Technology is something that is always moving. You cannot sit on your hands after you learn one aspect of technology and think that it is never going to change. You have to be aware going in that what you learn now is not always going to mean something a few years down the road. There are a few aspects of computing that stays the same throughout the years but not many. Even when it comes to the outer levels of computing such as websites, they change over the years as well. It was not that long ago where Myspace was one of the biggest websites on the planet. Now that position is held by Facebook and that can change in a few years as well.
If the outer layers of the web changes that quickly then you know that the people who really know technology are changing even faster. And that means that the technology and the people on both the white hat and the black hat side of hacking is going to change constantly. And that is something that you need to keep on top of. If you are not on top of it then you can find yourself obsolete very quickly.
It is very important for you to be able to either keep up or stay ahead of the bad guys. If you do not then you are not going to be very good at your job. So not only do you need the right information but you need the right equipment as well. That is what we will talk about in the paragraphs below.
Where you get your information from
When you are dealing with security on the web you cannot rely on the latest text books to have updated information for you to learn from. By the time these books are printed up the technology that is in them might be outdated. Books like these are good for learning the fundamentals of what you are going to need to guard against an attack but they are not good when it comes to learning the latest attacks. So to make sure you are up to date you need to really find websites which will allow you to remain competitive.
Two things that have not changed surprisingly is the use of forums and IRC to gather information from. While black hat and white hackers might deal in technology which is always changing, it does not mean that they do not have love for the classics every now and then. And these two technologies are what you would consider classics. But they do still hang around in these two types of venues so you are still bound to pick up something if you hang in them yourself.
People tend to talk casually and get to know each other on these types of communication channels. It does not matter what side of the law that you are on, all they care about is that you know what you are talking about. While they might not be happy to find out that you are a cop, if you are just a normal security researcher then it is not considered a big deal. Do not leave out regular programming channels when you are talking about hanging out in these types of channels. Regular programming channels are inhabited by people of all stripes so that might also be a good place to pick up information about your intended targets. Plus you will also happen to sharpen up your skills as well.
Do not forget to keep your hardware updated
Your tools are just as important as your mind when you are talking about computer security. So make sure that you have the right up to date tools as well. This means that you need a fast computer that is able to hold lots of memory inside of it. There are going to be times when you need to use a virtual machine and virtual machines need lots of RAM to run.
You also want to make sure that you have a comfortable place to sit while you are doing your research. It takes a lot of time on the computer to be able to research information. The only way you can do that comfortably is to have a good chair and a good desk. if you do not have that then you are going to find it hard to be effective.
Being up to date when it comes to fighting the bad guys is very important. If you do not stay up to date you will find that the information that you do know will be outdated very quickly and you will be a dinosaur in your own industry.