Gender Inequality

How to Combat Gender Inequality in Cybersecurity

What is your first thought when you read that women represent 20% of the cybersecurity workforce? You will probably think, “oh, it is not as bad as I would have imagined. Cybersecurity is going through a dramatic talent gap that only keeps growing year after year. Combating gender inequality is part of the solution to this problem; it can help us get better and faster results by helping us get better-trained personnel. 

There is a common misbelief that because this is a technical field, it is more attractive to men, but it is not true. It is very appealing to women as well. Threality is that women are as able as them to get the work done and have a successful career. In fact, women are finding their way to leadership positions in higher numbers. In fact, a report published by McKinsey & Company says that organizations that increased employment and leadership opportunities for women have shown increased organizational effectiveness and growth.  

So, what can we actually do to combat gender inequality in the field? 

Four Things That Will Help Combat Gender Inequality in Cybersecurity 

1- Promote Cybersecurity Ambassadors 

As an industry, we need to start inspiring women to join us, help them understand that this is not a “men’s world.” They can excel at it. One way of doing it is by promoting successful women in cybersecurity to encourage others to like them, to enter the industry. We should be writing about their experience. What motivated them to join cybersecurity, about their journey and their goals, we should be inviting them as lecturers, ambassadors, or speakers at conferences (in-person and online). We should talk about the many benefits of being a woman in cybersecurity.  

2- Encourage More Girls Into STEM 

We need to find new and more attractive ways to reach every grade in every school and encourage kids, especially girls, into STEM. This way, not only are we initiating them into the world of science, technology, and math, but we are giving our students the necessary tools to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and exploratory learning skills that will help them be successful in every aspect of their life.  

3- Provide Financial Support for Women  

The cost of a cybersecurity training program can be a barrier for people who are considering entering this field. We can encourage women to get started by offering tailored funding options for them. 

4- Create Cybersecurity Vocational Training Programs for Women 

Training programs specially designed for women can help them understand how the cybersecurity field works, their different career paths, and support their professional development. These programs should include mentorship (ideally by women in the industry), career guidance, courses, certifications, and hands-on experience that will help them build a profile that will stand out in front of the eyes of recruiters. 

In other words, we can summarize the efforts we need to start making in just three words: education, inspiration, and engagement. This way, not only are we helping the future generations, but we are giving a  hand to adult women who want a better life and a more rewarding career. 

 

. When read and analyzed properly, there are signs that what we are doing is no longer what we need to do or where we need to be. When this happens, perhaps it is time to switch careers.

Six Signs It Is Time to Switch Careers

Have you ever been in a situation where your body is telling you that something is not right? The same happens with your job and even your career. When read and analyzed properly, there are signs that what we are doing is no longer what we need to do or where we need to be. When this happens, perhaps it is time to switch careers.

Is it frustrating? Daunting? Yes, it can be. For some, it can feel like taking a step back in their professional life, but it does not have to be. Think of it this way, every stage of your career opens the way to a more fulfilling life. Each step gives you a new opportunity to understand who you are, your goals, your main interests, the people you want to surround yourself with, your values, and your areas of opportunity (everyone has them). 

You are not alone. According to a recent study published by Fast Company, 52% of U.S. workers consider switching careers for 2021, and almost 45% have actual plans to make the leap. 

The fact that you are reading this article is one of the first signs that you are not comfortable with your job. But, you should pay close attention to hints, such as the ones we will describe.  

1- You Lost the Motivation to Go to Work 

All of us have had days where we just hit the snooze button over and over again, but if you have reached a point in your life where this is happening daily, perhaps it is time to snooze your daily routine and spend some time thinking about why this is happening. There are as many reasons as people, to name a few, that might help you: maybe the project you are working on is not challenging enough, perhaps you are not comfortable with your team, maybe your boss and you are not communicating well.  

2- You Don’t Like Your Daily Work 

Not enjoying the daily bulk of activities and finding them daunting are clear signs you need to switch careers. This can happen for several reasons: not being appreciated, facing a complete disconnection between what you thought you were going to do and what you are actually doing, feeling like you are not making an impact, doing tasks that are not challenging enough, etc. Take some time to analyze this situation, what you do not like, and what it takes to fix it. 

3- You Are Only There for the Money 

When you find yourself going to work just for the pay, my friend… you have a problem. Just sitting there watching the seconds go by, waiting for the clock to hit 5:00 pm to close your laptop and get out of there, counting the days for the weekend to arrive… All of these are clear signs that you need something else. Your body and mind are aching for more. Be careful; if this situation goes on and on for a long time, you can reach a point where not even your salary will be enough to make you get out of bed and ready to work.  

