“Cybersecurity” may sound familiar to you, but do you know what it is, how it connects to coding, and how having coding skills can help your child in pursuing a career in cybersecurity?
Let’s explore the answers to these questions as part of Day 4 of Data Privacy Week.
Cybersecurity and coding are two fields that have an increasing demand, owing to the constantly evolving modern digital world.1,10 Cybersecurity focuses on protecting networks, systems, and programs from digital attacks, while coding involves writing code to create new programs and applications.
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The Cybersecurity–Coding Connection!
Cybersecurity and coding go hand in hand to create new technologies and ensure online safety. Coding is used by cybersecurity experts to create secure systems and networks. For example, the use of coding allows you to encrypt data, ensuring it cannot be read by anyone without a key, while having a cybersecurity system in place can help detect suspicious patterns that indicate an attack on your network.
So, simply put, you need cybersecurity to protect your code and coding to create the code you need to protect.
A Career in Cybersecurity
With the ever-evolving technology landscape, a career in cybersecurity may offer many opportunities to make a lasting impact on the digital world. Cybersecurity professionals work to protect digital networks, systems, and data from malicious actors and vulnerabilities. They develop strategies and protocols to keep businesses, organizations, and individuals safe from cyberattacks and data breaches, which are becoming more sophisticated and more common with each passing year.1,8,10,11
Are Coding Skills Important in Pursuing a Cybersecurity Career?
Absolutely. Coding skills are essential for understanding how networks and systems work and for developing the tools needed to protect them from malicious actors. Additionally, coding skills can help you better understand how attackers gain access to systems and can give you the skills to create stronger defenses against them. For instance, if you are familiar with the programming language used by a specific system, you can write a script to check for vulnerabilities in the system and patch it accordingly. Furthermore, coding skills can also help you develop automated applications and tools to help detect and prevent malicious actors from exploiting vulnerabilities in a system.2,3,4
Developing Coding Skills for a Cybersecurity Career
Here is a list of some coding skills your child can learn to enter the field of cybersecurity.5,6,7,8,9,11
- HTML: HTML is an effective tool for cybersecurity as it can be used to create secure webpages and add encryption layers to protect sensitive data. For example, HTML can be used to create an application that is capable of recognizing malicious user input, like scripts or suspicious links, and prevent them from running on the page.
- Python: Python is becoming increasingly popular in the world of cybersecurity due to its flexibility, ease of use, and wide range of available libraries. It can be used to automate tedious tasks, build custom tools and applications, and analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately. For instance, Python can be used to build a web crawler to search for sensitive data on a website, or to develop a malware detection system to identify malicious code in files or applications.
- C++: C++ is a powerful programming language that is commonly used in cybersecurity for its ability to create efficient and secure applications. It is also useful for creating software that can detect and prevent malicious attacks by identifying patterns in code and recognizing anomalies. For instance, C++ can be used to develop a malware detection and prevention system that uses machine learning algorithms to scan and detect malicious code.
- PHP: PHP is a scripting language that is used in web development and is used to create dynamic web pages. It is often used for cybersecurity because it is an open source language, which means that it can be easily customized and adapted for security purposes. Additionally, it is known for its high level of security, as it is constantly being updated and patched to keep up with the latest security threats. For example, PHP is often used to create form-based authentication systems, which check users’ credentials before allowing them to access a particular website or application.
- SQL: SQL can be used to detect malicious activities on a system. It can identify suspicious patterns of activity, track changes to data and detect unauthorized access. Additionally, SQL can be used to store user data in a secure manner, preventing unauthorized access to that data. For instance, SQL queries can be used to check if a user is attempting to access data they are not authorized to view, and if so, the system can be programmed to deny the access.
- Shell Scripting: Shell scripting is used to automate tasks and streamline processes in cybersecurity. It allows security professionals to quickly and efficiently analyze large amounts of security data, write scripts to detect suspicious activity, and automate tasks such as patching and system updates. For example, a shell script can be used to detect when an unauthorized user attempts to access a system, triggering an alert that can be sent to the system administrator.
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