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How to succeed at defensive cyber security

How to succeed at defensive cyber security

The traits and skills for success

A role in defensive cyber security is challenging, fascinating and rewarding! Discover the traits and skills that would make you successful.

Have you ever thought about a career in defensive cyber security?

A cyber agent with the right traits and forensic skills could be perfectly suited to the meticulous and analytical world of cyber defence. Cyber defenders help keep cyber criminals out of hospitals, banks, power, utilities and more - it is a fascinating and important job!

Read on to learn more about defensive cyber security and see if it’s the right career path for you!

What is defensive cyber security?

Defensive cyber security has many different aspects within it. Some defensive roles prevent cyber security attacks by putting controls in place to protect the digital environment. Others, like incident response teams, will detect and then counteract a threat when a cyber security attack has happened.

The defensive side of an organisation’s cyber security team is often known in the industry as the “blue team”. It is their responsibility to handle these defensive and reactive operations against cyber security attacks.

Before we take a look at what skills you’ll need, let’s first determine what traits you might currently have to make you suitable for a defensive role.

The defensive side of an organisation’s cyber security team is often known in the industry as the “blue team”.

Traits to succeed in defensive cyber security

Proactive

A proactive mind can stay one step ahead of a cyber criminal. Cyber defence often requires the ability to expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything. Finding what defensive measures work from others and using those controls means you’re less likely to be caught out by a cyber criminal’s ploy!

Detail orientated and perceptive

Are you thorough and detailed in everything you do? Can you notice things that others might not? Defensive and forensic cyber security is all about detail. Whether you’re forensically hunting for suspicious traffic patterns or defensively validating security controls, spotting the small things has a big impact!

Creative

Do you like to think outside of the box and come up with new ideas? Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly creative and crafty in their methods of attack. This requires a defensive team to be just as creative in preventing, finding, and stopping new types of cyber security attack.

Problem solver

Do you enjoy finding the solutions to problems? It can be really hard to balance the right security controls to defend against attacks, the cyber criminals latest tactics, and the things that businesses legitimately need to do. Being able to solve problems creatively helps a cyber defender secure their business and systems.

Cyber defence often requires the ability to expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything.

Skills to succeed in defensive cyber security

You’ve got the traits – now all you need are the skills for a successful career in cyber security defence!

For a role in defensive cyber security, you’ll need to have a well-rounded understanding of the system, business application, and the network traffic that should be there. This knowledge is key to help you spot and investigate any possible threats.

There are many ways cyber attackers can try to infect or breach a system. Therefore, you must have the training and knowledge to prevent and react to numerous forms of attack.

For a role in defensive cyber security, you’ll need to have a well-rounded understanding of the system, business application, and the network traffic that should be there.

Here’s what a defensive cyber security professional must know to either prevent, detect, or respond to incidents:

Prevention

  • Having an incident response plan to be ready for attacks
  • Learn about new attacks and what controls will prevent them succeeding.
  • Defend against attacks and mitigate risks.
  • Install security controls, configure policies and validate they are ready.

Detection

  • Use security tools to scan for breaches and alert the team to intrusions.
  • Analyse traffic and data flow to spot suspicious activity like DDoS attacks.
  • Find threatening or malicious traffic.

Response

  • Find, isolate and remove malicious traffic or software.
  • Run lessons learned phases to identify what can be improved to prevent the next attack.
  • Update management on how far the cyber criminals got

If you’ve got the traits to be successful in cyber security defence, it’s time to start learning the skills! Play CyberStart Forensics base for defence specific games and learning tools to boost your knowledge. Of course, defenders need to know about attacks too, so try the HQ base to see what the cyber criminals get up to!

All of the programmes below are entirely free, and feature CyberStart!

CyberStart America

What is it? A fun programme developed to help you discover your talent, advance your skills and win scholarships in cyber security.

Who’s it for? 13-18 year old high school students in the US only.

Awesome! How can I find out more?

www.cyberstartamerica.org

Cyber FastTrack

What is it? The fastest and most cost-effective route to a career in cyber security via free training and exclusive scholarship opportunities.

Who’s it for? College students in the US only.

Great! How can I find out more?

www.cyber-fasttrack.org