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How to think like a cyber security expert! 5 tips for when you're stuck on a problem or challenge

How to think like a cyber security expert! 5 tips for when you're stuck on a problem or challenge

Searching the internet, taking a break and learning a programming language!

Five simple tips to remember when you’re struggling with a new concept or technique!

Learning any new skill means there are times when you will feel overwhelmed, hesitant, or out of your depth - cyber security is no different!

It can be frustrating to not know the answer or figure out the solution when you’ve been staring at the screen for hours.

The first step to feeling more confident when learning about cyber security is by remembering these five top tips!

They won’t give you the answer, but they will train your brain to work through the techniques an expert considers when faced with a new challenge!

1. Don’t be afraid of trying many different approaches

Too often, people stick to the same familiar routines when faced with a challenge. A cyber security expert’s role is to think outside the box and find new paths to solve problems.

If the technique you are most familiar with isn’t working, it’s easy to get frustrated. Don’t be afraid to research new approaches and try other people’s techniques.

This brings us nicely on to tip number two.

2. Searching the internet is not cheating

Learning about technologies and techniques, looking at other people’s code, and building from existing knowledge is not cheating; it’s being a great security researcher.

Search engines are your friend. Make sure you use them to help you solve tricky challenges. The answers will be there somewhere.

Learning about technologies and techniques, looking at other people’s code, and building from existing knowledge is not cheating; it’s being a great security researcher.

3. Don’t get stuck in a rut

When you have spent hours trying to solve one problem, it’s easy to lose motivation and desire to continue.

Sometimes it is best to step away, take a break and refine your approach. You’ll find that you come back with new ideas and inspiration to get back on track.

4. Don’t be discouraged by details you are yet to understand

There will be many concepts and details in cyber security as a whole that you’ve never seen before, but don’t let that stop you!

If you look at new code that you don’t recognise, look for what you do know and use that to unpick the rest of the challenge.

There will be many concepts and details in cyber security as a whole that you’ve never seen before, but don’t let that stop you!

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information, but always go back to your basic problem-solving skills and start from there.

5. Make the computer do the work

As talented as you might be, computers can of course perform tasks and operations much quicker than us mere humans! That’s why it’s worth investing your time in learning a programming language.

Learning a language such as Python will allow you to script a solution that solves the problem quicker with less manual input.

Sometimes challenges may require you to complete a task faster than you could manually; others require you to repeat solutions so many times that it wouldn’t be physically possible.

Learning to script is a skill that is invaluable in cyber security!

You’ve trained your brain with these top tips, now put them into practice with CyberStart. Gain further confidence in your abilities and become the cyber security expert you want to be!

All of the programmes below are entirely free, and feature the CyberStart tools that are already loved by thousands of students all over the world!

Cyber Discovery

What is it? A fun, educational game-based programme developed to push your potential and enhance your passion!

Who’s it for? 13-18 year olds in the UK only.

Awesome! How can I find out more?

www.joincyberdiscovery.com

CyberStart America

What is it? A fun, educational game-based programme developed to improve your cyber security skills and reward you with free college scholarships!

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