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Study cybersecurity or computer security

Cybersecurity is a branch of computing that deals with detecting vulnerabilities in computer systems with the aim of improving them and preventing them from being exploited by malicious programs or malware that could infect systems by obtaining private data or performing unexpected actions.

Computer security experts are responsible for maintaining the integrity and privacy of a company's data. A good example is banks. If someone managed to penetrate the banks' computer system, they could steal account information or even directly steal money.

It is for this reason that banks invest a large sum of money to prevent hackers from infecting their system which would be a big problem for them.

If you are thinking about studying cybersecurity but you don't know where to start, stay because in this article we tell you everything you need to know to start studying computer security and become an expert in this field.

Skills to be an expert in computer security

In order to become a cybersecurity specialist, it is important to master some basic skills. Below we have prepared a list with some fields that you must master if you want to work in this sector.

Master penetration testing methods

Penetration tests are a set of techniques used by white hackers with the aim of testing the flaws that can be exploited in a system. The objective is to detect these vulnerabilities so that they can later be repaired by programmers.

Some of the most common penetration tests in companies are the following:

  • External test: attacks made from outside the corporation's network.
  • Internal test: attacks carried out from within the organization's own network. It is used to determine what actions a hacker could take to enter the system.
  • Blind test: This is a cybersecurity test that tries to emulate the action of a computer expert who will try to enter from the outside without having prior knowledge of the organization's security systems. Only having access to public information.

Know how to analyze vulnerabilities in hosts, networks and websites

There are many known vulnerabilities in networks, hosts and websites that can be tested to find any system failure.

This skill basically consists of knowing some of the most common vulnerabilities and mastering programming that is responsible for testing them and detecting which vulnerabilities it presents for each system.

Some of the most used software in ethical hacking for this type of tasks are:

  • Nessus
  • Metasploit framework
  • Kali Linux (operating system)

Exploitation of bugs to extract information

This skill is very similar to the interior. It consists of the exploitation of vulnerabilities with the aim of extracting information. Some of the most used programs are:

  • Metasploitable 3
  • DNSrecon
  • nmap
  • Amap

Intrusion prevention systems

To be a good computer security expert, it is important to know systems that prevent intrusion into the system. These systems are constantly monitoring connections and different security protocols to detect any intrusion by an external agent.

Depending on the type of suspicious activity that these systems detect, they can block the intruder's IP, stop the process that is being threatened, deactivate the accounts of certain users, among other actions.

Master programming and systems administration languages

It is vital that any cybersecurity expert be able to program in a programming language. It is highly recommended to learn Python due to the large number of libraries it has in addition to the extensive community.

Systems administration is also essential. Thoroughly understanding systems and knowing how to manage them through the command console is a skill that any computer expert should have.

Know safety regulations and the legality of violations

Having knowledge of security regulations and standards such as GDPR, LOPD or NIST is also essential for anyone working in cybersecurity. Furthermore, it is also highly advisable to understand the seriousness of each violation committed in a computer system.

Have additional knowledge such as data analysis or machine learning

Having knowledge of artificial intelligence (or machine learning) is also highly recommended since it has a large number of applications within the world of cybersecurity.

Neural networks can be trained to detect suspicious activities and act immediately, eliminating the threat completely.

An example is Zero day threats. These types of attacks are generally new, so most security software is not capable of detecting or stopping them. At this point, machine learning would play a crucial role since it would be able to detect and stop the threat effectively.

Where to study cybersecurity?

To learn about this field it is important to know what courses to take. In this section we show you some of the courses and studies that we recommend so that you can become an expert in cybersecurity.

Online course platforms

There are different platforms that offer online cybersecurity courses with final certification for all students who pass the different lessons.

Best courses on EdX:

  • Cybersecurity fundamentals, a practical approach: During this course you will be able to learn the basics of computer forensics, cyber defense tools and vulnerability management. It is a course where special emphasis is placed on the practical part. See course.
  • Introduction to cybersecurity: The objective of this course is to give a 360 view of all fields of security. You will learn more basic concepts, analyze vulnerabilities in a web service, learn about cryptosystems, and master ethical hacking programs. See course.
  • Cybersecurity tools and application methods: This course is designed so that you learn the fundamentals of cyber defense and know how to react to cyber attacks. Some of the most important points on the agenda are learning how to protect databases using cryptography, finding and managing vulnerabilities that compromise the security of an organization, or understanding the future of cybersecurity. See course.