4- You Spend Hours Researching for Other Jobs 

Suddenly you find yourself “killing” those long hours of work by researching other jobs, what it takes to do them, thinking about how and why you chose your current career, and what would have happened if you had studied something different. You spend hours reading job offers in LinkedIn and Glassdoor and researching successful people and their professional background: how did they get to where they are now?  

5- Your Job Is Affecting Your Personal Life 

Permanent stress affects our lives in ways we do not even imagine: we become bitter, unhappy, we have physical symptoms, we lose sleep, we are exhausted. The worst part of this is that all these symptoms do not stay at work; they go home with us, the trouble our relationships with family, partners, and even our friends. Is it worth it? Do you want to live in a constant battle with your spouse or kids just because you are frustrated at work?  

6- You Lost the Passion That Got You There 

Think of the reasons that made you choose that career, that job, that organization. Why and how did you get there? Why are you unhappy/frustrated right now? Were you expecting to do something different? Have you been doing the same year after year?  

Once you have identified the signs that indicate it is time to switch careers, you need to start planning your next moves. Ask yourself the following questions:  

  • Where do you want to go? 
  • What does it take to get there? 
  • What skills do you need to work on to be successful there?
  • Who can guide you through this process?
  • Where and how can you learn the must-have hard skills for this?
  • How long will it take me to get there? 

Once you have answered them, start creating your plan to switch careers. Do not let the fear and uncertainty keep you from reaching your goals. It is never too late to start; you need the right mindset, disposition, and firm conviction that you will get to a place where you will be valued and rewarded with hard work and dedication. 

Is Studying Cybersecurity Worth Getting a Loan?

Is Studying Cybersecurity Worth Getting a Loan?

Higher education was supposed to be a simple choice: Even if you must borrow money, youll supposedly earn more with a degree, but that Return of Investment (ROI) is breaking down. As more students take out gigantic loans and struggle to find the right jobs, they ask: is a student loan worth it or not? 

The answer is: it depends. When considering your options, it helps to look at the big picture.  

Today, nearly 70 percent of American Bachelor graduates leave school with debt, and for those, the median balance is $26,500, which is repaid in the first decade of their career, when earnings are at their lowest. So, it is essential to strategically decide whether you should go to college and which program you choose. 

On the other hand, cybersecurityas one of the fastestgrowing tech fields, offers high salaries and low debts.Before the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, there were approximately 500,000 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S, indicating a significant talent gap. 

Evaluating Student Loans  

Education is important. Over time, certifications are a good investment. The wiser you are about it, the more you can maximize your Return of Investment (ROI)Find a low-cost school and pick up specific skills that can boost your abilities. Start by looking at how much you’re likely to earn the first year in a job, then consider how many years youll have to work to pay off your student loan 

A good rule of thumb is to avoid racking up more student loan debt than what youd earn in your first year on the job. 

The following scenarios will illustrate what we are trying to explain: 

Scenario 1 – Pharmacy  

Growth in pharmacy school debt has accelerated dramatically in recent years. But it’s unusual for someone to graduate without taking on six figures of debt to finance their education.

Based on the 2018 national survey from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, most pharmacists will graduate with school debt of around $50,000 to $250,000. And Pharmacists starting salariesif they can get a job the first year, will be between $80,000 and $120,000, unless they do a residency with a much lower payment, which means that it will be difficult to pay the loan.

Scenario 2 – Dentistry  

The American Dental Education Association estimates that the average debt per Dental School graduate was $292,159 in 2019Sixty-four percent of graduates report having over $200,000 in debt. Do the math.

Scenario 3 – Cybersecurity 

If you plan to pursue a cybersecurity careerpay ranges vary from $50,593 to $67,550 at entry-levelAt CyberWarrior Academy, we are offering you a 6-month Cybersecurity Bootcamp from $19,500, with several funding options, and you will be able to pay for the entire bootcamp with your first years salary while enjoying the benefits of a rewarding career. 

That said, even if you take out a loan, you can reduce your costs by applying for any scholarships and grants available to you, and you can do a lot of this onlineso you can easily shop around and keep your tuition costs low. 

Cybersecurity Pays the Debt 

Cybersecurity has two key logistical advantages for a strong career: Low to no unemployment and solid compensation.  

You donhave to be aexpert to know that Cybersecurity has become critical to any modern business, amore people are working from home and breaches are hitting the headlines. However, if you want to get a job in this field, consider that most schools are too theory-based. One of the reasons people struggle when coming out of University/College to get into the job market is that they lack work experience.

