity?

Ever thought about how to learn cyber security? With the growing demand for cyber security jobs, now is the perfect time to get started.

From understanding the basics of the industry, to discovering the best resources for learning.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know to get started in cyber security and learn all the necessary skills to become an expert.

With the right knowledge and dedication, you’ll soon be on your way to a successful career in cyber security.

Read further to help you learn more about cyber security.

Ready to Get Hired? Upload Your Cyber Security Resume Today!

Table of Contents

How to learn cyber security? Click below to find out!

What Is Cyber Security?

Can You Learn Cyber Security on Your Own?

Skills Needed for a Career in Cyber Security

How to Learn Cyber Security?

Step-by-Step Cyber Security Learning Plan

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security, or Information Security, is the practice of protecting data and networks from attack, damage, or unauthorized access.

At its most basic level, cyber security is about protecting digital information from unauthorized access or alteration.

This means that organizations must take steps to protect their systems from malicious actors who may try to gain access to confidential information or disrupt operations.

This can involve everything from implementing strong passwords and two-factor authentication to deploying antivirus software and utilizing encryption techniques.

Additionally, organizations must also be aware of legal issues surrounding privacy, data protection and data sharing.

All these components combine to form the foundation of a comprehensive cyber security strategy.

Ultimately, the goal of cyber security is to keep organizations safe from external threats, while also safeguarding the data they’ve collected.

To do this, cyber security professionals must remain up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry and constantly strive to stay one step ahead.

While it can be an intimidating field to get into, with the right resources and guidance anyone can become an expert in cyber security.

Can You Learn Cyber Security on Your Own?

But what if you don’t have a degree in computer science or cyber security? Is it still possible to learn how to become a successful cyber security professional? The answer is yes, it is possible to learn how to become a successful cyber security professional on your own.

Learning cyber security doesn’t require any formal education; however, it does require a lot of hard work and dedication.

If you’re willing to put in the effort and make the commitment, you should do well in this industry.

The most important part of learning how to secure systems and data is understanding the fundamentals of the technology.

To do this, you should start by researching the different types of threats, such as malware, phishing, and social engineering, as well as the different ways that attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in software and hardware.

It is also important to understand the different tools used to protect systems and data, such as firewalls, encryption, and identity and access management (IAM).

Once you have a good understanding of the basics of cyber security, you can begin to develop your technical skills by utilizing various resources and learning modes that are covered below.

Skills Needed for a Career in Cyber Security

If you’re looking to enter the field of cyber security, it’s important to understand that the skills needed for success vary depending on the type of job you’re aiming for.

Cyber security is a complex and ever-evolving field, and requires a wide range of technical and non-technical skills.

It’s important to develop an understanding of the common tools and technologies used in cyber security, as well as the underlying concepts and principles.

For cyber security beginners, the following skills are essential:

Analytical Thinking: Analyzing large amounts of data to identify patterns and uncover security threats is a major component of cyber security. Developing your analytical thinking skills will help you identify and solve problems quickly and effectively.

Programming Skills: Understanding how computer programs work is essential in cyber security. This includes being familiar with command line code, Windows and Linux operating systems, and coding languages such as Python and Java.

Networking: Understanding how networks work, as well as understanding common networking protocols such as TCP/IP and DNS is essential for working in cyber security.

Risk Management: Risk management is an important aspect of cyber security and requires the ability to assess potential security risks and develop appropriate countermeasures.

Security Policies and Procedures: Understanding and potentially developing security policies, plans, and procedures will help you to create repeatable security processes that better protects your information systems from potential attacks.

Project Management: Working in Cyber Security often involves leading or participating in multiple projects simultaneously. Developing your project management skills will help you manage your time effectively and prioritize tasks to meet deadlines.

How to Learn Cyber Security?

Learning cyber security, especially for beginners, can be a daunting task. But with the right knowledge and resources, anyone can get started in the field of cyber security.

Here are some tips on how to begin learning cyber security:

Research & Understand the Basics

Before you start learning, it’s important to research the different aspects of cyber security and understand what it entails. It’s important to understand basic cyber security concepts such as the CIA triad, threats, vulnerabilities, risk management, cryptography, and network security. You can find plenty of online resources that can help you understand these concepts. Professor Messer is an excellent example of an online resource for free learning materials.

Software skills

As a cyber security professional, you will need to possess strong digital skills, which include working knowledge of security software and operating systems.

For example, security experts may use tools such as Nessus, Wireshark, or Metasploit and operating systems such as Kali Linux for analysis and testing purposes.


Network security plays a critical role in protecting overall organizational security infrastructure. Businesses can have multiple networks containing sensitive data. Learning how to secure such critical networks and systems is important for those who want to learn cyber security and want to start a career in cyber security. Spend time learning how firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), intrusion detection and prevention systems work, as well as other network devices operate.

Cyber Security Laws & Regulations

Cyber security has become a global crisis because of the consequences that accompany breaches and digital attacks. Security breaches can result in severe complications for businesses. Such consequences include legal complications such as lawsuits, fines, and state-imposed business sanctions.

It’s important that you learn about the latest information security and data protection laws and regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, FISMA. By learning about these laws and regulations, you can develop a deep understanding of the various domains and aspects of privacy and security.