Best Courses on Udemy:

  • Complete Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity Course: The ethical hacking course is designed so that you will learn the most popular hacking tools of today, the use of the Kali Linux distribution, use machine learning in the field of cybersecurity or exploit Windows or Linux vulnerabilities to enter systems. See course.
  • Hacking University. Everything in Cybersecurity: This course teaches the student the main malware analysis methodologies, Kali Linux hacking tool suite, how to increase security and anonymity, basic network knowledge, wireshark analysis among many other concepts. See course.
  • Cybersecurity, Privacy and Anonymity Course on the Internet: This is a 9.5 hour course where you will learn to use the best techniques to ensure your security and anonymity while browsing, you will learn how to use VPN and the TOR browser for greater anonymity or perform an audit to understand the level of security. See course.

Public and private universities

Many public and private universities offer master's and postgraduate courses related to the world of computer security. Some of them are online and others are in person.

Most of these graduate studies are more expensive than the online courses shown above. However, they last longer, offer greater training and allow students to access business internships where they can use their knowledge in real cybersecurity situations and problems.

  • Online cybersecurity masters: UNED, UNIR, European University.
  • In-person cybersecurity masters: UPC, IMF, La Salle Barcelona.

Ethical hacking and cybersecurity books

Books are an excellent source of information to complement our training in an enjoyable way. Below I show you a list of the best books on cyber defense that you can buy online, for example, in the Amazon store.

  • Cybersecurity, Complete Guide from A to Z: This book aims to introduce the different areas of cyber defense. It starts by explaining what computer security is and then begins to touch on topics such as: cyber espionage, social engineering, vulnerabilities or future trends. If you like this world, this is, without a doubt, a good book to buy or take from the library. See book on Amazon.
  • Cybersecurity A Simple Beginner's Guide to Cybersecurity, Computer Networks and How to Protect Yourself from Hacking: This book, as its name indicates, is a basic guide to enter the world of cybersecurity. It details concepts such as the different types of Internet attacks, how to protect yourself from attacks phishing, security check, how to identify a social engineering attack among many other things. It is undoubtedly a good book to complement our in-person or online training. See book on Amazon.

Reasons why you should study cybersecurity

Are you still not convinced to study computer security? Now you will discover the benefits you will have by becoming a professional in this sector that is so in demand by companies.

Good working conditions

How in many positions in the technology sector, companies offer very good working conditions compared to other jobs.

In most of them you will receive more vacation days, private insurance paid by the company, restaurant or daycare ticket, remote work option, annual salary review or work activities. team-building.

Above average salary

The salary of this profession is more than attractive. Computer security experts have a salary of between €30,000 and €100,000 gross per year depending on the position.

The difference in salaries depends on the company and the experience the professional has. However, the most junior cybersecurity specialists have a salary that is already above the Spanish average, of around 30,000-35,000 euros gross.

Good future projection

We constantly see how our society is increasingly moving towards digitalization and the use of computer systems. In a short time, all objects will be connected to the network through what is known as the Internet of Things or Internet of Things in English.

The role of cybersecurity professionals will be very important to maintain the integrity and security of our data and prevent hackers from stealing confidential data.

Increasingly, the demand for these computer experts will be greater and their working conditions and salaries will become more attractive.

Constant learning about the sector

Cybersecurity is a sector in constant evolution so if you like to learn this is a perfect field for you. You will have to stay updated day by day with the new methodologies and tools that emerge from cyber defense.

Most technology companies offer their workers a budget separate from their salary so that they can spend throughout the year on different courses, whether online or in-person.

5 career opportunities as a computer security expert

If you have come this far, it is because you are interested in learning everything about cybersecurity. You may be wondering what career opportunities does it offer? In this section we show you 5 jobs that you can apply for once you have advanced knowledge in cybersecurity.

ethical hacker

This is a very interesting way out and consists of finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in companies, such as banks, in order to repair them later and prevent real hackers from using them.

Manage network security

This professional opportunity consists of maintaining the security of networks and increasing their security. It is also in charge of repairing possible vulnerabilities that these network systems may have.

IT security consultant

The cybersecurity consultant is responsible for carrying out security audits on different types of computer systems. Through the audit, it is able to detect possible security holes and report them so that they can be later repaired.

Cryptography expert

The cryptography professional is responsible for using cryptographic methods to prevent hackers from being able to decrypt the data. The data is encrypted before leaving and travels through the network in encrypted form so that no one can interpret it.

Computer Forensic Specialist

This job consists of recovering data from devices that have been erased. Above all, they are demanded for police investigations where data from mobile phones or computers has to be recovered.