The Best Place to Learn The Cyber Security Skills That Matter
11 min read
Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access through the practice of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
Photo by Lewis Kang'ethe Ngugi on Unsplash
Ensuring the (CIA) confidentiality, integrity, and availability of a network, different devices, and data is the core to cybersecurity. All three conditions make up what we know as cybersecurity. One condition is not necessarily better than the other. Ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability is often referred to as the CIA Triangle or Triad. In addition to the CIA Triad, other conditions such as non-repudiation and authorization are equally important to maintain an effective cybersecurity posture.
Cybersecurity isn’t all about “hacking”
Although cybersecurity often involves what we like to depict as “hacking”, there is much more involvement than simply hacking into computers, networks, and companies.
Cybersecurity considers specific risks posed an organization
Performing accurate risk assessments is an important element to cybersecurity. Identifying, evaluating, and mitigating specific risks posed to an organization is one key element in cybersecurity. Risks can include both physical and digital elements.
“Cybersecurity” represents a complete list of responsibilities, roles, and topics. Often referred to as the domains of cybersecurity, each element includes very specific goals and responsibilities to be accomplished. Within every domain are sub-domains. The responsibilities and tasks associated with each sub-domain contribute the larger goal of the top domain and ultimately the goal of cybersecurity.
- Cybersecurity Analyst- Detects and prevents cyber threats for a company.
2. Incident Responder- A cyber firefighter who addresses security incidents and threats.
3. Penetration Tester- Probes for and exploits security vulnerabilities to identify weaknesses in networks / systems.
4. Security Auditor- Probes for the safety, effectiveness, and security compliance of a company.
5. Security Specialist- Responsible for designing, testing, implementing, and monitoring the overall security posture of a company.
6. Vulnerability Assessor- Scans applications and systems to identify any current vulnerabilities.
Develop a Learning Plan and Start Now
Starting out in cybersecurity can be confusing and can leave you overwhelmed. You have hundreds of learning resources and options. Top that with not having any idea on which course / platform to start with… And what about the position you want to pursue? Oh, what about school or certifications or courses? Here’s what I recommend, make yourself a plan. You’re plan will be different than the next reader who reads this article. What’s important is you have a plan catered towards your learning style. A learning plan which allows you to start now.
Explore and Learn Before Making a Signifigant Investment
Here’s my opinion, it’s important to consider a university degree or certification, depending on which option works best for you. But before you make a major investment into university or certification training, I would highly recommend you start out by simply taking the next few months and learning more about the cybersecurity industry. You could be at university right now, in high school, and in another career. The setting you are in right now does not matter. This learning can be free, paid, online, or in the form of a book, it doesn’t matter… What does matter is you learn more about the industry before you make major investments to get into the industry.
There is a shortage of Cyber Security professionals worldwide.
Currently there are over 300,000+ job openings… and that’s just in the USA.
In fact, Cyber Security professionals are in such high demand that companies are offering great salaries to attract new talent and even better salaries to those advancing their skills.
Today, the average Cyber Security specialist gets paid over $100,000+ USD, and that number is increasing.
Recently the average annual wage grew by $6000 USD in the space of one month alone, and some Cyber Security professionals are now charging $2500 USD… per day.
Yes, high demand means great paychecks.
So what does the global shortage mean for you? It means opportunity.
Developing your skills in Cyber Security means rapidly growing your career potential and climbing that salary ladder quickly, whilst doing rewarding work for businesses that need you.
BUT THERE’S A PROBLEM…
Although it’s a booming market, the career path is unclear.
How are you meant to train yourself to become a Cyber Security expert?
Employers are ready to pay good money, but they still expect certain skills and don’t offer any guidance on where to learn them.
Instead, you’re left to your own devices, guessing at what you need to learn next and paying a small fortune to get it.
Courses in Cyber Security can cost $1000s+ of dollars per course, and even then, how do you know what are the right skills for advancing to the lucrative top-level positions?
You need guidance from high-level experts that were once in your position. You need the confidence of understanding the industry, where you fit in, and what employers are expecting.
So… how do you improve your security skills, stay on the cutting edge of security trends and earn promotions that match your growth?
List of Great Resources to Get Started With
StationX: Offers 90+ courses, bundled course packages (typically 3–6 courses), general cybersecurity training, cybersecurity focused ⭐
PluralSight: Hundreds of online courses, monthly subscription, “all in one” learning platform, good for certification study, not necessarily all cybersecurity focused
Cybrary: Best free online cybersecurity training, general cybersecurity training, good resource for certifications, cybersecurity focused, one of the most popular online cybersecurity training platforms ⭐
Udemy: Cheap and free courses, general cybersecurity training, good for certification study, have lots of options, not necessarily all cybersecurity focused
Coursera: Free online cybersecurity courses, university training, general cybersecurity training, scheduled curriculums, certification vouchers (certification of completions), lots of option, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
edX: Free online cybersecurity courses, university training, general cybersecurity training, scheduled curriculumns, certification vouchers (certification of completions), lots of options, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
CBT Nuggets: Great platform for certification study, certification vouchers, general I.T. training, cybersecurity certification training, certification material
Let’s Make a Four-Step Plan
You now have some resources to choose from. Let’s go ahead and make a plan.
Take out a piece of paper. Pick one of the above mentioned resources from each category. Write down your four resources on this piece of paper.
Next to the listed resources you have written down, allocate a specific amount of dedicated time you will spend each day or week on learning from that resource.
Title this paper, “My plan to learn more about cybersecurity” and place this paper in a place where you will be able to see it every day.
Time to start learning! You have a plan set into place now. Getting started in cybersecurity does not have a very sophisticated, well-orchestrated plan. Approach your plan with simplicity.
Here are some of the most common questions I recieve from individuals who are considering the idea of getting started in cybersecurity.