Step-by-Step Cyber Security Learning Plan

Cyber security is a vast field with diverse specialization areas. It’s easy to get confused especially if you are just getting started with cyber security education. To make things simpler for you, below is a step-by-step guide to learning cyber security. It will help you gain the knowledge and skills needed to become a successful cyber security professional.

Step 1: Find an Area of Interest

When learning cyber security or considering a career in this field, it is important to research the area that suits your interests and expertise.

There are various roles available in the field, such as network security analyst, cyber security engineer, security analyst, and more.

Each role requires different levels of expertise, so it is important to understand the skills and knowledge needed for each role.

For those who are just starting out in the field of cyber security, there are also entry-level cyber security jobs available that can be a great place to start.

These entry-level security jobs include:

  • Information Security Analyst (Salary $103,590 per year)
  • System Administrator (Salary $84,810 per year)
  • IT Support Specialist (Salary $55,510 per year)
  • Cyber forensics analyst (Salary $89,300 per year)
  • Junior Penetration Testers (Salary $85,478 per year)
  • Security Auditor (Salary $84,039 per year)
  • Junior Security Analyst (Salary $56,496 per year)
  • Researching industry needs and job postings can help you narrow down your search and find an area of specialization that interests you.

    It is also important to read up on the latest trends and technologies in the field to understand how they may affect the job market and how they could benefit your career.

    Step 2: Use Online Resources

    After choosing an area of specialization, it’s time to gain information about the field.

    One of the best ways to research and understand the basics of any field in cyber security is to read up on the subject.

    There are numerous books, articles, and resources available online that can give you a comprehensive overview of the field.

    You can also attend courses related to cyber security.

    Resources such as edX, Coursera, or Udemy, will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to understand how to learn cyber security.

    Step 3: Start Networking

    One of the best ways to learn cyber security is by talking to other experienced professionals in the field.

    Attend conferences, networking events, meetups, and webinars/seminars to make connections and stay updated with the latest trends.

    Additionally, joining multiple digital cyber security networking communities can also help you make connections and gain insight into the industry.

    Step 4: Take Online Courses & Courses

    You can also take paid or free online courses to learn cyber security.

    There are many platforms available that offer comprehensive programs covering everything from basic concepts to advanced techniques.

    Many universities, community colleges, and coding bootcamps offer cyber security classes or certificates.

    These courses will provide you with a thorough introduction to the basics of cyber security and teach you how to protect systems from malicious threats.

    Step 5: Get Hands-on Practice

    Learning is one thing, but mastering the skills requires practice.

    Experiment with different tools and technologies to get hands-on experience and be able to use them confidently when needed.

    There are a variety of hands-on cyber security learning opportunities available for those who want to get real-world experience, such as attending hackathons or participating in Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions.

    Real-world practice will not only help you test and hone your skills but will also open many doors of opportunities for you to build a successful career in cyber security.

    Step 6: Stay Current with Industry Trends

    It is important to stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry.

    By staying informed about the latest developments in the cyber security field, you can ensure that you remain current on best cyber security practices and technologies.

    Step 7: Get a Cyber Security Certification

    When it comes to getting started in the field of cyber security, certifications can be a great way for beginners to gain knowledge and skills that are applicable to the job market.

    Entry-level security certifications are designed for those with little to no experience in the field and provide a great way for beginners to learn the basics of cyber security.

    The most common entry-level security certification for beginners is CompTIA Security+ Certification.

    This certification covers topics such as security protocols, threats, attacks, and prevention techniques.

    Additionally, it helps certify individuals for various IT positions related to cyber security.

    Other popular certifications include the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP).

    All of these certifications cover topics related to cyber security such as network security, authentication, encryption, forensics, malware analysis, and more.

    With any of these certifications, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge and skills related to cyber security to potential employers.

    Final Thoughts

    The field of cyber security is one of the most rapidly growing industries, and it is an exciting time to start learning cyber security as a career.

    Cyber security jobs are projected to grow substantially in the coming years and there are a variety of paths for people interested in the field.

    Overall, learning cyber security as a beginner is possible with the right dedication and resources.

    With the right amount of effort, you can become a successful cyber security professional without any formal education.

    Interested in More…

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    Is Cyber Security Boring?

    by Amit Doshi

    If you enjoyed reading today’s article please subscribe here.

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    How to Become a Cyber Security Researcher?

    How to Become a Cyber Security Researcher?

    If you’ve ever wanted to be a cyber security researcher, this is the guide for you. I’ll show you how to get started, and what skills are most important. Read further to find out more!

    Ready to Get Hired? Upload Your Cyber Security Resume Today!

    Table of Contents

    How to become a cyber security researcher? Click below to find out!

    What Is a Cyber Security Researcher?
    Cyber Security Researcher Salary
    Cyber Security Researcher Skills
    What Does a Cyber Security Researcher Do?
    What Tools Does a Cyber Security Researcher Use?
    How to Become a Cyber Security Researcher?

    What Is a Cyber Security Researcher?

    Cyber security researchers are a part of the security field responsible for identifying and analyzing threats that may have an impact on the stability of an organization’s information systems.

    By understanding these threats early on, they can work with security teams to prevent the exploitation of system vulnerabilities.

    The work done by cyber security researchers can be applied to any industry and is essential for keeping business networks, financial accounts, government defense systems and other important information systems secure from cyber criminals.

