posted ago by TenchuStealthAss ago by TenchuStealthAss +7 / -0

Hey Everyone,

I'm interested in switching from my current career (not computer related) to network security. I would say I'm somewhat tech savvy, but not a badass tech guy by any means. I'm not a programmer, but I have coded a bit and understand some. Can anyone point me in the right direction or provide me with tips?


Comments (12)
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Spez_Is_A_Pedofile 3 points ago +3 / -0

Ive held title of Network Engineer for 15+ years. In & out of hundreds of networks during that time for customers. In the past few years been transitioning into cyber security world more & more pretty much due to demand. Eventually got CISSP which is one of the big certs for Security.

From my perspective knowing the fundamentals of network services is fundamental prerequisite knowledge. Tcp/Ip networking, Subnetting, routing, VPN buildout.

Even basic things like firmware upgrades, Raid levels, virtualization, network storage. && yeah firewall configuration.

If your looking for the certification route: A+, Net +, Security+ followed by CCNA will be GED of network certifications.

Id add some Microsoft server administration certifications.

From there you can hop to like entry level cyber security certifications. SSCP/CYSA.

coverband 1 point ago +1 / -0

I concur. Also look into picking up some Linux and Python skills.

Currently switching to cybersecurity from development and data analyst. Working on my Security+, then CCNA, then going down the SOC analyst route.

TenchuStealthAss [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

Thanks. Looks like I have a lot of research I need to do. Much appreciated.

LetUsReason 2 points ago +2 / -0

Look for free CCNA training resources online. INE put out a good free one on YouTube some time ago. Personally I dont use Cisco products unless I absolutely have to, but since all of this stuff is standardized by IEEE / OSI model that knowledge from the CCNA will translate to any other vendor.

Deaf_MAGA_Pede 1 point ago +1 / -0

Thought the network industry is pulling away from Cisco as they're going toward Software Defined Networks?

Literally told my former instructor that I was going for my CISCO certs and he said not to bother as Cisco is about to go the way of the dodo.

LetUsReason 2 points ago +2 / -0

Disclaimer: I hate Cisco with a passion and I can't wait for every single device they've ever made to be in the trash where they belong.

The knowledge you gain from a CCNA is crucial to understand networking, not necessarily the IOS commands or navigating their abomination of a GUI called ASDM, but the core concepts. Anyone trying to get into SDN without understanding those core basics is going to be beyond lost unless you want to be nothing more than someone that goes to like the webGUI of a ubiquiti unifi controller and changes port VLAN membership.

If there were any other vendor that had a training course as thorough as the CCNA I would recommend it instead. I would advise against any of the higher certs like CCNP or CCIE and definitely don't fuck with the CCDA. All of those get you way out further into Ciscos proprietary world. The CCNA is all you need to fully understand the vast majority of networking protocols you will encounter for both LAN and WAN.

Now, all of that being said, while I hate Cisco with a passion they aren't going the way of the dodo in our lifetimes. Like it or not Cisco and Juniper are and will be the major networking vendors for the foreseeable future because that's what most people are certified in because they have been the industry standard for, well, forever. When the husband and wife that formed the company created it there was nothing like it, everyone had these totally proprietary networks like decnet, arcnet, Novell etc etc and nothing could talk outside of their little ecosystems. At first when Cisco was run by the engineers stuff made sense. Now that it's been taken over by dipshit business people for the past few decades they've tried to figure out how to squeeze every last penny out of people and charge exorbitant prices for stuff that is absolutely not rocket science anymore.

Like go look at the price difference between a mikrotic CRS with 24 sfp+ ports and 2 qsfp+ and compare it to a Cisco. The mikrotik will be about 500 bucks the Cisco you won't be able to touch for under 8,000. Cisco can burn in hell, but the knowledge you get from a CCNA applies to every networking vendor in the world. They may have different commands for making it happen, but the fundamentals apply to all.

Deaf_MAGA_Pede 1 point ago +1 / -0

Thanks and I appreciate your unbiased feedback. Must be hard to type that out while cursing!

I already know Cisco and have done exercises through GNS3 and such but I have been putting off on getting CCNA cert'ed until I told my former instructor that I was going to but haven't found the time to do it and that's when they told me not to bother.

I agree that people should just have a basic understanding of how everything work and yes I do agree that it's BS that Cisco is hiking up their prices just to stay on top of everything, which is unfortunate. But that's what we get for being in a dog eat dog world.

OperationCatSpeed 2 points ago +2 / -0

Even with SDNs, same basics of the CCNA will apply. CCNA is industry basic level of competency for networking. I’d view it is requisite towards IT.

TenchuStealthAss [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

Thanks! Will do.

SlickMahony 1 point ago +1 / -0

Depends on what precisely you mean by network security; like a lot of things in the IT field today there are many disciplines within that overarching term and some are more math/technically inclined than others.

In general with netsec, it seems certs are the places to start these days because just about everything is going to either have them as a requirement or a preferred skills item.

Depending on the type of job, you'll also want to become familiar with some of the primary tooling in your domain, whether that's F5-like network appliances, virtual networking in a specific cloud environment, etc. And you will want to start brushing up on some scripting languages as even in netsec world the devops movement is taking hold and managing your network appliance configuration is being done through infrastructure as code if you're good.

I would say look at some job postings for positions at a level you think you can achieve with some moderate time investment and get certified/familiar with the things it's asking for as fast possible. It's going to require a lot of work but nothing worth doing is easy. It might also be worth trying some things out in isolation and try to understand how/why they work, like managing firewall rules in an Ubuntu WSL distro or something to cut your teeth on the easy stuff.

TenchuStealthAss [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

Thanks for the info. Do you think it might be better to first transfer into something like web development or backend development before transferring to network security?

SlickMahony 2 points ago +2 / -0

I think that would depend on where your interests lie and what you want to work on/with. And where to some degree.

I got my degree in computer science with a concentration in Information security, and while I think at the end all it really did was give me a foot in the door at my first job it also gave me some perspective. I decided that spending my time doing the kind of work you do in netsec wasn't what I wanted so I went a more dev centric route, but the way the world and the industry has evolved (this whole shift left, devops thing) you end up being cross disciplinary anyways.

To sum up my ramble, I would give them both a shot. You might find yours strong in both and that can lead you much further than just one, or you might find you prefer one over the other and thus you know where to put your efforts in growing your career.