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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Question Is being a programmer a necessity to be good at network security?

    Just curious, I love networking and security but I cant bring myself to get involved with programming. I read 3/4 of Sams C++ and understood most of it but it was just so dull that I couldnt finish it.

    Does this mean that I am doomed when it comes to network security or are the two that really related?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Memphis, TN
    I don't think that it means you are doomed. It probably wouldn't hurt to learn it though.

    Maybe take a class from a college where it might be more internesting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    lol i like Sams Teach Yourself Programming in 21 Days! Programming helps you better understand computers and how they work, but if you dont know how to program, then that doesnt mean that you are doomed forever when it comes to network security. Just like what cheyenne said above, it defiently doesnt hurt to know how to program

    If you really want to learn how to program in C++, i would suggest that you go to the tutorials forum. There are some pretty good C++ tutorials there that could help you out. PM me if you want links to some of my tutorials...
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  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    Here is the jaundiced opinion of an IT guy of "fiftysomething"

    Sure, In my day you learned programming...........this does not have a direct link to security, unless you are an AV analyst..........networking might be more useful?

    I know, or have known many programmers who would spend six man months on an application.....and about six minutes on its security.

    Also...........we do not get paid to play with expensive toys?...we have "Users"......I will now go and wash my keyboard

    You have to understand and educate them?.......what I am trying to say (badly) is that we are part of a total environment, with many players, who have different skills and skill levels.

    It never hurts to learn something, but security is way beyond programming in my opinion.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Negative, you do not need to learn to write any code to be a security admin, or to be a good one. The role of a security administrator is to lock down a network against possible threats & vunrebilities. You need knowlege of the OS's on your network, how they communicate with other components on your network & the internet, and how to periodically test and moniter your network. You should also get real familiar with cisco products and the different versions of cisco's IOS, very important for security purposes. Of course, research is extremly important also, you must keep up to date with whats going on in the internet community.

    Don't make the mistake of confusing writing code with networking, they are two seperate fields. You do not have to do both to be good at one.
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  6. #6
    programming helps of course, i would rather hire a programmer and a system admin than someone who is just a system admin, personally. Someone who can write their own programs to help protect a system, edit other's programs, etc...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    *groan* Sams, Publisher of Doom.

    In order to know about network security, you need to know how networks really work. Learning how to program can help you learn that. It also allows you to better use/modify your tools. You certainly can't excel in network security without being able to program.

    However, starting in with C++ is really not the way to go. Don't approach programming like "I need to learn to program, I'll read this or that book." A better approach would be "I want my computer to do such and such, how can I make it do that."

    First thing I'd do is get access to a good shell and the standard set of Unix command line tools. If you're using Lnix/MacOSX/etc, you've already got that. If you're using Windows, try cygwin. Then learn to use the shell. Use to learn pipes and grep to, say, look over log files. That way, you're writing little tiny programs that do something useful for you.

    After a short while, you may find yourself want a bit more flexibility. Grab a scripting language package, like Python or Perl. These aren't so detail-oriented as C++, they make it easier to write stuff. You can use them to write little programs to test your network. Again, you're programming as part of network security, not as an end in itself.

    So basically what I'm saying is that programming is not a single block of knowledge that you either know or don't know. There are many different levels of knowledge. Don't try to learn it all at once (unless you really want to), learn as much as you need to do what you want.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hi, first off if you are really picking it up this easily then you really shouldnt have much trubbly when programming,
    second off all, it may seem "boring" now but you wate untill you are wrighting your oun programs, it will be so much more exciting for you, especially when you wright one of your won programms and you get to see it run exactily how it was ment to run... You will be like a baby with a new toy (or a man with a new toy)

    Just have to keep up with it. It is a valuble qualification, It will alow you to go for more jobs then if you did not have it, and it allso poots you a step up ahead of all the other potential employes.

    Good Luck with it..


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Thanks for all the replies, I never really considered starting with another programming language such as python or perl. This is something that I may look into.

    As far as taking classes at a university goes I am currently attending a univeristy but I am a Biology major but I do love computers and I want to learn about them as a hobby. I know quite a bit about common troubleshooting with a PC but nothing about networkings and how they work.

    I also have a copy of linux mandrake 9.0 that I downloaded from the mandrake site. I like it but I have a dsl modem that runs off of usb. I have found the drivers but I dont know enough about linux yet to install the drivers.

    Thanks for all the help.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I would say you want to make learning to program something that's on your list of to do things. If you don't ever learn, how could you analyze hostile code or shell scripts. It's definately a plus to learn, so people won't have that advantage over you.

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