    Security researchers often have a background in mathematics or computer science with some exposure to penetration testing. These fields are useful for understanding how information systems function and how they can be broken into.

    Commonly referred to as “blue teaming” activities, some security researchers focus solely on keeping malicious actors out of networks or systems, while others concentrate more on finding ways to disable or disrupt malicious activity already underway.

    Not all cyber security researchers are alike; each one has their own area of specialization. Some focus on data protection, while others might look at how to protect networks, IoT, wireless networks, mobile devices, etc. And some go even further by specializing in specific types of threats, such as phishing or ransomware attacks.

    For organizations to make the necessary security improvements, security researchers must relay how different attack scenarios can affect their products or systems.

    Cyber Security Researcher Salary

    While there isn’t a lot of information on this position, ZipRecruiter lists the salary range of a cyber security researcher between $53k and $150k with a nationwide average of $115k. presents an average of $96k.

    Cyber Security Researcher Skills

    To become a good cyber security researcher, you’ll need to develop the following skills:

    Passion for Research

    This role isn’t a typical 9-to-5 job and will require hours of sitting in front of computers doing endless research. Part of your job will be to research materials that won’t always be found by performing a simple Google search, so prepare to dig deep. You need to love what you do and be able to think outside the box. If you can manage that, then becoming a cyber security researcher may be the right career path for you!

    Penetration Testing & Forensics

    Being a researcher means you’ll need to identify and analyze different types of threats. And though you’ll mostly likely seek out threats within your area of expertise, you still need the ability to identify how they work (i.e. exploitation techniques, mitigation techniques, who’s behind them, as well the motivation behind the threat). You’ll be using your extensive knowledge of coding and forensic analysis to help you answer these questions.

    Keep Your Knowledge Updated

    As time goes on, you’ll begin to develop quite a bit of tribal knowledge that should remain as part of your toolkit. Expect to possess knowledge of the latest technologies being used for criminal activity. All your knowledge will be used to perform malware and vulnerability research and reverse engineer them. You’ll be responsible for monitoring the latest developments in malicious software and detection tools, educating businesses about vulnerabilities and risks associated with them, and making recommendations on how businesses can protect themselves against attacks.

    Excellent Analytical Skills

    If there’s one skill you must absolutely possess as a security researcher, it’s curiosity. If something doesn’t look right, how deep are you willing to dive to figure out the problem? This is where all your research skills really come into good use; expect to analyze an immense amount of data and be able to make decisions based on that analysis. Be prepared to explain your findings in a clear, concise language that can easily be understood by others.

    What Does a Cyber Security Researcher Do?

    What does a security researcher do? A researcher must be able to design, test, and implement new security systems as well as evaluate the effectiveness of existing systems while recommending upgrades.

    Proactive Threat Research

    To stay up-to-date with the latest developments in technology, you’ll be expected to research and analyze threats (i.e. malware analysis) using multiple resources:

    Reactive Threat Research

    Even after threats have breached the system, your job is to investigate threats while working with the incident response team to collect and analyze log data. You may be tasked to understand how the breach entered the system, the method of transmission and attack throughout the network, the damage caused, etc. (i.e. reverse engineering). Throughout the investigation, you’ll try to determine the source of the malware and the exploited vulnerability to prevent such breaches from reoccurring.

    Vulnerability Research

    You’ll also be expected to work with the ethical hacking team to reverse engineer the organization’s software. You’ve got to understand the current vulnerabilities, the effect software patches have on vulnerabilities (i.e. patch analysis), and report upon the criticality of remaining vulnerabilities. You also need to maintain a relationship with the risk & compliance team to understand how the organization’s vulnerabilities are being addressed.

    Tool Development

    Cyber security researchers are often responsible for software development to deter and defend against malicious attacks. Using your knowledge of malware and attack vectors, you’ll be working with other IT professionals (from computer science experts who build systems from scratch to programmers who write software code) to help develop software programs designed to better protect against cyber threats.


    Documentation will always be part of the job description. You must be able to define and describe the characteristics of the malware and vulnerabilities you encounter so that your information can be relayed to others in your organization or even published for public consumption.

    What Tools Does a Cyber Security Researcher Use?

    The vast toolkit available to a researcher requires a wide scope of knowledge. That’s because the background of a cyber security researcher usually comes from a combination of penetration testing, malware analysis (reverse engineering), and cyber security analysis skills. It’s good to know what tools work best under different conditions so you have a better understanding of how to analyze different types of threats.

    However, since the field of security research is quite large, you’re not expected to become a genius in every tool. As with every other field in security, you can learn to specialize depending on your interest and area of expertise. Here’s a list of some open source and proprietary tools you can start using for free:

    • Machine Code / Binary
    • Programming & Database Languages: (e.g. C/C++, SQL, Java)
    • Scripting Languages: (e.g. JavaScript, Python, PHP, Perl, PowerShell, Ruby)
    • Assembly Languages & Instruction Set Architectures: (e.g. MIPS, ARM, Intel x86, RISC-V)
    • Operating Systems: (e.g. Windows, Linux, Unix, MacOS, Android)
    • Virtual Machines: (e.g. Kernal Virtual Machine, VMware Fusion, Oracle VM VirtualBox, Qemu)
    • Containerization and Orchestration Tools: (e.g. Dockers, Kubernetes)
    • Vulnerability Scanning Tools: (e.g. Wireshark, Nessus, Metasploit, OpenVAS, Nmap)
    • Static Code Analysis Tools: (e.g. SonarQube, Visual Studio)
    • Network Analysis Tools: (e.g. Nagios Core, Cacti)
    • Decryption Tools: (e.g. EmiSoft)
    • SIEM Tools: (e.g. OSSIM, ELK Stack, OSSEC)
    • Memory Dump Analysis Tools: (e.g. LiME, Volatility Foundation, RAMmap)
    • Debugger: (e.g. Ghidra, IDA Pro, WinDbg, radare2)
    • Decompilers and Disassemblers: (e.g. Capstone Engine, Binary Ninja, Hopper Disassembler)
    • Threat Modeling Frameworks: (e.g. MITRE ATT&CK, OWASP Top 10, STRIDE)

    The only way you can learn these tools is by getting your hands dirty with them. With each language comes a world of opportunities for learning how different types of malwares affect systems differently. Start with one technology and begin moving towards others.

    How to Become a Cyber Security Researcher?

    The best way to prepare for a career in cyber security research is by becoming as knowledgeable about the field as possible. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to answer interview questions and handle job responsibilities. Here are several ways to make your way into the field of cyber security research:

    Step 1: Determine Your Interest

    As we’ve discussed, cyber security research is a large field. Figure out what area of research captures your interest and start learning the aspects of that specialty. For instance, if your area of interest is network security research, you better know your core web and network protocols (e.g. TCP/IP, HTTP/HTTPS, DNS, etc.). Really take the time to learn about each area of specialization then dive right in!

    Step 2: Learn the Concepts

    Beyond knowing the operating system, start studying the different aspects of information security such as cryptanalysis, computer forensics, penetration testing, security analysis, threat modeling, and reverse engineering techniques. All these concepts will eventually come into play and are very important in your research.

    Step 3: Learn the Languages

    You do need to understand how computer languages work. Start teaching yourself scripting languages such as Python then slowly making your way backwards by learning C-like languages, assembly language, and then machine code. If you want to know how malware works, then being able to read the language it’s coded in is a major requirement.

    Step 4: Take Cyber Security Researcher Courses or Certification Exams

    There’s no better way to display your knowledge base than by earning a certification. Don’t think that a certification means you know everything or are an expert; it simply means you’ve dedicated the time to learn the basics. Below are sample of the certifications you can study for:

    • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) by EC-Council
    • CPENT (Certified Penetration Testing Professional) by EC-Council
    • PenTest+ by CompTIA
    • OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional) by Offensive Security
    • OSCE (Offensive Security Certified Expert) by Offensive Security
    • GXPN (Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester) by GIAC
    • GWAPT (Web Application Penetration Tester) by GIAC
    • eLearnSecurity

    If you take any educational coursework; even if the course doesn’t offer a certification, it’s still a good way to build your knowledge.

    Step 5: Learn the malware

    You need to show an interest in learning how malware thrives. Start by learning about the history of malwares and how it has evolved over the decades. Then progress to learning how modern forms of malware operate and learn their detection techniques. Use the tools at your disposal to obtain threat intelligence information; understand the types of malwares and their attack surfaces, methods, paths, patterns, signatures, and intent. In other words, get into the mindset of the hacker and figure out how they thought to develop this threat.

    Step 6: Learn the tools and practice

    Spend time learning about tools used in cyber security research and how they work (such as the ones mentioned above). While some tools can perform multiple functions, most of them are specialized to a specific area. Take the time to download the open-source tools and work with them in simulated environments. At this stage, you should focus on gaining familiarity with the tools used for reverse engineering. During this process make sure you practice what you’ve learned. Learn to create and infect a virtual machine, then learn how to detect, respond, and reverse engineer it so that the tools become second nature to use.

    Step 7: Learn security research trends

    Learn about new trends in technology and how they affect cyber security. This includes reading blogs and articles that discuss these topics, talking with peers who are already working in the field, and taking advantage of training resources offered by employers or industry organizations. While the field does involve some individual work, consider being part of a community by joining organizations such as: or to understand issues that other researchers are facing. Take advantage of open-source intelligence (OSINT) tools, capture-the-flag (CTF) events such as Pico CTF, bug bounty programs such as Hackerone, or threat simulators such TryHackMe. While you might be inclined to search the dark web to obtain threat intelligence information (remember to use extreme caution and only observe…never participate), you may be better off scouring more legitimate and reliable sources of information.

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    by Amit Doshi

    If you enjoyed reading today’s article please subscribe here.

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    How to Prepare for A Cyber Security Interview (20 Tips)

    How to Prepare for A Cyber Security Interview (20 Tips)

    How to prepare for a cyber security interview? There are a lot of things to worry about when you’re getting ready for a cyber security interview. Whether you’re a recent college graduate looking for an entry-level position or an experienced security professional seeking a new opportunity, it’s the preparation that can make a difference. By starting early, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare yourself before your security interview.

    Ready to Get Hired? Upload Your Cyber Security Resume Today!

    Table of Contents

    How to Prepare for A Cyber Security Interview? Click below to find out!

