Narrow job titles are fading into the distance, and employers are looking for candidates with a wide variety of skills to join most fields. As in any industry, the more you know, the more attractive you will be for a role in cybersecurity. Amassing a breadth of security, cloud, and networking knowledge will help your chances of being a top candidate and help you execute in the long run as you combat all kinds of present-day and future attacks to defeat the cyber kill chain.
The recent convergence of networking and security calls for convergence in skills. Before the surge in digital transformation, OT and IT were separate, independent networks. OT systems were considered relatively safe from outside threats because they weren’t connected to the internet. But as digital innovation continues, OT networks have converged with IT networks to reduce costs, increase productivity, and gain market share. Now all networks are suddenly exposed to the entire threat landscape. And a lot of threats mean we need a lot of different specialties. Unfortunately, as technology advances, so do cybercriminals.
There are many threats out there coming from all sorts of areas, and combatting the cyber kill chain requires specific skills. If we look at the seven steps of the cyber kill chain—reconnaissance, weaponization, delivery, exploitation, installation, command and control, actions—we can shine the light on the processes and use that as a roadmap to see what kinds of skills we need to develop to thwart each step.
Knowing the cyber skill chain stages and their inherent outcomes is a first step in combatting cybercrime. Cybersecurity is all about learning how to adapt and be flexible, as things are constantly changing, and awareness training can be hugely beneficial.
There are many free training programs out there to get started. The Fortinet NSE Certification Program prepares professionals for a career in cybersecurity and trains you on multiple Fortinet products. (It’s best to get various vendor training to become familiar with other cybersecurity products as well.) Non-vendor training and penetration testing (also called “pen testing” or “ethical hacking”) can also be interesting and educational. Concentrate on ethical hacking techniques to understand the mindset and tactics of cyber adversaries, but also find training and information on:
And instead of just focusing on one area of expertise, essential technical skills to develop include:
There is a growing need for qualified talent who can help in the fight against modern attacks like the cyber kill chain. And while some cybersecurity careers are molded in the traditional sense, through college programs and internships, there are other paths that individuals can take to enter this field independently.
The Fortinet NSE Training Institute helps develop career pathways and supports more than 300 academic institutes across 80 countries with programs for all levels. It encompasses the Certification Program, the Fortinet Security Academy Program, and the Veterans Program, all designed to help shrink the cybersecurity skills gap and kill the cyber kill chain. Fortinet also offers education pathways to develop security operations, Security-Driven Networking, Adaptive Cloud Security, and Zero Trust Access.
Any career can be fulfilling if you are doing something you love. Just getting a job and punching a clock day-to-day is not sustainable nor fulfilling. Along with developing a diverse skill set, bring forward your innate talents, problem-solving skills, an inquiring mind, tenacity. And you have to be flexible and willing to adapt along with the landscape, all the while being humble enough to admit that there will always be more things to learn.
Find out more about how Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and NSE Training Institute programs, including the Certification Program, Security Academy Program and Veterans Program, are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.