As you learn more about the accreditations that good or excellent cyber security degree programs should have, you may frequently run into something that looks like this: CAE NSA/DHS. Reading further, you may see CAE-CD, CAE-CDE, or CAE-R.
It is vitally important that you attend a school with at least basic accreditation. While programmatic accreditation is great (see next section), you can also check for national or regional accreditation. National is solid but not as respected a form of accreditation as regional; it’s often provided to distance-learning schools and faith-based schools that don’t fall in line with some of the requirements for regional accreditation.
Regional accreditation is provided by one of six agencies approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Department of Education to provide oversight for US colleges and universities.Read More
Overview of Agencies that Offer Specific Cyber Security Accreditation Are:
These are simple to decipher when you know what you’re looking at. CAE stands for National Center of Academic Excellence. -CD refers to Cyber Defense; -CDE stand for CAE in Cyber Defense Education (associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs); and CAE-CR is a National Center of Cyber Defense Research. These accreditations are offered by the NSA and DHS and are the gold standard for cyber security accreditation.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology or ABET also now accredits cyber security bachelor’s programs. Some of these are available at the US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, Southeast Missouri State University, and Towson University. While this may seem less prestigious than an accreditation from the NSA, it’s still a great credit to have on your resume that your school program was approved by ABET.
(ISC)2, ISACA, the SANS Institute and ISSA also accredit cyber security degree programs. As you look for the right program, scout out their accreditations so that you know the education your getting is well worth the effort.
Cyber Security Associations
Cyber security professionals know that the absence of sufficient security may destroy a company; a strong security practice that guards electronic data allows the company to flourish due to the trust given by customers, clients, and fellow professionals. Protecting data from hackers and invasive viruses is one of the most important roles in a company or private agency. Agencies and companies that want to thrive and even flourish as they deal with cyber threats are going to invest every dollar needed, no matter what the economy is like.
Cyber security associations are focused on providing professionals and newcomers to the scene with the chance to network with other companies and professionals and earn certificates that will enable them to fill the many security jobs that are opening.
Some of these associations include:
- Center for Internet Security (CIS)
This organization provides information for a range of security-related issues.
- International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2
(ISCS)2 is a global leader helping to educate professionals in cyber security.
- Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)
ISSA offers opportunities for networking and professional growth for cyber security professionals all over the world.
ISACA’s organization offers industry publications, professional certifications and conferences for cyber security professionals in every specialization.
- The SANS Institute
This institute is one of the most trusted around the world for information security training.
- Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
This is an IT professionals society, providing networking opportunities all around the world.
- Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST)
FIRST lets incident response teams share tips, information, and their experiences in stopping cyber-threats. FIRST also sponsors conferences, meetings, technical colloquia, web repositories, and mailing lists.
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
ITIL stands as a set of techniques and concepts to allow cyber professionals in every specialization to do their work. It also offers certifications, managing the ITIL Certification Management Board.
- Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS)
WiCyS is the only membership organization specializing in bringing together female cyber security experts from industry, research, and academia. Today, it is a welcome alliance in each branch of cyber security.
- The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)
OWASP is a not-for-profit charitable organization that works to improve software security. This organization’s mission is to ensure that software security will one day be visible.
- Schneier on Security:
This site provides a blog, news, access to books by Schneier, and more. As security researcher, Schneier has absorbed a prodigious amount of information on this topic. He is a Chief Technology Officer, leading the Technology division at a security firm owned by IBM. He is a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and has been selected as a fellow at Harvard University.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
This agency used to be called the Department of Weights and Measures. It is an agency within the US government which falls under the purview of the US Chamber of Commerce. NIST’s role is to promote excellence in science and industry.
- Krebs on Security:
Brian Krebs is one of the foremost authors, having written Spam Nation. His encounter with China’s Lion Worm pulled him into working on cyber security and his website will provide information and security tools for other cyber security professionals.
- The Sys-Admin, Audit, Network and Security Institute (SANS):
This group is one of the best resources for students of cyber security to turn to. As one of the largest resources for any IT or security specialist to use, you’ll be able to access blog articles that discuss everything related to IT and IT security.
- Security Now! Podcast:
This podcast is fully security-focused and is produced by Leo LaPorte and Steve Gibson. You’ll be able to obtain information you can use in your classes and labs. Catch each podcast weekly to learn about current events, law and discussions of cyber security exploits.
As an IT Security education site, Cybrary offers full-length videos of college courses. Each video covers material such as basic networking, secure coding, penetration testing, and anything related to security.
StationX is the online British portal for cyber security training and similar to Cybrary.
- United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team:
Caregie Mellon has collaborated with the US Department of Homeland Security to compile an online library. This resource is full of top-quality publications covering any topic that is related to security.
This online learning website offers thousands of courses that have been recorded by faculty from various universities in the US. Cyber security courses are affordably priced so students on tight budgets can access the classes they need.
MOOC is an acronym that translates to massive open online course. These courses are free and available to anyone with the motivation to learn new skills.
- Security Clearances:
You may need to research and learn about what kind of security clearances you are going to need for your desired position.
- What is Cyber Security defined:
Learn about cyber security, what is it and why it is important today.
Open and Student Access Journals
Open access journals are beginning to replace some of the more closed/exclusive academic journals for college students. This includes students majoring in cyber security. While academic journals still maintain their importance to a student’s education, open-access journals are now the source of choice for students.
