When you first get into the field of computer security you can start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that you must pick up. You only have a short amount of time to make yourself familiar with all of the ways that a bad guy might try to come at your system over the network. That is why some of the best computer security people are not the ones who went to school but the ones that have been interested in computers all of their lives. This is why you will see a lot of former black hat hackers being hired for computer security jobs. It is hard to get that much knowledge in a person without having years of back up training.
But if you do not have years of past experience then you are going to have to find another way to catch up. Going to school is a great start but that is all it is, a start. You need to be able to gather as much knowledge as quickly as possible because you know the bad guys are doing the same thing. So the only way that you are going to be able to do that is by a lot of reading and a lot of practice. In this article I am going to show you how you can get this accomplished by showing you what tools you are going to need.
The proper software
The first thing that you are going to need is the proper software to be able to get the job done. And I am not talking about the software that they are going to issue you at the job. Of course you are going to have to get to know that too but that is only a part of being able to stop your enemies. No, you are going to need to find out what the favorite tools of the black hat hackers are and learn them as well. If you are going to be battling against these tools everyday it only makes sense that you get to know them as well. Some of the tools are going to be custom made so there is really no way that you are going to be able to get your hands on them. But most of the tools are going to be available to download because either they are open source or they are just free tools to use. You would be surprised at how many legitimate tools that black hat hackers actually use in their attacks. A lot of the time their attacks will be created by tools that seem harmless.
Some of the software tools that you should be familiar with are port scanners, debuggers, dissassemblers, and many other numerous tools that are out there. Also, if you can read code, try to find some of the decompiled malware that is out there to be studied. It will help you learn how attacks are created and on what parts of the system they focus on.
The proper reading
After you check out some of the tools that are available, next you should really get into looking for the proper reading materials to help you get good at your job. If you want to be relevant in a few years then you really have to move past your school training. The only way that you can get past your school training is to make sure that you read all that you can about the security industry. But you cannot just read books alone. Books are great but they usually take a while to be published and that will not let you in on all of the latest developments. No, you are going to have to go on the web and visit many of the forums and blogs that are popular on this topic.
And when you do go to visit these blogs and forums, try if you can to interact with others. This way, if you have any questions, you will be able to get help faster than you normally would. You have to remember that there are people who know a lot more about this subject than you do and they will be willing to help if asked. A lot of times in these places you will find both black and white hats working together when it comes to a technical problem. Mostly this happens on forums where most of the people who visit them are anonymous.
When you are a beginner in the industry you want to be sure that you step out on the right foot. This means that if you only have school as far as computer security goes then you are going to have to fill in what you do not know. If you follow these steps and are vigilant about it then you should be able to catch up in a little bit of time.