The cyber security job market is hot. Companies are having a hard time recruiting qualified candidates to defend their networks. If you’ve got the skills, you’ll be in demand. But the skills aren’t easy to come by.
So how do you acquire the knowledge and experience that will put you ahead of the pack and on the road to a career in ethical hacking or security consulting?
According to Tom Van de Wiele, principal security consultant at F-Secure, it doesn’t take a lot of money or an advanced degree, but it does take drive, motivation, and a thirst for knowledge. Tom says that in addition to having solid technical skills (which you can hone on your own using the wealth of freely available online resources), succeeding in infosec requires three things:
- Communication skills, to be able to convey to stakeholders the problems that exist and how to improve them.
- Reading, a lot. The ability to digest vast quantities of written information will keep you informed and at the top of your game.
- A holistic view of the world.Understand the overview of “how technology works, how people interact with that technology, and what the risks are of using certain technologies versus what you’re trying to achieve with that technology.”
Technically, Tom says specialization is key, because the infosec world is just too big for anyone to cover it all.
“You have to be driven in this field, because it’s a very fast moving world,” he tells Janne Kauhanen in our newest podcast episode. “Not everyone is always able to keep up. And the days are over when everyone knew everything about anything. So you kind of have to pick what technologies you want to get into or become a specialist in…Pick a few target areas, stick with those, and then see where it takes you.”