    Write a Bang-Up Resume
    Don’t Forget the Cover Letter
    Remember which Resume and Cover Letter You Submitted
    Get the Interview Details in An Email
    Doing Your Research Is the Best Way to Prepare for A Cyber Security Interview
    Network, Network, Network
    Know How the Position Helps to Further Each Other’s Goals
    Understand the Company’s Business Objectives
    Prepare for Your Cyber Security Interview with Practice!
    Talk About Your Past Life
    How Do You Behave?
    Are You Technically Savvy?
    Fake Interviews Aren’t That Fake!
    Get Ready for Your Cyber Security Interview by Having a Long-Term Goal in Mind
    Know What’s Hot in the Industry!
    Read Deeper into the Position Description
    Prepare for Your Cyber Security Interview with Your Own Questions!
    Make Copies of Your Resume and Cover Letter
    Dress for Success, Not to Impress
    Get Some Rest to Be Ready for Your Cyber Security Interview

    Write a Bang-Up Resume

    There’s a lot more to a resume than just listing what you’ve done; it’s important to know what an employer wants.

    If there are specific skills or knowledge sets that are important to them (such as which operating systems you’re familiar with), make sure those things show up prominently on your resume.

    They’ll also be looking for evidence of any work experience related to security, so if you’ve got some projects, labs, or simulations under your belt, make sure they get highlighted too!

    If there’s something missing from your work history, don’t be afraid to reach out to former colleagues or managers for recommendations!

    Remember, a resume doesn’t get you a job, it has one purpose: it needs to convince employers that you’re qualified for an interview. A well-designed (and proofread) cyber security resume will set you apart from other candidates and help you get an interview much faster.

    Click here for 90 Cybersecurity Resume Tips to Help You Land an Interview!

    Don’t Forget the Cover Letter

    We know that it takes extra time to personalize a cover letter for each company, so it’s really up to you if you want to add that extra touch; but it does add that extra umph in an already competitive market.

    The thing about cover letters is that they only serve to enhance an already outstanding resume.

    If your resume isn’t formatted very well or it doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications, then the question is, “Why are you even applying”?

    Remember which Resume and Cover Letter You Submitted

    Don’t change your resume or cover letter once it’s already been submitted!

    Nothing will get you in trouble faster than a resume or cover letter that’s different than what you originally submitted. The reason? They’ll compare both and then take a deep dive to understand why you altered the resume. Most of the time, the questions that come up won’t be in your favor.

    Get the Interview Details in An Email

    This hopefully isn’t a problem, but always make sure you get the date, time, and complete address of the interview in an email. There should be no confusion regarding when and where your interview will take place. Also try to obtain the phone number of a point of contact just in case you end up running late or must reschedule the interview in an emergency.

    Doing Your Research Is the Best Way to Prepare for A Cyber Security Interview

    Know the company’s mission statement, core values, as well as their area of expertise. This can give you insight into why they chose to interview you in the first place and what they expect from their employees.

    For example, if they’re focus is the financial industry, this means they need someone who understands the importance of securing financial systems and complying with banking regulations. If they have a large presence in healthcare, they’re likely interested in your HIPAA/HITRUST knowledge to protect patient information. Or, if they have lots of competitors, they probably want someone who has experience keeping up with the latest trends in technology and software development.

    Network, Network, Network

    Use your network! Reach out to people within your network who have experience working with companies like the one contacting you.

    Ask them questions about what they did during their interviews or what they learned through their time there at all levels from entry-level positions all the way up through senior management roles (if possible).

    Before your interview, try reaching out to current employees (or ex-employees) on Reddit, LinkedIn, or via email to ask (without spamming):

    • What do they love most about working there?
    • What kinds of challenges did they face while working there?
    • What would they change if they could start over again?
    • What should I know about working at your company?

    Know How the Position Helps to Further Each Other’s Goals

    Once you’ve done some research on the company, it’s time to think about what makes them unique.

    You want to be able to show them why they should hire YOU instead of someone else. To do this, think about what makes you unique! What skills do you bring that could benefit this company? Are there any projects or experiences that demonstrate those skills? It’s okay if they aren’t related directly to cyber security as long as they show that you possess those skills or qualities and would be valuable for the position at hand.

    Also, think about how you might mention that point in an interview setting. For example: “I have a background in [field], which is very similar to [this company’s role/position], so I think it would be easy for me to make a smooth transition into the role.”

    Understand the Company’s Business Objectives

    From a business perspective, it’ll benefit you to learn where the company is now versus where they’re headed in the next several years.

    By understanding this information, you’re in a much better position to see how the role will change or expand depending on their objectives.

    Use this information during the interview to describe how you anticipate the role to change over time as the company grows.

    Prepare for Your Cyber Security Interview with Practice!

    You can find lists of common interview questions online, but that doesn’t mean practicing the answer to every question in existence.

    There are thousands of non-technical and technical questions an interviewer could ask, and it would be impossible to remember the answer to all of them.

    So, don’t waste too much time on rote memorization; instead, focus on topics of weakness and being able to explain the answers in a cogent manner. You might even benefit you to practice in front of a mirror.

    Talk About Your Past Life

    Practice answering questions about your past experiences with cyber security or any projects, labs, and simulations.

    This will help you identify what parts of your experience might be most relevant to the role (and will also help you identify any areas where your experience is lacking).

    How Do You Behave?

