How does networking mesh with a security career.

joemc3joemc3 Posts: 141Member ■■■□□□□□□□
I want to go deep into the security field and specialize in it. I know I need to understand networking. How can you protect what you don't understand! I was thinking of stopping at network+ and then go and get multiple security certs for an entry level job.

Do I need the CCNA to be taken seriously?

Comments

  • seittitseittit Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    my general conception of security individuals is that they're the cream of the crop; a mastery of TCP/IP and all networking is must.

    that being said, most security people i've met in the corporate world are awful at networking and focus more on securing operating systems.
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Posts: 1,034Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    I work alongside SOC Engineers, Security Engineers, Ethical Hackers/Forensics ,etc.
    The whole company is Security focused.

    They all pretty much have their CCNA/P with security certs (ccna:sec, cissp, giac certs) and proven networking experience.
    Even the Dev team needs proper networking knowledge to some degree.

    I see Security as sophisticated Networking. The next step. Unattainable without Networking knowledge.
    Unless you're some manager or compliance person hahaha.icon_surprised.gif

    In fact, all subsets of IT "networking" require that solid base experience. whether it be voice, wireless, hell even Microsoft lol.

    so in my opinion, Do not stop at Network+. You will be need proven Firewall and Access Control List experience, which is definitely a few cert exams away.

    Good Luck!
    2019 Goals
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  • arrogantbastardarrogantbastard Posts: 61Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    A security expert that is lacking in the fundamentals of networking is not a security expert imo. Policies can be set in place from the theoritical side, but if there is a lack of technical knowledge on the devices you are securing then you are bound to leave vulnerabilities open. Since security is such a broad subject, focusing on systems and end user devices while neglecting your transport system (ie the network) is very narrow minded. That's just my opinion.
  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Posts: 923Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    There are many fields in IT Security, but a fundamental level of networking is always applicable. It could be about managing an IPS, a firewall, or simple ACLs/distribute lists. It could be the policy that the company needs to adhere to. It could be security posturing (Identity-based host authentication/authorization). It could be making sure hosts comply with a domain's standards to not be quarantined such as consistent patch updates and ensuring the OS is not end of life. It could be managing network encryption devices native to the company's network. Again, security is a very broad spectrum, and I've observed people being more specialized in something related to security rather than playing the JOAT card.
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  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
    joemc3 wrote: »
    I want to go deep into the security field and specialize in it. I know I need to understand networking. How can you protect what you don't understand! I was thinking of stopping at network+ and then go and get multiple security certs for an entry level job.

    Do I need the CCNA to be taken seriously?

    A CCNA, assumig no other knowledge, wouldn't be able to secure a single switch. Things like DHCP snooping, dynamic arp inspecting, ip source guard, private vlans, the IPv6 first hop stuff, etc, aren't covered as far as I know. Those are just the things that I'm aware of and I'm hardly a security person.
  • broli720broli720 Posts: 394Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    fredrikjj wrote: »
    A CCNA, assumig no other knowledge, wouldn't be able to secure a single switch. Things like DHCP snooping, dynamic arp inspecting, ip source guard, private vlans, the IPv6 first hop stuff, etc, aren't covered as far as I know. Those are just the things that I'm aware of and I'm hardly a security person.


    Those topics are actually covered in the CCNA. They don't go too deep but they are covered.
  • The Silent AssassinThe Silent Assassin Posts: 39Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    You can actually kill two birds with one certification. the ICND1 and 640-554 which will give you a CCNA Security certification. When it comes to IT Fields, security is the biggest umbrella term because it can cover many things such as virus detection, firewalls, RAS/VPN, IDS/IPS, Compliance, Identity Management, Hacking(ethical and unethical), Forensics, Auditing/Risk Management. You will have to decide which one of those you want to focus in because the associate level certifications like Sec+, Gsec, CCNASec they only touch on some of those areas. It's not until you start looking at the Sans institute material you can specialize in areas like pen testing.

