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How to Get Experience in IT Security


We dedicated an entire week of posts to breaking into the white-hot information security field, including how to get experience in IT security, tips for crushing your first security interview, certifying as an ethical hacker, and even what to do if you get audited during certification.

Even if you don’t have experience in this white-hot career field, you still probably have everything you need in your current position to start your security career. You just have to know where to look, how to ask, and what to do.

In this 30-minute webinar, CBT Nuggets trainer Keith Barker explained how to enter the burgeoning IT security field without formal training, which certifications you should earn to validate your security knowledge, and the next steps for becoming a security master.

Here’s a quick guide:

The best way to get into IT security? Start where you are. – 0:45

Questions to ask yourself about your current security. – 1:55

  • Where do you store your passwords?
  • What access do you have that requires authentication?
  • What is at risk, regarding the account?
  • What other systems does that one account authorize?
  • How might an attacker obtain my login?
  • How could the authentication be better protected?

Get smarter. – 10:58

  • Talk to as many people as you can.
  • Find the smartest person you know.
  • Attend Defcon!

Watch, learn, practice, and conquer. – 13:33

Improve your security at home or work first. – 15:02

How to invest time on the right IT security skill sets. – 15:53

How to motivate and reward yourself for doing the work. – 19:44

Understand IT technology at a fundamental level. – 22:31

  • Example: Attacking an L2 switch. – 23:24

Keith’s recommendations for the best IT security certifications. – 26:00

How to deal with fear about getting things done. – 30:13

  • Option #1: Think about the pain about not doing anything. – 30:20
  • Option #2: Think about the goals you can reach. – 30:44
  • Option #3: Just do it! – 31:17

Monitoring your performance toward your goals. – 32:04

Commit to others publicly about your goals. – 32:19

As forward-thinking companies move toward actively safeguarding their sensitive data, experience in information and network security has never been more relevant. Get started today!

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  1. Rolston says:

    Hi Keith, This is a security question but it falls along the lines of networking. So, I’ve been working in IT for about 3 years now and because of a job opening I made to move to the cyber security realm. When I first started out I like most people was fascinated with the sexy side of cyber (hacking, pen testing and the like) but after being in the field I realize that my skillsets are nowhere near the level they need to be to even scratch the surface of that area of cyber security. Thinking that I may have bitten off more than I could chew, I attended to a few conferences and spoke with a few professionals in the field I noticed that there is a basic skillset in each area of cyber security that beginners need to have in order to be successful in the field. From a networking professional prospective I’d like to ask you, what networking skillsets do you feel are critical skills to know to prepare someone for a career in cybersecurity. Thanks!

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