    Practice answering behavioral questions about your past work situations, how it was resolved, and what was learned from them. Ensure never to go into too much detail or be overly emotional.

    This will allow you to get comfortable talking about yourself in a way that shows off your strengths but also highlights areas where you need improvement.

    Are You Technically Savvy?

    It’s quite often difficult to practice answering technical questions because there are so many of them.

    Yes, you could look online for every question ever asked; but if the position lists a certification, it’ll give you a hint as to what type of technical questions will be asked.

    So, the best recommendation for entry-level candidates is to take a practice security certification exam to test your knowledge.

    That way, if these or similar questions do come up during the interview, you’ll be ready with answers right away!

    Fake Interviews Aren’t That Fake!

    Mock interviews are golden opportunities to prepare for the cyber interview by knowing what an actual interview might feel like, even if it’s not technical.

    These are an amazing way to practice an interview scenario and be provided excellent feedback in the process.

    If you’re having trouble finding someone willing to interview you, for just a few dollars, Fiverr has several hundred sellers willing to provide mock interviews, several of which specialize in cyber security.

    You should also know how to explain technical concepts to nontechnical people so that whoever you’re talking with can understand what you’re saying. Remember, not all recruiters are technical.

    With enough practice, you should be able to deliver a polished response without sounding like it was rehearsed.

    Get Ready for Your Cyber Security Interview by Having a Long-Term Goal in Mind

    A good way to show that you’re serious about the position and your future with the company is by having a long-term goal in mind.

    This doesn’t mean every detail should be laid out for the next 20 years, but you do need to explain what your career goals are for the next 3 to 5 years.

    Explain to the interviewer what you want from this job and how the role fits into your ongoing career goals.

    Know What’s Hot in the Industry!

    Keep up with the latest trends in the security industry. That includes knowing about the latest security threats, how they operate, and what people/companies are doing to stop them.

    Learn as much as you can about what’s going on behind the scenes and how these threats are affecting businesses. This helps the interviewer to understand that you’re knowledgeable about the latest vulnerabilities being discovered and that you may even be able to mitigate such threats, even if it’s theoretical.

    Read Deeper into the Position Description

    Prepare yourself by trying to really understand the need behind the role. This goes past being technically sound and gets to the core reason why this job opening exists.

    Sometimes this can be determined from the job description, other times you’ll have to ask outright. But, by having this key piece of information, you can really dive into their needs by understanding their true concerns.

    Prepare for Your Cyber Security Interview with Your Own Questions!

    It’s important to know how to ask questions. You want to make sure that you’re communicating: a) your interest in the position, b) your knowledge of the industry, c) your understanding the company, and d) that you’ve done the proper research.

    Here are five steps to asking the right questions:

    Step 1. You don’t need to memorize these questions—just jot them down on a piece of paper, so that when the time comes, you’ll be able to look at them without feeling nervous or forgetting what they were.

    Step 2. You do want to be respectful of the interviewer’s time; try saying, “I’d like to ask several questions, but I want to be respectful of your time so feel free to stop me at any moment.”

    Step 3. Start with a basic question about the company or job:

    • What do you like most about working here?
    • What kinds of challenges does the company face?
    • How does your company foster employee growth?
    • How would you describe the culture here?

    Step 4. Be sure to ask questions that will allow you to learn more about what the job entails:

    • Why did this position open up?
    • What is it in my resume that caught your eye?
    • What projects has this department worked on in the past?
    • How does this position fit into those projects?
    • What are some of the challenges associated with this position?
    • How can I best contribute to its success?

    Step 5. Try also to ask questions that show you’ve done your research:

    • This position has been listed for a couple months, can you tell me any difficulties you’ve faced in finding the right hire?
    • This position appears to require advanced knowledge; is there any training would I receive?

    With these types of questions, not only are you showing interest in their company, but they’ll be able to see how much has gone into preparing for your cyber security interview!

    Make Copies of Your Resume and Cover Letter

    You’ll never know how many interviewers there are and how many forgot or never received your resume or cover letter. As a backup, always print out several extra high-quality copies for everyone. You’ll never know when it comes in handy.

    Dress for Success, Not to Impress

    As someone who’s interviewing for a job in cyber security, it’s important not to come across as careless or lazy. The interviewer might be trying to determine whether you can handle the responsibilities of the position, so dressing nicely will help them make that decision.

    The night before the interview, pick out your professional interview attire. The reason for this is pretty simple; you don’t want to stress out the day of the interview by trying to find clothes at the last minute.

    Additionally, you’re not going to a wedding so don’t dress up to the point of making yourself look stuck-up. Make sure your clothing selection and jewelry are appropriate for a business setting.

    Get Some Rest to Be Ready for Your Cyber Security Interview

    Finally, get some sleep! Being tired during an interview can make even the most straightforward question feel like rocket science—and we all know how important first impressions are!

    Interested in More…

    Top 16 Ways to Make Money in Cyber Security!

    Is Cyber Security Boring?

    Is Cyber Security Right for Me

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    Cyber Security vs Computer Science: Know the Difference!

    by Amit Doshi

    If you enjoyed reading today’s article please subscribe here.

    Read more
    Top 16 Ways to Make Money in Cyber Security!

    Top 16 Ways to Make Money in Cyber Security!

