New to IT Security!

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Chivalry, Jul 31, 2008.

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  1. Chivalry

    Chivalry Registered Member

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    Hey everyone, im looking to pursue a job in IT security (Cyber/network administration, penetration testing, vulnerability assessment, network intrusion detection. that kind of thing).
    Im 21 years old and am currently in the army working as an Electronics technician. The problem is i dont know exactly where to start or what qualifications i need to get myself going in the world of IT Security?
    Any help would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  2. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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  3. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    Stuff like pen testing, IPS/IDS, VA scanning, etc is definitely a part of it; but my experience has been that basic firewall and router configuration is more than 50% of the workload. Not just policies, not just routes, but also configuring NAT'ing to avoid IP overlaps or to avoid the routing of registered publics on internal networks, configuring multiple devices so there's layered-security that is also efficient, that sort of thing. My advice would be to get a solid background in the network basics, and the key product vendors... Cisco, Juniper, Checkpoint. Learn Cisco routing inside and out. Learn policy configuration for at least two types of firewall. I would suggest Juniper Netsreen & Cisco ASA, since although Checkpoint is the historical leader, Juniper & Cisco are really the heavy-hitters now, in my experience.

    The Network Security department ends up being the key network architects... even over LAN groups, WAN groups, Windows / Unix Admins, whatever. NetSec has to know routers, switches, firewalls, load-balancers, VPN concentrators, etc inside-and-out. Ideally, NetSec often has guys that know servers and, even, individual applications better than the groups tasked specifically tasked with those roles (at least from a guts-level, "on the wire", "how they work" and "how they break" perspective). We have to tell them when to use a public Virtual IP (VIP) on load-balancer, when to use a Mapped-IP (MIP) on a Internet-facing firewall, or when to use a static NAT on a router. When to use an SSL VPN device, a site-to-site IPSec tunnel, or a dedicated link using router encryption. When to use an Access Control List (ACL) on a router, a policy on a firewall, a packet-dropping signature on an Intrusion Prevention Device (IPS), a restricted forwarder on a load-balancer, or a host-based IPS or application configuration & security setting. NetSec is also often the ultimate troubleshooting authority because we have the experience and capability to snoop & debug actual wire traffic, either from firewall packet captures, distributed sniffer tools, or IDS/IPS flows.

    The vulnerability and "hacking" knowledge side can be fun from a technology perspective, but the real bread-and-butter for corporations are the basics of maintaining network availability and efficiency while bringing in some core layered security techniques. We can't know it all, but starting with core fundamental enterprise network devices and working up to the application layer is probably better for getting started in NetSec than working from the application / OS vulnerability side down.
     
  4. Chivalry

    Chivalry Registered Member

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    Cheers for your input guys.
    I have no experience in networking as such but am very competent with computers.I have a course in mind now to get me started on network basics as Alec recomends, the "Comp TIA Network+ Certification" http://www.bluescreenit.co.uk/courses/net-plus.htm what do u think?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  5. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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    I think you got excellent advice from one of the forum's best. Nice post Alec, concise!

    Steve
     
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