How to Get Started in CyberSecurity

There’s a thousand posts about this topic, covering everything from whether Cyber is right for me, to the different certifications one could get, all sorts of stuff.  I’m going to try and take a slightly different tack with this one, and talk about learning in general.

You see, I joined in the Navy fresh out of High School. I didn’t even really know what I wanted to do with my life at that point. I didn’t understand what work in the real world was like – up until this point, I’d worked at a small cafe in Port Ludlow (which, unfortunately, went under within the past year), and McDonalds.  I knew I liked computers, and I knew my grades weren’t the best.  Perfect spot for a Navy recruiter to grab me, I know.

Anyways, after 18 years of service to our country at this point, I’m most grateful to the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program for teaching me how to learn.  The academia we go through is very rigorous. It’s extremely fast paced, teaching us the ins and outs of nuclear power inside of 18 months, including how the equipment actually functions well enough for us to do maintenance on it.

So after all this, how do you get started in Cybersecurity?  Find out if you like it. Learn about it!  Not just how to do the jobs, but what the jobs are about!  If you’re a veteran, like me, check out places like VeteranSec.  Network on LinkedIn.  Peruse Reddit and look through the various groups there. I just did an AMA on Navy Submarine life, look for one on Cybersecurity!  There are tons of ways to learn more about the profession. The Cyber Mentor has some great videos on a day in the life of a penetration tester.  There are some great blogs, and if you want to actually try some of it out on the red teaming side of the house, then visit sites like Ur-Hackr, TryHackMe, and HackTheBox.  For those super new to the profession, I am a big fan of the community that has been built up thus far in Ur-Hackr (of which I am a moderator), so come join us on Discord as well!

I’ll be updating a list of awesome links to gamified resources for hacking, learning cybersecurity, and more on the right sidebar when I get around to it.  Until then, try some of the links up above.  Remember, especially in our current age of coronavirus, people are our greatest asset.  Communicate with them!  This community is awesome and we’re all here to help.

Want to talk more? Come join me in the Ur-Hackr Discord!