Getting Started in a Network Sercurity career
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Thread: Getting Started in a Network Sercurity career

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Getting Started in a Network Sercurity career


    A little bit about myself. I am 21 and currently studying Computer Science at university in the uk. I have 2 years work experience in software houses and consider myself a fairly able programmer.

    I have always been interested in Network and Information Security, although have never taken this much further than an interest. Despite my lack of experience i believe i would really enjoy a career in this subject area, and am looking for some advice on how to achieve this.

    Would it be a good idea to try and get a job as a Network Administrator as soon as i graduate, and from there work up into Network Security? Or would you recommend a programing job while i study for the various Network Security certifications available?

    Any help, opinions or insight that anyone could give on this would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Greatings and welcome to AO!
    On a personnal opinion, i would advise you to get a couple of boxes with NICs, set up your home network and try to hack it yourself. This should just be a starting point.
    Practice makes perfection, and this would allow you to get "hands-on" experience on protecting networks.

    There have been a couple of questions like yours before, and users often tend to ask for other AO ppl's advice:

    The last link as a good online selection of courses you could choose from, in case you get that Network Admin/Programmer job but have time/will to take online classes on the security field.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Yes, what he said. And, check out SANS for training opportunities in your area, especially if you can get SANS-EDU courses (they are significantly discounted, or you can volunteer to help and get it for free).

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Hi guys

    Im 17 and just getting out of high school. Im looking forward to infosec. The problem is that my school on offers Information systems major. What degree would suite me best? I've read around and I think this is the only thing I cant find an answer for.


  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    What about those of us who are still in high school?
    Any great colleges anyone might know of?
    Any courses to point out that are of great importance?
    How would one start?
    *Those who trade freedom for security deserve neither *

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Thumbs up

    Want info on a good college/college program. Checkout MsMittens. I beleive she teaches at Seneca College in Toronto, not sure where you live but I am very impressed by the stuff I have heard and seen from her. Checkout her tutorial on Wargames/Wargaming :

    'nuff said.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hey Hey,

    Here's my advice... along with a big of background on myself...

    My background first... I graduated College about 8/9 months ago (August 2005)... so this is my 9th month working since graduation... Along with college, I did tutoring, web design, software development, helpdesk work, and network admin and security auditing... After College I worked in a call center for a month and then from October to Feb. I was the Network Admin for a small company... in Feb. I started working as a Vulnerability and Exposure Research Engineer. I'm still doing that... although the job title may be changing the work is still the same... In any given day I may program, dissect a network protocol, reverse engineer an application.. and any other number of things... All related to security in some way or another... I'm still in awe over this job... It's amazing... Many of my fellow classmates didn't graduate to such amazing jobs...

    This is where my advice comes in... Don't expect to start at the top... Very few, if any, places will higher you as a Network Admin fresh out of school... it does happen.. but not often.. More likely, you'll have to take a job as a help desk agent.. or possibly lower... I'm not saying you will.. I'm just saying don't set your sights so high that you refuse to take an entry level position... it could end badly...

    As for what you can do... learn... read and explore.... beyond that... just hope for the best...

    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  8. #8
    AOs Resident Troll
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I think that learning and understanding the concepts of networks and protocols is a vital skill for security.

    Bypassing security can be as easy as asking someone thier password, or being laden down with equipment so those ever so helpfull people out there...will open doors and give you physical access to areas that you should not be technical skills required.

    Once you have access to the will need your technical skills....and the more OSes, network protocols, topologies and troubleshhoting skills you have .......the better you will be at finding, accessing and reporting on security issues.

    next you have to present your findings...and convince the upper managememnt of the threat....loss of money usually works...laws suits...violation of privacy acts...and convincing them is the hard part.......

    and you probably need to use some kinda database and report writer to create those reports

    Then you have to fix it...without affecting productivity.....

    There are a variety of skill sets that are required.....if you you wanna be good at it....

    I am still working on mine.......after 13 years working in computers.

    My .02 cdn

    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    You could try to get on a graduate scheme with one of the large IT service providers.

    Also write to some of the companies that specialise in IT security and tell them of your interest, I'm sure you will get yourself on a decent career path using this route.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Hmmm, in the UK environment/context:

    Would it be a good idea to try and get a job as a Network Administrator as soon as i graduate, and from there work up into Network Security? Or would you recommend a programing job while i study for the various Network Security certifications available?
    You need to find a job first, and that will probably dictate your career path. To be perfectly blunt and honest with you, if a guy came to me with "x" years of programming experience and a bog roll of security certifications, wanting a job in network security, he would not get one.

    The career paths are still quite well defined over here:

    programming > analysis/programming > analysis/design > project management.................

    A lot of UK outfits do not pay much heed to network security as a specialist occupation. As has been mentioned in these forums, the whole area is becoming more dumbed down and automated as well.

    I would guess that unless you get on some graduate scheme with a specialist provider, your route would be via getting a job as a "network support analyst" or whatever. Security tends to be dumped on the most junior of those so that is where you can get your certification and work experience at the same time

    I would be careful not to paint yourself into a corner at this stage.

    just a few thoughts on the UK market.

    PS. The jobs with the specialists are in big cities which are expensive to live in. They also require you to be very mobile during the earlier part of your employment at least. That does not help with getting professional qualifications, due to the travelling time involved.

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