How to Break into Infosec With Zero Expertise
Want to break into cybersecurity but lack the relevant experience? Learn how in seven easy steps.
Lack of experience has always been a let down for people with a passion for a particular profession. But guess what, it doesn’t always have to be that way! Suppose you have a passion for cybersecurity but no experience whatsoever. In that case, you are in the right place, as this article will teach you seven easy ways to get into the cybersecurity industry with zero experience.
The Cybersecurity Industry
The inability to secure data has put many businesses and individuals in compromising situations. According to research by Varonis, many companies are susceptible to cyberattacks because they don’t have proper cybersecurity strategies set up. This has raised companies’ and individuals’ cybersecurity awareness to integrate preventive measures and best cybersecurity practices into their business culture. As a result, the cybersecurity industry has expanded over the years, creating more specialised roles and, subsequently, a demand for more professionals. Research by cybersecurity Ventures revealed that there will be 3,500,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in 2025.
This means it’s not too late to get into the cybersecurity industry with zero experience. Let’s see how!
7 Easy Ways to Get into The Cybersecurity Industry
Enough of the talk! Here are the seven easy ways to fully immerse yourself in the cybersecurity industry as a novice:
Step 1: Familiarise yourself with the industry
The first and the most logical thing to do if you want to get into the cybersecurity industry is to get familiar with the sector and keep doing this, at the very least, until you land a position. This helps you better understand the components of the cybersecurity industry and help you decide what you want for yourself and what cybersecurity jobs you want to practice.
There are platforms to familiarise yourself with the industry, podcasts, blogs, and social media pages. Here are my recommendations for the best cybersecurity platforms to learn from:
·Follow Secjuice on Twitter:
Secjuice is a non-profit organisation that offers the juiciest and most resourceful infosec knowledge through its publications. You might want to follow on Twitter to stay updated to blog posts or better still, bookmark the website.
·Listen to Darknet Diaries:
Like the title sounds, the host, Jack Rhysder, tells the dark side of cybersecurity with actual life experiences. To expose the crimes in cyberspace, Jack awakens his audience’s curious and investigative spirit and creates awareness of the fraudulent acts and methods.
·Huntress Labs, and The Hacker News, are also very reliable platforms for tips and news that will help you understand the environment.
2. Step 2: Gain basic computing and security knowledge along with some basic programming skills;
You may get lost sometimes following the previous step. Why? You might just be listening to a podcast show and have the podcaster talk about a random cybersecurity topic and use some terms you don't understand. It is normal; if anything, it only shows how much work you have to do. This takes you to the next step of acquiring basic computing and security knowledge alongside basic programming skills.
Here are some recommended courses for you to study;
You can start your IT career with CompTIA A+, the most popular certification for people aspiring for technical support and operational professions.
Studying CompTIA A+ will help you develop skills and improve your know-how on components like Hardware, Windows Operating Systems, Troubleshooting software and devices, Security, Mobile Technology, Virtualisation & Cloud Computing, and Operational Procedures.
·Network+ and Security+
The credentials for Network+ and Security+ are successive. While Security+ is committed to extending a layer of essential security operations over gadgets, systems, and the businesses that use them, Network+ concentrates on hardware, programming, and procedures.
·Sign up to WEBGAP and get a free remote browser using coupon code OSINT, these come in very handy for when you want to look at suspicious websites and will prevent you from becoming infected by malware through them.
·Study Python and publish a project
Suppose you want to stand out in the job market, boost your confidence in your programming abilities, and get a head start on being ready for and moving to the professional level. In that case, the PCAPTM certification should be on your mind.
These courses would help give me a more profound knowledge of the industry’s inner workings.
3. Step 3: Gain a security credential and hands-on security experience;
At the point of successfully gaining knowledge of basic programming and cybersecurity skills, the next thing you want to do is learn more and get certified.
You have basic knowledge already; it is time to explore deeper into the industry. Any student embarking on a new job will benefit significantly from doing the following cybersecurity drills:
·Ace eJPT (from INE)
This course costs about $200, but INE provides the course for free. The eJPT enables you to apply every topic you learn practically. It allows newcomers to demonstrate their foundational knowledge of pen testing. The course is structured to assist you in discovering your potential and inspire you to perform better before receiving the certification.