Most employers are not going to hire you solely based on the classes that you took. If the program you chose is not teaching you hands-on skills and allowing you to build a portfolio that you can show to an employer, you may struggle to break into Cybersecurity and end up with a large amount of debt and no job.

Itcritical to do your research on the school, examine the curriculum, get hands-on experience and pick a career that has a strong job market so you will be able to find work upon graduation easily – Cybersecurity is one of those fields.

Plus, if you choose this path, youll always have room to grow. Youll continually be learning new skills and working to understand new technologies. New challenges will keep popping up, and youll be exposed to a multitude of new people, situations, and opportunities. 

Its a common misconception that you must go to a four-year College or University to land a well-paying job. Getting cybersecurity certifications can earn you a higher salary than the one might get after putting in four years. What more could you ask for in a career? 

Learn to code

Working in Cybersecurity: Do I Need to Learn to Code?

If you are looking for a career change to cybersecurity, please do not let the lack of coding knowledge keep you from reaching your dream. Even though it is a great asset to portray in your professional profile, it is not a requirement when you are just getting started.

Little is the entry-level roles that ask for coding knowledge. In fact, we can even say that those who require coding abilities are probably looking for the wrong profile.

At CyberWarrior Academy, we want to encourage you to learn to code but do it at a steady and calm rhythm. And if possible, try to keep this as one of your goals for your first years working in cybersecurity. This is one of those skills that will determine how far you will get in your career pathway. The more you develop it, the further and the more opportunities you will get. 

Areas in Cybersecurity that Require Coding 

So far, we have told you that coding will be very useful at some point in your career while necessary to enter the cybersecurity world. But how and where exactly?

  • If you decide to work in penetration testing, coding will help you identify faulty codes and how to fix them. 
  • For those who choose incident response as their specialty, coding will give you the necessary tools to investigate breaches, analyze malware, and reverse engineer attacks. Keep in mind that for you to be successful in this field, you need to learn to think like a hacker, to understand how they create attacks, and to be able to predict their next moves.  
  • If you rather go with risk assessment, then coding will allow you to understand and successfully apply mitigation techniques. 
  • If you choose any cybersecurity job with the word engineer or developer, then coding is a skill that will help you stand out and perform well at your job.  

I Want to Learn to Code: Where Should I Start?  

Now that it is clear what and why coding is important for those who want to become cybersecurity experts, we want to help you figure out how and where to start. The first thing you need to do is choose the language you want to specialize in.

Some programming languages are more famous than others: Java, JavaScript, HTML, C, C++, PHP, Scala, and Python.

Anyone who wants to have a career in cybersecurity must consider Python as their first option. Not because it is the one we teach our Bootcamp, but because it is the one with the design and functionality that will allow you to perform functions such as malware analysis, penetration testing, port scanning, decoding packets, and others. Python is easy to learn and implement, it requires minimal coding to accomplish the task you want to do, and there is an extensive library of modules where you can find cybersecurity tools. 

Once you have made up your mind about the language you want to deep dive into, the next step would be to choose a cybersecurity academy where you can learn from specialized instructors. Do not settle with free online videos. Go further with your education, and get your hands dirty.

We strongly recommend that you: 

  1. Set goals: why do you want to learn Python? What do you want to build with it?
  2. Spend some time, not too much, learning the basic syntax.
  3. Start working on structured projects. The only way to really know if you understand coding is to practice it. There are many options for you: creating a website, a mobile app, making video games, data analysis, building robots, etc.
  4. Work on your own projects. Starting from scratch on your own project gives you confidence and experience, even if it’s a little one. However, do not make the same mistake others have and use an “easy” language thinking that just because of that everything’s going to be faster and effortless because you can and will get frustrated very fast.
  5. Be constantly learning and practicing. Python is evolving every day, to fully understand how it works you must stay on top of it.

When choosing which coding language you want to learn, make sure you check which cybersecurity areas each is used on the most. As we said earlier in this post, we suggest you start with Python, it will help you perform lots of different tasks while not being as hard to learn as many others languages. And more importantly, keep in mind that every skill you add to your résumé will help make it stand out in front of the eyes of recruiters.

Study Tips for the CompTIA Security+ Exam

Study Tips for the CompTIA Security+ Exam

To start a cybersecurity career, there are a few things you need to do: study, get hands-on experience, and get certified. For almost any job in this field, recruiters will look into your industry certifications. If they are non-existent, they will likely lose interest in your profile.

Adding certifications to your résumé demonstrates your level of commitment, will help you negotiate better salaries, and improve your overall cybersecurity career and professional health.

