What I wish I knew before going into Cybersecurity -Karpagam Karthikeyan

I’m a high school senior, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with Spanalytic since June 2021. I went into the internship with no prior knowledge about the cybersecurity field. Over the last eight months of working as an analyst and tester and enriching my knowledge in more aspects of cybersecurity, I learned general tips I’d like to share.

Getting Familiar with the Basics of Linux, Java, JavaScript, and Python

Most of the documentation I have dealt with comes in either JavaScript or Python. Since Java is one of the most commonly used object-oriented programming languages, I think it would be helpful to be familiar with that. It isn’t essential to be fluent in these languages but to be comfortable enough to read code and/or documentation and modify it. In addition to these programming languages, learning the basics of the command lines would be pretty helpful. Especially during penetration testing (pen-testing), a method for checking for security weaknesses by simulating real-world cyber attacks. Many cyber-attack methods for testing authentication and information privacy are accessible via the command line.

Be Open to Learning & Ask for Help

The computer science field, in general, is constantly changing with innovations introduced frequently, and this is even more common in the area of cyber security. I’ve learned that there is always something to learn every day that you’re working in this field. You are in control of your learning and should be open to learning something new, even as an employee that has been in the area for years. In simple words, you have to learn to love learning to be successful in the field, and it only makes working in the field even more interesting every day. Because you’re likely to be learning on the fly in most cases, it’s all right if you don’t know everything and ask for help. I found myself utterly clueless because I had no idea where to start. I asked several questions about technicalities beyond what I had learned at the time. Through consistent communication with my mentor and co-workers, I learned the technical aspects of my assigned tasks and formed a better bond through collaboration.

Try It Yourself

I believe the best way to learn anything in computer science is to go head-first into the topic and get hands-on experience. Before starting the internship, I started researching a bit about Bluetooth and the Internet of Things for a few days before starting any hands-on tasks. I also utilized tryhackme.com for experimentation and tutorials that gave both study material and experience. Getting real-world exposure to the tasks helped me understand the scope and encouraged me to get more involved in the field.

These are just a few things that I learned while starting my journey in cybersecurity. I am excited to continue learning and working in cybersecurity with Spanalytics.

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