I want to become a computer security professional?

Im 18 at the minute doing a diploma in IT, i want to become an expert in computer security, i want to be the best. What key subjects should i look into and study? so i can get some books about it and learn. Is it possible to become a master of computer security within 10 years? So the time im 28 for example?

3 replies
  1. Simon P says:

    Download some free virtual pc software install a copy of windows on it, then you have a pc which you can infect with as many viruses as you like without risk of damage. Then download limewire and infect your virtual pc with as many viruses as you can…. Then remove them. http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Microsoft-Virtual-PC.shtml

    You would need courses as well unless you are planning on purely the going to peoples homes and fixing their computers route but you will quickly learn alot.


    Watch that guys youtube channel. And learn how o use a bootable CD with alot of tools on it like.

    Those things wont teach you everything (especially when you consider what alot of professionals know) but you will learn alot about windows and viruses, and its fun seing how badly you can mess windows up. I cant imagine getting any infection i couldnt remove just from learning about those things.

  2. Evolving Squid says:

    To be honest, the field requires experience to get to the top of it. You will probably want a university degree in computer science, although a college diploma in IT is a step in the right direction. Historically, there has been no serious advantage going for a masters degree to work in computer security. If pure computer science doesn’t interest you, math (particularly cryptography) is a decent area of study as well. Some people I know have criminology backgrounds. Your approach is essentially correct – it takes about 10 years to be considered an expert, and that 10 years comprises varied experience.

    You will want to learn to program in a few languages. Not so you can become a developer, but to understand how programming and software development works. You will also want to do some time as a system administrator to learn networking, network architecture, and exactly how users will screw up everything you try to do to increase security :) In my experience, all the best IT security folks spent a number of years as system administrators in medium to large organizations.

    Although not necessary, it comes up on proposals a lot, so you will probably want to visit http://www.isc2.org and find out about getting your CISSP certification. If you’re new to the field, this will probably require some study to pass the exam.

    Most IT security work is in consulting, and as a junior guy you’ll probably be doing electronic vulnerability assessments initially, firewall and router installation and configuration, and helping on threat and risk assessments. Doing those builds on your experiences as a programmer and system admin. Eventually, you’ll be leading consulting teams to provide overall security advice at the organizational level.

    It’s important to lose any visions you might have of romantic late-at-night hacking where the geeky-but-cool hacker gets the girl. Most of IT security is policy and assessment, and is, quite frankly, about as exciting as a policy document can be (i.e. not very). Hacking forms a very small part. With 10-20 years experience, you’ll find yourself writing security policy, governance frameworks, and implementing security plans and policies in organizations.

    Job satisfaction comes from knowing that you’ve made a little part of the world that much safer. Downsides of this work include intense frustration from the fact that you’ll tell people the same advice over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over… and they won’t listen, and repeatedly suffer the consequences that you warned them about. They will, of course, blame everyone but themselves.

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