CompTIA Security+ is one of those must-have certifications described on their website as a way to validate “the baseline skills necessary to perform core security functions. Beyond the theoretical questions, this test emphasizes hands-on practical skills to ensure candidates have the problem-solving skills required to assess, monitor, secure, operate, identify, analyze, and respond to security incidents and events. 

In other words, if you are looking to switch careers to cybersecurity, studying for the CompTIA Security+ test is one of the first things you need to do. 

We do not want to discourage you, but this exam is not easy to pass like any other professional certification. It would help if you took some time in your busy schedule to study and practice. And always keep in mind that hard work pays off. The benefits of adding this certification to your profile are larger than the time invested preparing for it.

To help you in this process, we gathered some tips that will help you earn the CompTIA  Security+ certification on your first attempt.  

Study Tips to Ace CompTIA Security+ 

1- Understand the CompTIA Security+ Exam Objectives 

Every certification test has its own goals and objectives to go through. When studying for the exam, make sure to have the list of domains measured and the extent to which they are represented.

Another great idea is to create a bullet list of what is included in each domain. That way, it will be easier to gather useful material for each area, schedule time to study each one, and identify the most challenging concepts for you (we highly recommend you start here and move to the easier ones). 

The Security+ domains include:  

  • Threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities (21%)
  • Technologies and tools (22%)
  • Architecture and design (15%)
  • Identity and access management (16%)
  • Risk management (14%)
  • Cryptography and KPI (12%) 

2- Create a Study Plan 

It is time to be completely honest about your work-life schedule, how many hours you have compromised at work, the time you want to spend with your spouse and kids, and any other activities. With that in mind and an estimated date to take the test, you will have a better sense of how many weeks are left to study and how much time you will need to dedicate to this daily.   

3- Get a Good Study Guide and Materials 

You should definitely start with CompTIA’s study resources and textbooks, but if you are someone more visual, then do not hesitate to look for video resources online. Many people have created memorable content that can make it easier for you to understand and remember what you study. 

4- Take Practice Tests 

They say excellence is a practice habit, and nothing can prove this right like a certification test. You will have a better chance of acing your first attempt if you previously took different practice tests. This will help you figure out which test-taking strategy fits you best and understand its length and complexity.  

5- Join an Online Security+ Training Bootcamp 

If you really want to get certified, our best advice is to let others with more experience and knowledge guide you through this road. A training bootcamp will help you understand theoretical concepts, apply them in real-life experiences, and let you get the hands-on experience to understand what security is all about fully.  

 

women in cybersecurity

We Need More Women in Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity talent gap is no longer just a staffing problem. It has gotten so bad that it is now a matter of national security. To this day, there are over 520,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs just in the US. No wonder why every day we read in the news about numerous attacks towards government offices, large corporations, small companies, town supplies, schools, and more recently, to COVID vaccine developers.

In the past, we wrote about several ways we, as cybersecurity consulting firmand academies, can help ease this situation. This time, we want to analyze women working in cybersecurity and how they can be part of the solution to the talent gap.

The Lack of Women in Cybersecurity 

Over the past few years, we’ve seen how women are gaining territory in cybersecurity. When we look at recent workforce studies, we can see that in 2013 women represented 11% of the worldwide cybersecurity workforce; by 2019, that number grew to 20%. A 9% increase in 6 years is not negligible, but it is not enough; we need to achieve gender equality, especially when you are talking about a field going through an enormous talent gap for several years and a zero unemployment rate since 2011. 

So, why is this happening? Why hasn’t cybersecurity been able to achieve some level of gender equality 

There are different reasons. One of them is that there is still a preconception that technical professions are the best options for boys, not girls, among young girls and even their families. This can be either due to the lack of knowledge of what it really means to work in cybersecurity or because of what movies have “taught” us about it: usually, it’s a man hiding behind a hoodie trying to hack large corporations, while the IT guy is alone in a computer room fighting the battle.  

Whatever the reason behind this belief is, we need to do something about it. Women and men who work in cybersecurity perform basically the same tasks. They handle security threat detection/remediation, data security, network security architecture, security consulting, and others. 

At the same time, we can see how women in cybersecurity face big compensation differences from men. According to ISC2, the salary difference can be from 16% to 20% for the same role, and to make things worse, women tend to emphasize their education and certifications. They work harder in their career advancement. Over the past few years, we have seen that all this effort is starting to pay off: women are now filling more leadership roles than men. 

