Networking vs PenTesting: Choosing Your Cyber Career
Cybersecurity professionals work in virtually every aspect or section of private and government enterprise. They work to ensure that an organization's digital data remains secure at all times, and that the infrastructure itself is not susceptible to any dedicated cyber-attack, breach or security vulnerability. As a cybersecurity professional, it's your job to protect a company's network, and all of its users, from a variety of external (or internal) cyber threats. You'll run network tests, perform routine computer system diagnostics and follow other cybersecurity best practices to ensure that all digital data remains safe.
When it comes to choosing a dedicated cybersecurity career path, you have a lot of options. No matter your skills or job preferences, there's a career in cybersecurity that's ideal for you. Let's explore some of the more popular cybersecurity career options below.
Networking vs. Penetration Testing
To begin, let's review two major cybersecurity domains: networking and penetration testing.
Let’s take these two as an example that will help you to understand what are the differences, how these play out, and what you can expect from here;
Networking is all about implementing, designing and managing the entire fleet of the organization's networking and devices systems. Networking engineers, cloud networking implementation experts and network analysts are a few of the many job titles that emerge in this category.
To properly practice networking fundamentals, you'll likely need skills in coding and programming. You'll also need a working knowledge of Ipv4 and Ipv6 networks, their use cases and how to install firewalls and block unimportant or unauthorized personnel from accessing critical network junctures.
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Penetration Testing/Ethical Hacking
Penetration testing deals with the consistent testing of organizational systems, applications and other settings that interlink with each other. These tests uncover whether or not a system is stable or not; it helps identify vulnerabilities before hackers have a chance to exploit them.
To properly fulfill a career in penetration testing or ethical hacking, you'll need a comprehensive understanding of coding and programming. You'll also need to understand network dissection and data analysis, and have a firm grasp of the other cybersecurity-related aspects of your day-to-day role. Depending on your employer and your individual position, you may also need a working knowledge of machine learning or AI.
Do What Moves You
In order to better understand and enjoy you future cybersecurity role, it's important to you consider what actually moves you. What aspect of cybersecurity are you particularly passionate about? Are there responsibilities you'd prefer to have, or tasks you'd prefer to avoid? The answers to these questions, and others, can help to shape your employment experience.
Whenever you're ready to improve your working knowledge of cyber best practices, we're ready to help. QuickStart provides a variety of IT education bootcamps — including our Cybersecurity Bootcamp — to improve your candidacy for hire in a cybersecurity role.
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