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Taking my CS/Math Degree in the field of Security.

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Sw0rDz

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Post Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:35 pm

Taking my CS/Math Degree in the field of Security.

Right now I'm studying Computer Science and Mathematics.  I'm studying mathematics mostly to get some understanding of Encryption, and I like the challenges math gives me.

I'm still undergrad and I want to get a graduate degree with Security.  What can I do to better prepare myself?  Right now I read various online articles and do various tutorials.  My main concern is will a CS degree help put me on the right track.  From some of the classes I've took, I really hope so, but I just want to double check.

I'm also CCNA certified.  I took a few college credit courses in high school  I'm sure that helps.  I'm also working on networking programming tutorials.  I have some experience securing web side apps (php/mysql), and some experience with server security. 

Any career advice/tips?
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hayabusa

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Post Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:11 pm

Re: Taking my CS/Math Degree in the field of Security.

Hi Sw0rDz, and welcome.

The CS definitely cannot hurt, as ANY experience you can get in the realm of networking and programming will go a long way towards starting you on the path to security.  Telling you what to do to prepare yourself, for the degree, is not something I can definitively help you with, as I've not personally gone down that path.  I've learned what I know through self-study and progressive work experience, over the years.

As far as growing in security, in general, what I can recommend to you is to decide exactly where you want to be headed, both now, and when you graduate with your degree(s).  Do you want to be a penetration tester, a forensics expert, a security manager?  All of these have differing routes to look at, so you have to focus on which direction you want to go and make sure your classes and experiences lead to the end goal you want to achieve. 

Assuming you want to be more of the technical guy, and less mgmt (based on the things you seem to be wanting to study right now), programming knowledge certainly won't hurt in the security field.  You might look into varying languages, such as (not all inclusive, I'm sure):  C/C++, Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, SQL and others.  Knowledge of networks and how the various protocols and OSI model layers will go a long way, as well, towards effective security skill, as you've begun learning with your CCNA, etc.

Keep working hard, and always ask plenty of questions here, and I think you'll be well on your way.

Good luck, and let us know how you progress!
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


OSCE, OSCP , GPEN, C|EH
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Ketchup

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Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:31 am

Re: Taking my CS/Math Degree in the field of Security.

Welcome to the forums,

I think that the CS degree is definitely a great way to go.  It will help you establish a good foundation in technology, and will give you a deeper understanding of how it works.  This is crucial for the security industry. 

BTW, the best security people I know did not start in security. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ketchup
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Sw0rDz

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Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:07 am

Re: Taking my CS/Math Degree in the field of Security.

Thanks guys!  Right now I'm just taking the courses that are absolutely required to get a CS degree, and when I start picking my optional courses, I'm going to talk to my Adviser and/or a past teacher (Security officer [He sort of inspired me.]).  Since I'm a math major as well. I'm going to ask the math department what I should do to get take a few of their Encryption courses (assuming that will help).

Little fyi, 80% of my knowledge is self taught.  I've got a library, including course text books, 50+, including a few books on security itself.
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hayabusa

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Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Taking my CS/Math Degree in the field of Security.

I was a math guy, myself...  so I understand where you're coming from, wholeheartedly!  My emhasis on computers and IT actually came well after my schooling was done, at the urging of my wife, who knew my heart was much more into IT and networking / security than my employment would have ever allowed me to pursue, at that time.  So my props always have to go to her for her support and motivation, behind the scenes!
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


OSCE, OSCP , GPEN, C|EH

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