Unsure what security path to take

PseudonymousPseudonymous Member Posts: 78 ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm hoping I can get a little assistance with deciding on what security path I should take. I'm planning on going Net +, then Security + (and a few other random certifications after that). But I want a career in hacking and I'm not sure exactly what I should go for after that. I want to learn how viruses and trojans are created and how to hack into networks or how to brute force my way into a network (bypassing their security). I've always been fascinated by it. It may sound malicious, but I want how to do it so I can learn now to protect against it. But my question is what cert path should I follow to accomplish this?

I'm thinking Net + > Sec + > CEH. Is this a good idea? I've never held a security job so I'm unsure where to go or what's required. If I manage to get the CEH.... where do I go from there? Should I study for SSCP first instead of the CEH? Is there a completely different cert path I should take?
Certifications: A+, N+, S+, CCNA: CyberOps, eJPT, ITIL, etc.


  • danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would suggest, given the info above, Security+, CEH, OSCP, GPEN, GREM.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • PseudonymousPseudonymous Member Posts: 78 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Alright. Thanks. Honestly, I've never heard of the last two you mentioned and if I'm reading the information right, those test costs over $1000 each. I can't see me spending that much yet (I can imagine I'd be completely devastated if I failed the lost all that money lol), but I'll still look into them.
    Certifications: A+, N+, S+, CCNA: CyberOps, eJPT, ITIL, etc.
  • danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yes I went from basic to advanced, but hopefully around that time you have a job that will be willing for pay for it, or make enough money to pay for it yourself.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • DDStimeDDStime Member Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would hold off on certs until u understand the landscape a bit more and have more of an idea what you career goals are. To start there are plenty of free sites to start to develop your skills and gain the knowledge on what you want. Instead of list them all here is a good list to start with....

    Cyber Free - SECURITY ZIP
  • SlythSlyth Member Posts: 58 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I recommend the route Danny069 stated. CEH tends to be up for debate for a lot of info sec pro's if its worth having for the HR filter or not. Security+ is a good all around general security cert. Gets your feet wet slightly and gets you familiar with a lot of different things, now knowing how malware works such as PE file structure/import tables/dynamic analysts/windows API & kernel are not something that gets covered in most of these certs. Do you happen to have a degree in IT or IT Security? That will help guide you along as well. If this is entirely new area to you such as just recently knowing what nmap/metasploit/exploit/beef/XSS/etc are then Security+ would be my recommendation to start. If this is not new to you id still get Security+ for the DOD acceptance and go right to OSCP and tough it out. This is what I did, but my BS/MS is in Cyber Security, keeping in mind iv been self thought and nothing in these degrees were really new to me, just got it for the paper.

    Security is an ever changing field and be sure to keep up with everything you can. If you want a good book to get started with Malware Analysis i cant highly recommend "Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software 1st Edition" enough. Prior to looking at this I recommend looking at the SLAE course to get a good grasp of how ASM works. If you want an example of some shellcode being written and what its doing I had some shellcode published by ExploitDB(https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/39851/). If you want to read a sort of walk through for each part take a look at Linux x86 Execve Stack Based Bind Shell | Slyth Sec - InfoSec Tutorials.
  • supasecuritybrosupasecuritybro Member Posts: 206 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Honestly, if you want to get into the field. Start with the Security + then slide over to the eJPT from eLearnSecurity. It is not expensive and it covers good material (some say a bit dated) but it will get you some hands on in both labs and for the exam with PenTesting (read: hacking). You will get a good idea if this is something you like. I know a lot of people that the idea of hacking until they see the amount of studying outside of studying for the cert it requires. After than, there are some good courses on SecurityTube that will get you started on specifics of hacking; assembly/python/etc. That is the cheapest way to get yourself some training without breaking bank. Trust me it can get expensive.

    Some will argue that will you have to get some certs to pass the HR filter, I agree wholeheartedly, but being in the field long enough and sitting through some interviews, you need to know what you do and why to do. Getting the CEH/SSCP/SANS certs will get you in the door, but beyond that you will be on your own actual knowledge.
    Completed: CISSP, GPEN, GWAPT, CCSA R80, eJPT, CySA+, M.S. Information Security
    Current Goal: CCSE
    Continuous Education Plan:​ AWS-SAA, OSCP, CISM
    Book/CBT/Study Material:​ Max Power
  • latentlatent Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think the first thing you have to do is sit back and decide which area of IT Security you really want to do:

    1) Network Security
    2) Pen Testing
    3) Risk Management
    4) Computer Forensics
    5) IT Security Policy


    Once you decide, then start analysing which certifications or courses are best to help you get there.

    Sec + gives you a great general idea of the disciplines involved in IT Security and should assist in the planning of this roadmap.
  • beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,525 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If your looking to seriously do pentesting you need to feel comfortable with at least one scripting language (Python, Java); a serious programming language like C#, C++ (object orientated) and understand SQL at a deep enough level to manipulate embedded objects. Encryption basics help. Basically your typical developer background.

    Frankly, I have read enough so called "pentesting reports" that should really state something closer to this effect: The tested system may be vulnerable to exploitation by an actor skilled in penetration testing than the author of this report..." This even when I gave the last group carte blanche to destroy any system they could reach in two weeks. Afternoons only. Obviously, I ended up with yet another over vague, empty promises report. icon_thumright.gif

    And you people wonder why I roll my eyes at "security people" so often. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Its because so many have no creds outside of talk. We got empty talk down.

    - b/eads
  • PseudonymousPseudonymous Member Posts: 78 ■■■□□□□□□□
    While I study for the Network + cert, I'm going to look over all of the websites you all have recommended. I know I want a career in IT Security, but I can see that it branches off into many different types of Security. Even though I plan on getting my CEH certification (eventually), I know it's going to take a lot of work to learn it. I also don't know any programming languages yet so that's something else I'll have to pick up.

    Network + and then Security + seems like a good starting point so I will get those first for sure, but after that I'll use all of the resources you all provided to find which direction I should do next. I'm somewhat torn on what direction to go cause although I don't mind it being harder to learn that other IT areas, I'm still somewhat limited to what I can practice at home. I'm not in school and don't have a virtual or physical lab set up anywhere yet. That... and I'm not sure when I'll actually get a job that would allow me to use what I learn.
    Certifications: A+, N+, S+, CCNA: CyberOps, eJPT, ITIL, etc.
  • aftereffectoraftereffector Member Posts: 525 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm far from the biggest fan of the CEH, but I think it would have some value for you as an introduction to offensive security. It's not going to get you a job in the field - at least, not a good one - but it will give you a basic understanding of the concepts and at least a brief introduction to some of the tools involved in pen testing. By the time you get finished with CEH, you'll likely know a lot more about exactly what you want to specialize in and the next steps you'll need to get there. There are other great options out there but CEH is going to be the easiest one to find study materials for, and that does help quite a lot when you are starting out. Plenty of time for a "self service" endeavor like OSCP later on :)
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
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