How to Boost Women Involvement in Cybersecurity 

This is a job that cannot be made by just one organization, and it requires the joint work of the government, nonprofit organizations, cybersecurity professionals, and even schools. But, don’t let this discourage you from doing your part: 

  1. Help young women develop their desire and aptitude to learn IT: we need programs that help identify girls with a natural interest in IT and develop the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful professionals.
  2. Encourage girls to participate in hackathons, capture the flag competitions, and others: when participating in different contests, they will realize they have the same opportunities as boys in technology,  learning hacking skills, programming languages, and more.
  3. Women in cybersecurity should serve as mentors to future generations: talking from their experience will encourage other women to pursue a career in the field. Make it a relatable story, cover the challenges you have faced, overcome them, talk about salary differences, and become part of the leadership team. Be a source of inspiration.
  4. Create mentoring programs: not only do school girls need help developing their cybersecurity skills, but anyone who wants to get started in this field needs guidance, support, and relevant knowledge.
  5. Fight for gender equality in the field: as we mentioned before, there is still a lot of work to close the gender bias in cybersecurity. Women deserve equal salaries and the same benefits as men, as well as the same growth opportunities.

Attracting more women to cybersecurity is not an easy job. There is a lot that needs to be done, from creating educational programs to encouraging women to get started in the field to write job posting offers to make women feel welcomed to apply. The result of this effort will be beneficial for women and the world of cybersecurity, for large corporations small companies, and for every citizen of the world. 

CTF Hacking Gaming

CW CTF: Hacking while Gaming

For most people, video games are all about having fun, while studying is quite the opposite. A Capture The Flag (CTF) competition is where the two worlds collide, and the result is fascinating: learn while playing. If video games make people invincible, why not solve real-world problems?

Behind the scenes: What is a CTF?

A CTF is a special kind of cybersecurity competition that allows participants – and teams – to test their skills through different challenges, including cryptography, programming, web hacking, and more. Players will have to be the heroes of this cyber world to get small rewards: the famous «flags.»

A “flag” is a code (e.g., flag {W3lc0m3_t0_CW_CTF}) that allows the platform to confirm that the competitors were able to solve the challenge. By capturing the flag, participants earn points depending on the test’s complexity or the time taken to solve it. If the test is difficult, they will get more points. Legends do not die, and in this case, each flag obtained is one more step towards greatness.

These competitions have a time limit to solve as many challenges as possible. Normally, 24/48 hours, although others last several days. The best hackers resist to the end.

Real-World Heroes

A CTF competition is an excellent place for those looking to start a cybersecurity career. These events are often watched and attended by recruiters and management hoping to spot talent.

Even if participants are not looking for a job, a CTF is one of the best ways to test your expertise inside a safe and collaborative environment, whether you are a student, an enthusiast, or a security guru. Aside from the technical development benefits, CTFs also offer participants an excellent opportunity to work on their soft skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability, and time management.

Additionally, it gives players a chance to share knowledge and bond over common goals, experiences, and interests despite the competitive environment. In the end, the most important thing is to have fun!

Where to train?

These events’ popularity is increasing as interest in cybersecurity and ethical hacking rapidly enters the mainstream. CTFs have elevated to reach e-sport status, with several taking place in various formats each year worldwide. One of the training platforms to practice your skills as a hacker is CyberWarrior (CW) CTF.

About CyberWarrior CTF

Finding flags around the world is the mission that the hacker accepts when signing up on this platform, which is in open beta and available for free to everyone who wants to test it. Players can also send their opinion to the CW team.

Upon login, contestants will see the world map before their eyes, and the American continent will have 20 flags to gather (each flag adds several points to the score). From Canada to Argentina, competitors can see challenges that range from easy to complex. The winners have the most points at the end of the game.

CWA CTF

Like many sporting events, prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place. Can you hear the mission calling?

How to Participate

Very easily! You only have to sign up on ctf.cyber3.cyberwarrior.com. CW offers trials in addition to the free challenges that are currently available. And don’t worry! First-timers should not overprepare or worry too much.

The next CTF is from April 7th at 9 PM to 10th at 11 PM EST. The link to this event will be sent exclusively to those registered on the platform before starting the event.

Our recommendation? If you want to take part in our CTF competition, register on time, check the challenges that are available for free and wait for the exclusive invitation to the CW CTF. Get ready – the hacking is fierce, and you’re the champion we are waiting for!

Cybersecurity: A Career Choice for Veterans

Veterans, The Key to Closing The Cybersecurity Talent Gap

Before COVID-19 hit the world in an unprecedented crisis, cybersecurity was facing one major problem: a widening talent gap that only became worse with remote working being the new normal. To give you a better idea, the latest report published by ISC(2) says that the world currently needs an additional 4.07 million professionals, the US needs to increase the cybersecurity workforce by 62%, and to make things worse, companies, desperate to have cybersecurity staff, are hiring people who don’t have the right training for the positions they are filling.  

