The fast-paced world of cybersecurity waits for none, and even seasoned professionals can find that years have passed them by if they take a short hiatus and stop staying up to date. Given the nature of this sector, it’s often compared with statecraft, with the constantly evolving threat matrix making it essential to stay on top of developments, and regularly upskill in order to better respond to challenges.
In recent years, the industry has evolved various strategies to collect, organize, and share information seamlessly. While this helps in staying aware of threats, vulnerabilities, and general happenings across the sector, it’s no substitute for shoring up on the knowledge and skills required to stay one step ahead of hackers and cybercriminals, or even relevant in an intensely competitive, and ever-changing field.
1. Subscribe To Vulnerability & Advisory Feeds
For professionals in this field, staying up to date with risks and threat intelligence is indispensable for doing their jobs effectively. There are a number of feeds, alerts, and websites particularly dedicated to this, and are constantly monitored by the infosec community.
The most popular sources include the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), National Vulnerability Database, SecurityFocus, and more. However, given the sheer scale of breaches and attacks these days, staying in sync, or following these feeds can often be quite overwhelming for most.
2. Take A Professional Course e.g. CISSP
The rise of professional certifications in the information and cyber security space has fundamentally altered the landscape in recent years. Beyond just signaling, and standing out in the job markets, these professional bodies provide the much-needed structure for practitioners in this sector, with continuous education for members in the form of threat updates, new best practices, industry updates, and more.
While there are a number of different credentials targeting students and professionals in recent years, it is best to stick with reputed bodies with wide recognition, across both industry and academia. Certifications such as the CISSP, CISM, and CompTia are the most widely recognized, with there being plenty of CISSP online training courses and learning providers to choose from.
3. Make Effective Use of Social Media
Social media can be a great tool for infosec practitioners, and this goes beyond just LinkedIn. Not only is this a more filtered source of threat intelligence, as compared to the overwhelming barrage of information on the alert feeds, but it can also be a great way to network, and understand current trends.
There are currently a number of information security influencers and thought leaders shaping the broader narratives using platforms such as Twitter, Youtube, and even Instagram. No new trend, threat, or technology that comes into being will go unnoticed by such power users, and their 1,000s of followers.
A few popular information security influencers you should be following include Bruce Schneier, Chris Wysopal, and Graham Cluley, among others.
4. Conferences, Webinars & Meetups
While the live events landscape is yet to spring back from its COVID-induced lull, pre-pandemic infosec conferences were a prominent feature of this industry, often bringing together thousands from across the world. Even though this has since given way to webinars and virtual meetups, offline events should be back on the horizon as early as the coming year.
Such events, beyond the cutting-edge workshops, lectures, and product placements, offer plenty in the way of informal networking events for industry professionals. For individuals who are constantly cooped up in corporate silos, they offer a glimpse beyond organizational and even national borders and can be a source of great knowledge and information on current happenings.
In order to stay relevant in this industry, professionals have to stay as close to the cutting edge as possible. Given the ever-changing landscape, lowering your guard for even a few days could result in your entire career flashing before your eyes.