    Looking for different ways to make money in cyber security? As you know by now, cyber security is a very profitable industry. As such, there are many ways you can utilize your skills and knowledge in a niche field to open up new revenue streams.

    Let’s look at our top 16 ways to make money in cyber security:

    Table of Contents

    How to make money in cyber security! Click below to read more.

    Work As a Cyber Security Freelancer

    Work As a Security Consultant

    Start Cyber Security Auditing

    Writing About Cyber Security

    Trade in Cyber Security Stocks

    Create Online Cyber Security Courses or Bootcamps

    Become a Cyber Security Hacker

    Set Up Your Own Business in Cyber Security

    Develop a Cyber Security Application

    Write About Cyber Security

    Cyber Security Public Speaking

    Become a Cyber Security Career Coach

    Find A Cyber Security Mentor

    Become a Cyber Security YouTuber

    Get a Cyber Security Job

    1. Look For Your Niche

    As we have said throughout this article, niches are often your friends when looking to make money in such a congested industry.

    If you market yourself as a cyber security expert, you may find it tricky to attract customers.

    Companies generally don’t search for cyber security experts, they search for people who are experts at particular problems they are having, such as malware, compliance, or auditing.

    If you make yourself the go-to compliance expert, you will get the majority of business within that niche.

    If you market to everyone, you won’t get anyone, as the famous saying goes.

    2. Work As a Cyber Security Freelancer

    When it comes to the world of security, freelance roles are a perfect way to make money in cyber security, sometimes over a short space of time.

    Freelance rates are very competitive as companies are often more willing to pay the big bucks for an expert to come in and complete a shorter-term job, compared to paying a salary and benefits over a long period of time.

    If you can build up a client base, get your name out there, and make freelancing work for you, it can be a great way to make money in the cyber security scene.

    And many of the tips below can apply to freelancing too.

    3. Work As a Security Consultant

    Cyber security consultancy is both one of the most popular and one of the most lucrative forms of work within the sector.

    It involves businesses hiring you as a self-employed freelance to give them advice and guidance on cyber security, often a particular niche within the more general topic.

    For example, one company may want to look for an expert to guide them on automation engineering.

    Or a business might want to look for someone with knowledge of malware.

    As a consultant, the more experience you have within your niche, the better.

    It is only natural that businesses want to employ the most knowledgeable person in their field when it comes to something as serious as cyber security.

    4. Start Cyber Security Auditing

    When it comes to cyber security, compliance is a big deal, especially when you are dealing with hefty amounts of sensitive information on behalf of your clients/users.

    As such, many businesses have to set up audits every six or 12 months.

    These audits usually require preparation from an outsider/third party, which is how many cyber security professionals made a good amount of money without signing full-time contracts.

    The best thing to do as an auditor is to specialize in one particular area of law, for example, GDPR.

    You can then sell yourself as a GDPR expert who can perfectly prepare a company for its upcoming audit to ensure everything is in working order.

    5. Writing About Cyber Security

    Technically, this very article is an example of how cyber security writing jobs are accessible and essential at the moment.

    The possibility for written content in the cyber security world is quite literally endless.

    Companies are always on the lookout for talented writers for blogs, marketing content, whitepapers, website content, newsletters, and more.

    If you have a background in cyber security, the advantage you give yourself over other writers is the bank of knowledge already at your fingertips.

    When it comes to something as technical as cyber security, a little knowledge goes a long way, and a lot of knowledge is priceless.

    Of course, even if you don’t have experience in cyber security, you will still get plenty of opportunities for work if you look for it.

    Creating a portfolio that includes a sample cyber security article is always a good way to convince employers that you are the right person to choose.

    You can also look to adapt any skills you have to the cyber security world.

    For example, if you have a background in journalism, you can market yourself as a cyber security news writer.

    Or if you have a background in sales, you can contact companies that sell cyber security products and either write content for them or work on commission.

    6. Trade in Cyber Security Stocks

    For those who are interested in stock investment, this is the simplest way to make money in cyber security.

    With such a shift towards an online world, which has only been catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, many cybersecurity stocks are performing very well and continue to be on the way up.

    Compare it to many other sectors that suffered a huge drop over the past few years due to the pandemic, and cyber security stocks become even more attractive.

    This is definitely a cyber security niche in terms of making money, but if you have pre-existing knowledge, why not put it to use? Here are a couple cyber security funds to research (we’re not being paid and we provide no guarantees):

    7. Create Online Cyber Security Courses or Bootcamps

    What happens when an industry is performing well? People want to learn about it!

    Everyone has to start somewhere, and most people can’t afford or don’t want to shell out for an expensive education, especially when information can be found for cheaper on the internet.

    That’s where you come in! The cyber security sector is such a vast industry that there are quite literally endless numbers of topics and niches for you to write about.

    Sure, you may have to market your expert courses in the right way to make them profitable, but this also represents a chance for passive income.

    Once you write and publish a course, you could potentially receive income from people signing up to it for years after you actually wrote it.

    If you get enough high-quality content up and perhaps build a brand around cyber security education, it can represent a real money spinner.

    8. Become a Cyber Security Hacker

    There are always companies that welcome white-hat hackers (the friendly hackers) through their doors.

    No, really! The best way for businesses to check whether they have vulnerabilities is to ask hackers to try and find them!

    Companies may welcome you on as a freelancer to regularly hunt for problems in their software/website, while there are also hacking platforms and events for more widespread access.

