Path to a Security Administrator

Madmd5Madmd5 Member Posts: 83 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello All!

I have been researching lately about different areas of infosec I'd be interested in and security administration is catching my eye at the moment. I'm currently about to get my Associates degree in Computer Information Systems by the end of this year so echnically only finished my sophmore year of college and I will enroll at WGU security track starting January 1, 2014. I am also currently working full-time at an internship as a Field Support Tech. where I troubleshoot numerous user problems. My question is what would be the next step after Help Desk to get into Security Admin? I know very few if any people start at security, but I'm just trying to set myself up for some motivational goals and to stay on top of things. So any advice on skills, education, certs to focus on if my end goal is to be a security administrator? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    I just baked infosec into my daily workings.
  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    A natural route would be studying operating systems and their interactions with others at the services and applications level. Windows domains, Linux farms, etc.. Understand the nuances. Configuring endpoint systems is a common first step into a larger world.

    For example, if you go the Windows route, pick up a copy of Windows Internals by Mark Russinovich. Learn the ins-and-outs and the differences between permissions, privileges, and user rights. Whatever you learn from any official Microsoft Press training guide should be considered first-stage material.

    "Security administrator" though can mean different things in different places. Is it administering the security of ... applications, servers, desktops, networks, authentication systems, databases, logging systems, some or all of these? Get your fundamentals in place (learn the Network+ and Security+ material, even if you decide to not pursue the certs themselves) and then figure out a more focused area of interest.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written:
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    I assume we are talking about a network security administrator. In my opinion it would be a good idea to get a CCNA and a job as a network admin so you can see how networks operate, their ins and outs, what makes them tick etc. and go into security from there(after gaining some experience as an net admin).
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • Madmd5Madmd5 Member Posts: 83 ■■■□□□□□□□
    yes I would be interested in network security admin. I do plan on going to WGU to complete my bachelors degree and majoring in their IT Security track so I will recieve A+, Sec+, Linux+ CCNA, CCNA:Sec I plan on getting N+ on my own I was also interested in looking into the SSCP, CCSA
  • Madmd5Madmd5 Member Posts: 83 ■■■□□□□□□□
    also just for future reference is there any difference between network security specialist and network security engineer or network security administrator? or do they all share the same responsibilites depending on the needs of the company etc. ?
  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    They're just different titles, and titles and their meaning can be very different things at different places. At some organizations, network security can be about typical network-level issues (switching, routing, firewalling, etc.) and at other organizations could be about maintaining Active Directory and client/server security. It's all about the job description more than titles.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written:
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