· do some labs from Hackthebox or participate in CTFs (ctftime.org. for example)
·Consider pursuing CISSP (or associate of ISC2) or OSCP.
You should know that these drills need you to focus due to their difficulty level. Fortunately, they put you on the right side of the application board when you finally take up a role in the industry, thanks to the strong foundation in infrastructure and development you have gained.
4. Step 4: Get your resume, LinkedIn, and Indeed.com squared away.
Congratulations! You are through the most challenging parts of getting into the cybersecurity industry with zero experience. However, it is safe to say you are no longer a cybersecurity dummy and have arranged your qualifications.
Get on your LinkedIn and Indeed to update your profile, list your cybersecurity credentials and projects published and description. Afterward, it would help if you also designed your resume to contain all this information. If you are hiring someone to write your resume, try to proofread it and ensure no information is missing. I recommend that you use the Europass cv platform. It is free and easy to use, and the Europass cv format is widely accepted all over Europe in case you plan to widen your job search.
5. Step 5: Start applying to jobs;
Getting a job makes your immersion into the cybersecurity industry official. It’s been a long trip; it’s time to make money doing what you love. Get to applying! Be careful during this process to avoid falling into the hands of scammers and time wasters who want your details for fraudulent purposes. You can go through the following;
Arguably the world’s most prominent professional social media platform. LinkedIn’s job listing feature is just as efficient as its primary networking function. You can receive job listings that align with your expertise and also search for jobs yourself. Worthy to note that LinkedIn also recommends job seekers to employers.
Indeed is possibly the largest job-search website for recruiters and job seekers.
After building a personalised profile, all you need to do to apply for a job is respond to a few personal questions and upload your resume. After that, everything about the process is easy.
Comparatively speaking, Glassdoor offers a more flexible platform for job searching. In addition to receiving job updates that match their professional qualifications, its review tool enables job seekers to gain a deeper understanding of the company’s vision, beliefs, and work culture and compare them to determine if they connect with their values.
Although primarily a hiring tool, ZipRecruiter is also effective for job searchers. ZipRecruiter handles the work of helping you find a job that fits your requirements, so you don’t have to. The platform searches for suitable job vacancies after you create an account and customise your profile to your preferences, then notify you so you can quickly apply.
·Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer
You can register on any of these platforms for freelancing if you like working for yourself. Here, clients submit a project and their budget for freelancers to bid on by demonstrating that they can carry out the assignment and then negotiate payment.
When applying, start by applying to local and remote jobs around your province, and afterward, widen your job search to the whole country, looking for jobs that suit your profile. You can also consider a global job search, applying to openings worldwide.
6. Step 6: Interview Preparation
It’s not a guarantee that you’ll land the job just because you got the call for the interview. Although your profile has piqued the recruiter’s interest, it is a sign that you are on the right track. It is now necessary to get ready to land the job.
You can achieve this by practicing responding to standard interview questions and interview questions for technical roles. Additionally, you can enlist the aid of a friend to help you create an interview environment and assist in practicing overcoming anxiety to provide excellent answers to questions.
7. Step 7: Networking
One cannot overstate how crucial networking is for a professional. Networking will expose you to unbelievable opportunities, such as job recommendations, project assistance, mentorship, and more.
You can approach well-known or modestly successful people, become friends with them, and persuade them to serve as your mentors as you progress in the industry. Consider connecting with people on LinkedIn and sharing your cybersecurity exploits frequently for a wider audience. Who knows, one reliable link might lead to your next job in cybersecurity. Do well to look into other websites outside LinkedIn, such as Facebook, Twitter, Meetup, Quora, Slack, and Wistia.
As a result of the ongoing increase in risks to information confidentiality, the cybersecurity sector is expanding, and its importance is becoming increasingly acknowledged.
According to Gartner, to conduct business with third parties and other engagements, 60% of firms will use cybersecurity risk as a critical criterion by 2025.
The industry is big enough to accommodate newcomers, even if it means getting into cybersecurity as a dummy.
Reference: Josh Madakor, How to get into Cybersecurity with NO Experience.