How do I get started in cybersecurity?
Look above. My recommendation, don’t wait for a university or certification program to teach you. Start learning now! Pick a resource, grab a notebook, and dedicate 30 minutes of your day to learning more about cybersecurity.
What’s the best school for cybersecurity?
Simple answer, a variety of schools. Check out this website if you are in the United States and want to look into cybersecurity degrees.
Do I need a college / university degree?
Considering a university student is writing this response, this answer may be a bit bias. I don’t think you have to have a college / university degree. However, I would strongly encourage you to consider college if you are between the ages of (18–22) and do not hold a degree.
I suck at programming… Does that mean I can’t succeed in cybersecurity?
Programming is used in cybersecurity. Is it used for every single task, job, and career? No. You can be very successful in cybersecurity without having the knowledge of programming. I would encourage you to learn programming, but it’s not required.
What certification should I start with?
If you have looked into security certifications, you will know there are a lot options out there. Here’s what I suggest, look into a certification which holds credibility and real value in the industry. A lot of people view the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) as a credible, valuable certification for example.
Which major is best for cybersecurity?
The easy answer to this question is several. I would advise looking into a technology-related major if you know you want to get in cybersecurity. Popular majors include computer science, computer information systems, business information systems, software engineering, cybersecurity, and security assurance.
Should I get a Master’s in Cybersecurity?
Unless you are striving to be in the academic industry (such as a professor or researcher for a university), I would advise on not doing a Master’s in Cybersecurity. After you have an Associates or Bachelor’s level degree, certifications are your next best option.
I can’t afford online training. Can I still learn more about cybersecurity?
Of course! There are some great, free resources out there which you can learn from. My recommendation is to look at the above resources and choose one to start out with.
I don’t have past experience in I.T. Can I still get into cybersecurity?
Entry-level cybersecurity positions aren’t the most common. Often times, you will see companies requiring a minimum amount of past I.T. or I.T. security experience. I personally think you can. Here’s how. Build your own “experience.” Build out your own little home lab.
JOIN THE VIP MEMBERSHIP AT STATIONX
CYBER SECURITY SCHOOL
Whether you are an aspiring professional or you are already working in the field, it’s vitally important that you stay on the cutting edge of security trends. The VIP StationX Membership is the best place to connect directly to the heart of Cyber Security.
Joining the StationX VIP membership will give you unlimited access to a growing library of Cyber Security courses developed and taught by experts.
Their training covers everything a security professional or an aspiring security professional needs to know. You can master:
- Information and Cyber Security
- Exam preparation
- Ethical hacking
- Digital forensics
- Penetration testing
- Secure coding
- Incident response
- …and much, much more.
FROM BEGINNER TO ADVANCED IN CYBER SECURITY
Their security experts have hand picked only the top courses so you get the best learning experience in this industry.
They have a full range of training from beginner courses, to intermediate and advanced programs, suitable for both someone brand new to Cyber Security and for existing security professionals. The included Career Guide will help you know what to focus on first.
In one single membership, you can grow to absolute confidence in your skills and knowledge. You will understand the full vocabulary and concerns of security professionals and be able to show your skills easily to any future employers.
WHY BECOME A VIP MEMBER?
- Access to over 1,000+ classes, virtual labs, practice tests, and exam simulations.
- Includes a detailed email consultation, so we can create a customised study roadmap based on your current skills and career goals.
- Suitable for people with absolutely zero knowledge all the way through to expert.
- Pass the top globally recognized certificates, enabling you to more easily secure a top job.
- Get hands-on experience businesses are looking for with our virtual lab-based training.
- The fastest growing catalog of cyber security and IT training in the industry.
- A certificate of completion for all courses to demostrate your skills.
- Full time staff to answer all your questions.
PROVE YOURSELF WITH CERTIFICATION
To excel in the Cyber Security industry, there are a number of certificates you can earn that will prove your knowledge and increase your opportunity for high-paying career placements.
Although these certificates are challenging, the VIP StationX membership will teach you everything you need to pass with confidence. Exams are sat with third parties.
You will learn to pass top security certificates including:
- CompTIA IT Fundamentals
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst
- CompTIA Cloud+
- CompTIA Pentest+
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Ethical Hackers
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Cisco’s CCNA
- Cisco’s CCNP (200–301)
- GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
- GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)
- GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT)
HOW DOES THE VIP MEMBERSHIP WORK?
Once you sign up, you’ll get immediate access to our user friendly online learning platform and will be guided with where to start.
You can access all courses easily on desktop or on mobile and you can stream or download lessons at any time. You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace.
You get access to the online portal where you can ask questions, communicate with experts and other students, and get the help you need.
There are no deadlines, though some courses will require you to submit an assignment. Our lecturers will review your assignments and provide personalised feedback.
This is a world-class learning experience unlike any other security training that has been offered before.
SAVE THOUSANDS AND LEARN MORE
Live Cyber Security training often costs many thousands of dollars for a single course, making it inaccessible for many.
But at StationX, we want Cyber Security training to be widely accessible, so we’ve made Cyber Security School an extremely affordable training platform.
For less than the price of a single live security course, you can get direct access to our experts and world-class security training without hefty fees, debts or student loans.
The combined value of the courses included in the membership is in the $1000s+… and growing.
Recommended Course Links
- FULL ACCESS VIP MEMBERSHIP — YEARLY
- THE COMPLETE CYBER SECURITY COURSE
- THE COMPLETE ETHICAL HACKING COURSE BUNDLE
- THE COMPLETE PYTHON FOR HACKING AND CYBER SECURITY BUNDLE
- THE COMPLETE BUG BOUNTY COURSE BUNDLE
- THE COMPLETE LINUX SKILLS BUNDLE
- STATIONX Main Site
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