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Top Fundamental Skills For Aspiring Cybersecurity Professionals To Learn

 Published: May 21, 2020  Created: May 20, 2020

By Vishal Chawla

There are millions of open cybersecurity jobs, and professionals can make a lot of money working in cybersecurity. Many companies are grappling to find enough qualified people to assist in building intelligent cybersecurity frameworks. The difficulty of adequate cybersecurity skills has become clear in the last five to ten years with a sudden increase in cyberattacks, all the way from ransomware to zero-day malware attacks. Such attacks can cause immense financial and reputation damage for organisations.

So, if you are a security expert, you need to learn the fundamental building blocks of cybersecurity, ranging from all sorts of malware, hacking techniques and vulnerabilities. Plus, you need expertise which is crucial to protect data, systems, IP trade secrets and other assets from cybercriminals and malicious actors. If you need more information, here we list down for you the top skills you need to learn to make it in the world of cybersecurity.

Malware Analysis

Malware analysis is an area of expertise which deals with finding out the origin, technical nature, functionality, and impact of a specific piece of malware detected in computer systems. This can include a particular type of malicious software virus, trojan, rootkits or backdoor lurking around in a network or application. Most of the time, such malware is used to extract or steal sensitive information or financial details. Cybersecurity professionals well versed in malware analysis are appreciated for their deep knowledge of such malicious software. Security pros can develop capabilities in malware detection and analysis, which can help in better mitigation and response strategies for any organisation. Using a variety of tools such as disassembler or a debugger, security professionals can also learn how to reverse-engineer malware, which can be of great value in developing cybersecurity stance.

Programming Skills

Security professionals and ethical hackers should learn a handful of programming languages which are crucial to their jobs. Programming skills in JavaScript, Python, and SQL, etc. are considered essential. For example, Python lets programmers integrate systems more effectively, and it’s one of the easiest languages to learn. Python will remain one of the widely used programming languages in the coming years, and a lot of cybersecurity tools are written in Python. Python script-based tools are used to navigate the website, test for XSS and SQL injections. Another programming language that a security professional should learn is Javascript, a language which is extensively used on the web. A security professional should know how to use web applications and test. Threat assessment of the functionality of web applications (usually written in Javascript) is a common area where security professionals work on.

Networking

It is imperative for security professionals to understand the network that a company relies on. A popular technique of cybercriminals is hacking informational resources using vulnerabilities in computer networks. Information security professionals should have the ability to detect and mitigate threats, risks and vulnerabilities across the networks. A cybersecurity professional, therefore, must have a thorough understanding of how computer networks work.

A proper understanding of how computer networks work will help a security pro to protect files and directories against hacking, misuse and unauthorised changes to the system. This ensures data availability, and protection across any cloud, network, or platform to ensure business continuity. Network monitoring can help you discover and identify potential hackers, malware and other malicious entities that might be lurking on an organisation’s network.

Encryption

Encryption is the process that converts readable text that can only be read by the person who has the secret decryption key. Data encryption is a technique to reduce risk, in addition to other things like protection controls, such as authentication, authorisation or network controls. Data should also be encrypted when transmitted across networks in order to protect against any unauthorised access to network traffic. Encryption techniques and algorithms, hashes, SSH, SSL, etc., are another set of skills that is very valuable to those working in cybersecurity.

Threat Modelling

Threat modelling plays an important role in the security policy development process. Threat modelling includes the identification and assessment of threats to a computer system’s security, analysing the system from the perspective of a malicious hacker. A threat model identifies the ways in which a hacker can break into a system, depending on the type of system. Many threat modelling methodologies are available for implementation, and there are currently a number of software tools available to help threat modelling for protecting IT systems. Threat modelling can be utilised on a broad variety of things, including software, applications, systems, networks, and business processes. Cybersecurity specialists can learn different threat modelling techniques and methodologies to a secure network design, identify threats and mitigate them using defined controls.


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