To the average person, computer security is just one big juggernaut but when you are in the industry you know that there are several factors that you have to consider. You cannot think of computer security as one big brute because it is not. It is an industry that has many different shades that you have to worry about. This is because computers and networks are a big topic and are usually very complicated. There is no way that one person will be able to learn all there is to know about both fields of study when it comes to the ability to protect others. So it has to be broken down into the different fields of study.
If you want to get in the field of computer security then you have to know which part of it is more interesting to you. And to figure out which part is more interesting to you really starts at home. It comes down to what you tend to do on your own time and not what some instructor is forcing you to do. What type of books do you read and what attracted you to computer security in the first place. When you are able to answer some of these questions then you will start to realize for yourself which part of the field you should get into.
When most people think of hacking they think of people being able to exploit networks and being able to gain access anywhere. But as we said before hacking and computer security are just all encompassing words that have many different meanings. But if that is what attracted you to wanting to become part of computer security then you might want to start down the road of pen testing.
Becoming a pen tester means that you are hired to take a look at the security of a company and try to find the holes that get you inside of their network. So to do this you rely on your bag of tricks that you have built up over years of experience. If they are able to withstand that then you go to phase two which is to really trick the system and think outside of the box. You really have to use all of your skills to get past their security. A lot of people in the field love being pen testers and it is the part that receives a lot of interest first.
Another part of the field that seems to attract a lot of people is malware analysis. Malware analysis is being able to take a look at the insides of an executable and see exactly what it is doing. When you get a piece of malware on your computer you have to remember that it is just like any other software in your computer. It just has properties in it which were meant to cause damage. So when you work in malware analysis you use knowledge of how a program is made and you follow the lines and see what part of that particular program you are looking at is meant to cause damage. You then create a signature for that piece to look for and then you share it will the computer security community. That helps to stop the effects of that particular piece of malware.
These are just two of the many aspects of the computer security industry. You have to figure out at the beginning which part you are interested in more. And do not worry; there will be several aspects of both that you will have to deal with at some point so do not think you are missing out when you finally choose one.