    But remember, EXPERIENCE trumps certifications all day every day.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    It's just my personal bias, but I prefer to see security professionals who have a deep background in software engineering rather than networking. As a foundation, having a background in systems software development is far more valuable. That foundation translates to better understanding of why a network works the way it works. And given that most flaws in security are software related and not network configuration, understanding how such flaws get created and exploited provides better overall context for a security professional.
  • SephStormSephStorm Posts: 1,732Member
    MMM. so many views. :)

    It depends. there are so many variables inlcluding the company that is hiring. In my company, the guys doing security analysis don't have TMK, the networking knowledge, but we are analysts, we are not expected or desired to have any real network security knowledge as it pertains to network devices, or how routing works, ect. But I recognize all companies are not like that.

    What OP needs to realize is that it is rare to go directly into security. he best bet is to enable yourself to have the capability to go wherever needed, and pivot from there. So you get your CCNA and CCNA Security because it may let you work with the network team, maybe the firewalls or IDS. from there you can pivot to security centric.
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Posts: 526Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    joemc3 wrote: »
    I want to go deep into the security field and specialize in it. I know I need to understand networking. How can you protect what you don't understand! I was thinking of stopping at network+ and then go and get multiple security certs for an entry level job.

    Do I need the CCNA to be taken seriously?

    I havent took CCNA. But you will need a good idea on how packets travel through networks (forensics, intrusion analysis, pentesting), otherwise you would not be able to perform them. You would not be that kind of geek to however, know every cisco commands or very in depth networking protocols, but should at least heard of them so you would roughly know what to expect or easy for you to refresh quickly when the need arise. Thus teamwork is essential here, networking, forensics, analyst, pentester are bound together and eventually make a great security team.

    Contrary to the believe about an expert having networking/technical knowledge to be an expert, it is not exactly true. The compliance/policy line is an exception. However, they will need to have some knowledge or else they will lose respect. For example, your CIO may know how a linux work, but do not know the in depth technical command, yet he is highly valuable by the company because he has drive great policy in place to save the company millions on dollars (BCP/DRP is one of them). So you can say he is an expert in compliance path, its more about how the expert word is being percieve.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    It's hard to see on the job boards that "security" can be anything. You see a laundry list of stuff they are looking for and it is easy to become overwhelmed thinking you have to be good at everything listed. From my own experience having a background in network administration is important so you can relate with the networking group if you get a job in a SOC later on. Then you will see there are different fields of security some more technical than others.

    The people I still talk to that I used to work with all pretty much agree that you need a firm understanding of the concepts and the ability to learn quickly if your new job doesn't use the same type of software/hardware as your last job. So being a strong "generalist" is important.

    You will get a dozen opinions from people in the field and will eventually learn that they are all right from their perspective. With my current job since I am primarily in a permanent consultant position, I create audits and policies, perform informal interviews for research purposes, research and recommend new stuff, etc. The technical job duties I perform I volunteered for because I was becoming bored out of my skull.
  • jeremywatts2005jeremywatts2005 CySA,S+,A+,N+Cloud+,MSDFS,MSMISSM Posts: 340Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Working in Security you can have a variety of individuals. I only hold a Net+ but I know networking well enough to learn the network security appliances like F5, Arcsite, Bluecoat and others. The basic knowledge from Net+ helps out a lot in security. The biggest problem I have seen is individuals having no networking background and trying to work security. Or you have the individual who is all networking and no actual systems experience. Or you have the tools guy. He can run scripts and software all day but cannot think through a problem without the tool. You have to be a hybrid to be security. This is why I find myself always employed.

    I started in 1998 with Novell, NT, Bus networks, Token Ring, and Ethernet TCP/IP plus VAX clusters to boot. I also worked on phone systems (ACD's) and tied them into varying type of networks and tied them to various operating systems (Think OS/2 Warp on Novell) yeah ugly stuff. Security to me now seems much easier then back in the day with all the different protocols, network types, operating systems and so on. You have to know a tad bit of everything and be able to build on that knowledge to be an expert in one area.
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