Open-access databases and journals give students free access to what they need so that they can complete assignments or write papers. They differ from sites that require paid subscriptions before journals contained within can be read. Now, students can stay in their dorm room or apartment, studying, rather than having to spend hours in the university library to find what they need in an academic journal or research report.
- Journal of Cybersecurity : Subscribers can read articles that discuss new and original research concerning computer systems and information security.
- National Cybersecurity Institute Journal: This journal provides peer-reviewed articles written on topics that will interest a wide population of professionals in the cyber security field. Every manuscript submitted is reviewed for its potential advancement of applied research in areas surrounding cyber security.
- Journal of Information Security and Applications : This publication focuses mostly on origins research that is relevant to information security and related applications. It also offers a bridge between industry professionals and an active scientific and research community.
- Cybersecurity: This journal discusses only cyber security issues. As an open access resource, it accepts and publishes high-quality research and expert reviews.
Cyber Security Job Boards
Understanding how to find and access job boards for cyber security professionals is vital in today’s world. There are a plethora of these online job boards available, which you can search or you can have send you announcements when open positions are available. Cyber security job boards have listings for cyber security consultants, engineers, architects, IT security executives, CSOs, and CISOs. And then there You’ll also find that some well-known, non-niche job boards also have listings for these experts.
Cyber Security Gig Work
You may decide to provide your services as a work-for-hire freelancer on top of your regular cyber security job. If so, you need to know where to look for those gigs. Freelancers can either work completely on their own or they can choose to moonlight as a gig worker.
When you do decide to put yourself and your cyber security skills out there, you need to know that the job boards you visit will have current job listings. You know you have skills to offer and you don’t want to miss out on the most current jobs available. Here are some of the more respected freelance sites that can offer you immediate employment with little to no investment except for the time it takes to set up your profile.
Certifications and Study Resources
Even after you walk into a cyber security job, your studying and certification days are still in front of you. Cyber security specialists at all levels are required to keep their knowledge current. To prove they are doing so, they usually earn certifications that provide tangible proof that they have taken and completed classes related to cyber security processes.
As cyber-attacks continue to take place, they become ever more sophisticated. Executives and the public are right to fear future attacks; businesses are painfully aware that customers may leave if they are hacked. The speed with which the industry changes is a major part of why you need to update your knowledge periodically.
Here are some cyber security certifications you can use to keep up-to-date:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
- CompTIA Security+
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
Knowing you need to update your current certifications or earn new ones and knowing where you should go to do this are two different things. The best place to begin looking is in professional journals and associations. Next, you can look to the vendors of security software themselves. These companies are a natural resource since they have to create and build the security software you rely on when you’re protecting your employer’s or client’s network or cloud structure. Because these companies created the software you use, they know the specific skills you need to learn it and always have an option through which they provide the training themselves. To that end, they also create and make available the study resources you’ll need to use as you prepare for your exam.
Professional journals are aimed at cyber security professionals who need to continue their learning after graduation or who just want to stay up-to-date on current trends and threats. Ideally, such journals should act as a central meeting point, where professionals coming from various disciplines, inside and outside the cyber security community, can connect to cyber security experts and learn about issues they have in common.
- Journal of Cybersecurity:
This scholarly journal provides articles that describe new research in cyber security and related disciplines. This journal operates from the belief that crime-solving approaches based in computer science aren’t the only approach to use.
- Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing :
This journal’s sole purpose is to publish papers in security and dependability. These factors are considered together, along with how they interact with system performance.
- Journal of Cryptology:
This is the official journal for Cryptologic Research. It is a forum for the publishing of original results in information security.
- Computers & Security:
The official journal for Technical Committee 11 (computer security). It aids the International Federation for Information Processing.
Attendance at professional conferences for cyber security professionals is a vital activity. Knowledge in this field changes rapidly, making participation in such industry gatherings a must-have if you are to continue providing optimal value to your employer or clients. In addition to learning new material, you’ll be able to network with professional peers, grow your network, and learn about new trends in cyber security and cyber-threats.
Your time is limited, so you need to know the conferences in which to participate. In addition, you have a wide range of choices since many conferences take place in other countries.
This conference allows you to participate in games and workshops, such as Hacker Jeopardy, that are also great learning experiences.
- RSA Conference:
This event is aimed at helping you to up your cyber security awareness game. You’ll also learn new ways to improve your cyber security culture at work.
- Black Hat:
Also called “Black Hat Briefings,” this conference is held in tandem with DefCon. The Black Hat Conference is usually scheduled only a few days ahead of the Def Con conference.
- BSides Security:
Black Hat briefings have become very popular and can’t accommodate the large number of companies and individuals that want to attend. So, talks submitted to Black Hat that weren’t accepted are provided a smaller space—leading to the growth of BSides.
- SANS Series:
Several SANS conference events are scheduled in cities all over the world. These conferences give opportunities for hands-on infosec training.
This conference is held in Heidelberg, Germany, which might be enough of a temptation to go. It includes two days of training for security and IT experts to discuss IoT, IPv6 Security, and other topics.
This affordable cyber security conference doesn’t announce the venue until one week before it takes place. Topics include intelligence gathering, industrial control systems, IoT, and others.
This conference was begun by the organization that developed Linux Apache, Snort, OpenSSL, and PGP. This hacker conference discusses new ways of exploiting systems.
This conference is held in India. Worldwide visitors exchange knowledge on vulnerabilities and test their knowledge in a hacking event.