The cybersecurity industry has been growing as both the number and sophistication of cybersecurity risks have increased. Businesses want not only to protect their teams but their employees and data, too. One of the first things you should do if you would like to become a cybersecurity expert is check out what skills you will need to succeed in the field. Although coding is an essential skill in many technological disciplines, it does not typically come up when talking about the skills you need.
Do You Need to Know How to Code as a Cybersecurity Expert?
Most entry-level cybersecurity positions do not require that you know how to code. However, the ability to read, understand and write code becomes essential once you are experienced enough to start looking at the code behind malicious applications. In most of these cases, you will already be a mid or upper-level cybersecurity expert.
Even though you might not need it while getting started, you will need it to advance in your career. Fortunately, learning to code has become very easy with an unlimited number of resources available regardless of the programming language you would like to learn.
Apart from these resources, you will also need a computer that can handle writing and running code, especially if you decide to learn a programming language that requires code compilation such as Assembly. Getting an affordable computer with enough horsepower is ideal here. With the recent announcement of the new graphics options from Intel, Lenovo Intel® Arc™ Graphics laptops and desktops are a great option.
Knowing all this, what coding skills should you concentrate on?
Assembly is a low-level programming language that allows cybersecurity experts to write code that interacts with a computer or programmable device at the hardware level. Assembly is crucial because it helps cybersecurity experts examine what malware does and reverse engineer it, find security flaws in programs, and run cybersecurity forensics at a hardware level to know what happened.
It can also help cybersecurity experts simulate attacks and hacks and apply hardware usage restrictions depending on the parameters set.
Python is a very versatile programming language that is often mentioned in cybersecurity positions that require coding experience. Cybersecurity experts can create scripts in Python that help them analyse data quickly and automate repetitive tasks. They can also use their understanding of Python to know what Python scripts running on a system are doing.
Java has remained a very popular language for creating software, and this is why a sizable chunk of malicious software uses the Java programming language in some way. Penetration testers are expected to know Java because this knowledge will help them break down malicious software, look at what is behind it and understand what it does.
While cybersecurity experts need other skills, learning how to code can be essential once they start progressing in their careers. Understanding the most common programming languages used in attacks helps immensely.