 As you can tell by the numbers: the problem is real, it has been going on for several years now, and it does not seem as if this trend is going to change soon. So to address an old problem, we need new ways of thinking and acting. But what can be done?  

As we mentioned in a previous post, we need first to understand our cybersecurity needs, how we can take care of them, and the real hard and soft-skills associated with them. We also need to promote apprenticeship programs that offer on-the-job experience and cybersecurity certifications.  

But our efforts don’t stop there. We should start offering training for people with different backgrounds and help them transition to cybersecurity. Why not consider veterans?  

Every year, about 200,000 service members leave the military and look for different ways to transition to civilian life. These are men and women who have had a different experience than the rest of us, who have been trained to think like an adversary, to work under pressure and high-stress environments, that understand work ethics, that have a sense of belonging and responsibility, that have decision-making abilities, discipline, and know how to work as part of a grouphave all the great qualities necessary for someone who will be defending your network and system from online adversaries. 

Organizations can look over to our veterans and help them reincorporate into civilian life by offering them training (with a foundational understanding of the threat landscape, cybersecurity fundamentals, and skills needed to implement the strategies and concepts), mentoring, and the chance to get a job in their cybersecurity department. It is a win/win situation.  

Cybersecurity Books

Top 6 Cybersecurity Books You Must Read

Who doesn’t love a book that involves criminals, mystery, money, and technology? We bet most of you would be fascinated by one. Good cybersecurity books catch your attention and drive you through pages filled with relevant real-world information that both entertains and educates you. 

Today, we want to share with you the top 6 cybersecurity books anyone must read, from masterminds in the field, to people that love dedicating a few hours to some great reading. 

1- The Art of Invisibility: The World’s Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data 

Kevin Mitnik, also known as the world’s most famous hacker, explains how governments and companies are tracking your online activity without your knowledge. He offers essential advise on how to be “invisible” and protect you and your family. From password protection to smart-WiFi usage, Mitnik entangles you in a story filled with real-life experiences that will teach you how to keep your data safe. 

Author: Kevin Mitnik 
Release Date: February 2014 
Pages: 320 
Goodreads rating: 4/5 
eBook Price: $8.69 

Get it today 

2- Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World 

The Cult of the Dead Cow is the oldest and most respected hacking group in the country. Joseph Menn, was a teenage member of this group, and he  explains its creation, how they introduced the word “hacktivism, some of their exploits, and how they forced large corporations to improve their security protocols. 

Author: Joseph Menn 
Release Date: June 2019 
Pages: 272 
Goodreads rating: 4/5 
eBook Price: 8,69$

Get it today 

3- Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker 

Kevin Mitnik does it again, this time he shares his personal story in what seems to be a thriller novel. Mitnik explains how he hacked into the world’s largest corporations´ computers and networks, and how he outran the FBI over and over again. In this book you will learn how he went from being an entry-level IT worker to becoming the world’s most wanted hacker. 

Author: Kevin Mitnik 
Release Date: August 2011 
Pages: 448 
Goodreads rating: 3.9/5 
eBook Price: $9.27 

Get it today 

4- Hacking: The Art of Exploitation 

Jon Erickson gives a complete picture of how programming, network communications, and hacking techniques work. It’s a book mostly made for IT and cybersecurity students and professionals. The second edition of this book includes the fundamentals of C programming from a hacker’s perspective, giving you the delightful experience of getting your hands dirty with programming and debugging. 

Author: Jon Erickson 
Release Date: February 2008 
Pages: 488 
Goodreads rating: /5 
eBook Price: $29.99 

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5- The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats 

There are four known domains of warfare: land, air, sea and space. Now the Pentagon has introduced the fifth one: cyber. In this book, two former presidential cybersecurity officials, Richard Clarke and Robert Knake, explain the different efforts that are ongoing in this warfare and explore past incidents. They go deep into cyber resiliency and how corporations should build it to fight against cyber-attacks. They end with some advice on how to safely use the internet for organizations and individuals.  

Author: Richard A. Clarke and Robert Knake 
Release Date: July 2019 
Pages: 352 
Goodreads rating: 4.1/5 
eBook Price: 14.99$ 

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6- The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behaviour Changes Online 

Mary Aiken, from her experience as a forensic cyber-psychologist, explains in this book how cyberspace is changing the way humans act. She goes from analyzing the impact screens have in children to teenage sexting, and the addictive online behaviors. It is filled with statistics and case-studies that will forever change the way you think about technology. 