    Huge companies like Sony and Facebook even hold Bug Bounty programs for hackers to search for those pesky bugs.

    Let’s face it, if you know your way around a computer and fancy yourself as a hacker, there aren’t many cooler ways to earn money!

    9. Set Up Your Own Business in Cyber Security

    Starting a business in cyber security is by no means limited to those with expertise in the industry already. If you have an eye for business, there is always money to be made.

    You could bring a cyber security expert on board and collaborate to come up with a company that fits a certain niche within the industry.

    This could be a cyber security consultancy firm, it could be an educational business, or even a company that provides solutions to businesses in a certain sector.

    It doesn’t even have to be a brand-new idea. There is nothing wrong with doing what has already been done but putting your own spin on things.

    10. Develop a Cyber Security Application

    In the modern world, if something doesn’t have an app, it isn’t worth talking about.

    And with the field of cyber security, there are all kinds of applications for these… applications.

    Information apps, news apps, apps that scan sites for flaws, apps that scan devices for malware, etc.

    You can even make yourself available for tailored orders, making cyber security apps for other people or particular businesses.

    The best advice is to think of a security problem a lot of people have, and then create a simple solution.

    11. Write About Cyber Security

    Much like the cyber security courses, you can also try your hand at writing a book.

    Once you write a book and publish it, you can claim income for years to come if it proves to be popular.

    As such, the best books are those that teach people something within the cyber security industry, whether that be through an educational format or simply your own career anecdotes.

    We’re not talking about an 80,000-word thriller here either. The best books in this niche are actually shorter e-books for people looking to learn about a very specific topic.

    You can also write about a wide-reaching topic within the cyber security sector and remarket it to more niche readers.

    For example, GDPR compliance for technology businesses, GDPR compliance for medical facilities, GDPR compliance for social media, etc.

    12. Cyber Security Public Speaking

    There will always be an endless supply of cybersecurity events throughout the year, and each of these events needs a list of guest speakers.

    These guest speakers are people who have a lot of experience or knowledge in their particular field, and it definitely helps to have some interesting anecdotes from your career.

    This is also a tidal wave type money-making path, as once you give one really good speech at an event, people in the crowd will often book you for their own, and so on, and so on.

    Not only is it great for making money, but if you get your face and name out there enough, it can lead to lots of other money-making opportunities too.

    Once your name is known, your books, courses, speeches, etc are worth a lot more money.

    13. Become a Cyber Security Career Coach

    Once you are already in the cyber security industry, one of the best ways to make money is to help others get their foot in the door.

    After all, you have walked the path yourself and proven capable of making it in this cyber security world, so why shouldn’t they trust you to teach them how you did it?

    People will pay good money for one-on-one career coaching, particularly to get work in their specific fields like cyber security.

    Every industry is different, even when it comes to things like writing your cover letter and designing your CV, so bringing an experienced eye to the situation can be of tremendous value.

    14. Find A Cyber Security Mentor

    If you are new to the cybersecurity industry, then why not reverse the advice we gave above? There is nothing wrong with seeking help from the more experienced.

    Picking the brain of someone who has worked in a job you want for the past ten years is a perfect way to get a sense of the industry and what is required of you.

    This won’t earn you a revenue stream directly but by establishing a relationship with someone in the industry, it can help open some doors.

    We don’t necessarily mean this in a favouritism way, and it is unlikely they will hand you a job opportunity, but they may know the right doors for you to knock on, depending on what you want to achieve.

    15. Become a Cyber Security YouTuber

    When someone wants to know something, there are often two paths they take to find out the answer – Google and YouTube.

    YouTube has a huge place in the educational scene these days, as it allows people to provide content for free, while claiming money on advert revenue from the platform itself.

    Even if you don’t get millions of views and hundreds of dollars from the videos themselves, it can gain you a loyal audience within your niche that allows you to sell products like books and courses to them at a later date.

    It can also just be great for exposure.

    16. Get a Cyber Security Job

    The most tried and true way of making money in cyber security is just a matter of getting a full-time company job.

    So, if no other method appeals to you, consider obtaining a CompTIA Security+ certification and transitioning yourself into the cyber security industry.

    The great thing is, there are currently over 750,000 cyber security jobs waiting to be filled in the open market and not nearly enough personnel to fill them all.

    According to CyberSeek, roughly 2/3rds of the entire available workforce can fill the current demand; that means there’s immense potential for training opportunities and career growth.

    It also doesn’t hurt that companies are willing to pay top dollar for individuals with the right set of skills.

    “How much money can you make in cyber security?” With just one to two years of experience, you can easily make $75k…not bad!

    Ready to Get Hired? Upload Your Cyber Security Resume Today!

    Final Thoughts

    Is cyber security profitable? Yes. But can cyber security make you rich in 2023? That really depends on which method you choose and how successful you become doing it.

    No matter your profit motivation, you can make a lot of money in cyber security. You just need to have the right motivation and persistence!

    Interested in More…

    Is Cyber Security Boring?

    Is Cyber Security Right for Me

    How to Become a Cyber Security Architect?

    Cyber Security vs Computer Science: Know the Difference!

    What Is the Best Job in Cyber Security?

    by Amit Doshi

    If you enjoyed reading today’s article please subscribe here.

    Read more