Author: Mary Aiken  
Release Date: June 2017 
Pages: 400 
Goodreads rating: 3.7/5 
eBook Price: 5.82$ 

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The order of these cybersecurity books does not reflect our preference, we tried to give you a broad selection for those who want to deep dive into the world of hacking, for those who want to better understand the effects of technology and for those who want to understand what is happening in cyberwarfare.  

The Most Common Questions Asked During a Cybersecurity Job Interview

The Most Common Questions Asked During a Cybersecurity Job Interview

A cybersecurity job interview can be similar to a certification test. You need to study, practice, and remember different problems you have experienced and the lessons you learned from them. 

Just like any other job interview, having the necessary technical skills is only half of the process. You really need to impress the person sitting in front of you, demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, and add value to the organization. This is your time to shine and put into practice all those soft skills we have mentioned before.  

When you meet a recruiter or hiring manager for a cybersecurity role, you will be asked two types of questions: those with the intention of understanding who you are, your background and aspirations, and those designed to determine how well you fit in the position, your cybersecurity knowledge, and experience.  

To help you feel more secure for that interview, CyberWarrior Academy came up with a list of the most common questions asked by recruiters and a guide to craft your answers. Remember to add a personal touch by sharing some of your past experiences, even if it’s just something you´ve learned at a lab in a cybersecurity program. 

 Personal Questions 

Before going into the technical aspect, we want to encourage you to craft an elevator pitch of who you are. Go over your schooling, background, achievements, skills, and motivations.  

Try summarizing the answers to expected questions such as:  

  • Why are you looking for a job change?  
  • What are your greatest accomplishments as a cybersecurity professional? 
  • What assets do you bring to the team?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What was a great challenge at work, and how did you overcome it? 

Use this as an opportunity to explain what really motivates you to look for a new position: is it because you want more responsibilities? Maybe you are looking for a better salary? Whatever the reasons are, explain them and go deep into the assets you will bring to the team, your skills (soft and technical), and your impact on those you’ve worked with. Do not forget to explain why you want to work for that organization, and make sure you understand who they are, their products/services, mission, and what makes them different from their competitors. 

To make a real impact on your interviewer, take this opportunity to mention the tech blogs you follow, the sites you use to learn about news in the field and comment your thoughts about recent hackings. 

Technical Questions 

Once the interviewer has a better sense of your personal profile and your motivations, you will move on to the next stage: the technical questions. Now is your moment to shine!  

This is the time and place to demonstrate your technical knowledge and, more importantly, that you understand how to apply it to real life. As we have said before, do not forget to mention different security situations you have faced how you solved them, and reverted the damages.  

Usually, the technical questions are divided into two categories. The first one is related to fundamental definitions, while the second one is designed to test your ability to apply those concepts in real-life situations. 

Theoretical Interview Questions

1. What is the difference between a threat, a vulnerability, and a risk?

Three basic concepts anyone in cybersecurity should be able to differentiate. To summarize what they mean, you can say that: a threat is someone with the potential to harm a system or an organization. A vulnerability is a weakness in a system that can be exploited by a potential hacker (threat). A risk is a potential loss or damage when the vulnerability is exploited. 

2. What is Cryptography?

Refers to the techniques used to secure information and communication from third parties or adversaries. 

3. Explain the main differences between asymmetric and symmetric encryption

The main difference is that symmetric encryption uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt, while asymmetric encryption uses different keys for encryption and decryption. Asymmetric encryption is commonly used to secure an initial key-sharing conversation, but then the actual conversation is secured using symmetric crypto. Communication using symmetric crypto is usually faster due to the simpler math involved in the encryption/decryption process and because the session setup doesn’t involve PKI certificate checking. 

4. What is the difference between IDS and IPS?

IDS refers to the Intrusion Detection System. This will only work detecting intrusions, while the system administrator must take charge and prevent the intrusion. On the other hand,  the IPS or Intrusion Prevention System detects the intrusion and prevents it from entering the system.

5. What is CIA?

The CIA triad has nothing to do with the US intelligence agency. In Cybersecurity, mainly in Information Security, CIA stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. It is a model designed to guide information security policies within an organization, ensuring that the information will only be available or modified by authorized personnel when required.  

6. What is the difference between encoding, encrypting, and hashing?

These three terms are commonly interchanged and misused. Encoding involves changing data into a new format using a scheme; it is a reversible process where data can be encoded to a new format and decoded back to its original format. On the other hand, hashing involves computing a fixed-length mathematical summary of data,  can’t be reversed, and is commonly used to verify data integrity. While encrypting is the process of securely encoding data and only authorized users with a key or password can decrypt to access the original data.   

7. Explain the difference between Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment

Vulnerability assessments are automated scans that identify a range of weaknesses in an organization’s systems. Simultaneously, the Penetration Tests are a more rigorous manual process that can be compared to a form of hacking, designed to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them. 

8. What are the differences between HTTPS, SSL, and TLS?

HHTP is the protocol used by browsers and web servers to communicate and exchange information. HTTPS (S stands for SSL) is the secured version of this protocol. TLS is a transport layer security and the successor protocol to SSL.  

9. What is Port Scanning?

The technique used to identify open ports and services available on a host. Hackers use it to find information that can help them exploit vulnerabilities, and the system administrators use it to verify their networks’ security policies 

10. Explain traceroute

A traceroute, or tracert, is a computer network diagnostic command that displays possible routes and measures transit delays of packets across an internet protocol network. It basically lists all the points that a packet passes through and can help you identify where a connection stops or breaks.  

11. Explain phishing and what practices help prevent it

Phishing is the cybercrime where targets are reached by email, phone, or text message by a hacker posing as a legitimate institution to gain access to sensitive information, such as social security numbers, financial data, and passwords. One of the most common ways to prevent it is to constantly have employees participate in security awareness training to learn to spot phishing and not become a victim. Simulated phishing attacks should follow this to measure the effectiveness of the training. 

12. What is a firewall?

A firewall is a network security device that monitors network traffic and blocks data packets depending on a set of security rules. 

13. What is a botnet?

Botnet is short for robot networkIt is specially designed to perform Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attacks, steal data, send spam, and allow hackers to access networks. In other words, a botnet is a network of computers infected by malware that is under the control of an attacking party.  

14. Explain brute force attack and how you can prevent it

A brute force attack is a way of gaining access to a system and its data by repetitively trying all the permutations and possible combinations of credentials, all done by automated software. Using strong and unique passwords, restricting access to authentication URLs, limiting login attempts, and using CAPTCHAs are among the most common and best practices to prevent these types of attacks.  

15. Explain TCP Three-Way Handshake

It is a TCP/IP network process to make a connection between the server and a client. It’s a threestep process in which the client establishes a connection with a server, the server responds to its request, and the client acknowledges the response to create a stable connection to transfer data.  

16. Mention some of the most common cyber-attacks

When you hear this question, it might sound like an easy one, but don’t let pass this opportunity to share your thoughts about recent cyber-attacks. For example, right now, it would be smart to mention an interesting article you read about the SolarWinds attack or how hackers tried to contaminate Florida town’s water supply through a computer breach.  

 17. Explain the differences between a worm and a virus

Both worms and viruses can cause damage and propagate easily as soon as they have breached a system. The main difference is that viruses must be triggered with a host’s help (human interaction), while worms are stand-alone malicious programs that act independently.  

Scenario-Based Interview Questions 

For this section of the interview, try mentioning real-life experiences you’ve had, their outcome, and the lessons learned. Here is a short guide of what you should include in each answer. 

1. What steps would you take to prevent outdated software from being exploited?

Outdated software is an invitation for hackers to come into your network. The best way to prevent this from happening is to automate every software process as soon as a new version is released. 

 2. What do you look for when trying to identify a compromised system?

A system usually will “find a way to tell you” it has been compromised. The most common signs include: 

  • Slow network activity, disconnecting from network services, and/or unusual network traffic.
  • Unexplained changes in file sizes, checksums, date/time stamps, especially those related to configuration files. 
  • Unexplained modification (addition or deletion) of data.
  • Unsuccessful login attempts.
  • Suspicious entries in the system or network accounting.
  • New files and users from unknown origins.
  • Port scanning.
  • Denial of service activity. 

 3. How do you secure a server?

  • Establish a secure connection using protocols such as HTTPS, FTPs, and SSH Protocol. 
  • Implement complex passwords and multi-factor authentication policies while educating your employees on this matter. 
  • Have layers of security for hardware and software such as a VPN, a firewall on every web application and endpoints.
  • Keep data, databases, and applications updated and with real-life backups.
  • Test the backup process.
  • Restrict access to the servers.
  • Invest in dedicated servers.

4. How would you reset a password-protected BIOS configuration?

By locating and toggling the BIOS clear or password jumper. If it is not available, then you can try with generic passwords.  

 5. How do you protect your data?

Mention the best practices you follow at home, at work, and in your daily life to keep your data safe. It will probably include actions like encrypting and backing up data, having an anti-malware system, automating software backups, securing your wireless connections.