July 9, 2021

Programming skills or networking skills as a foundation to getting into cyber security?

I’m having a debate with my friend. He thinks programming and computer science stuff (java, C/C++, Data structures, Object oriented programming, web programming, compilers etc) is better as foundation for cyber security but I argue that networking fundamentals and advanced networking, routing and switching, cloud, python, Linux, windows and sql database etc is better..

I feel what he’s leaning towards is better suited for software and app security? But not overall cyber security? What is everyone’s thoughts?



Both are quite important, but it’s going to be relatively specific to what field of cybersecurity you are pursuing.

Reverse engineering/malware analysis, secure application development, cryptography, and many other fields rely heavily on detailed CS and programming knowledge.

Network monitoring, secure communication, threat prevention, secure network architecture etc. all rely heavily on network knowledge.

Awareness training, security management, and other managerial roles rely on surface-level knowledge of both.

If I *had* to choose between one or the other, I would say networking fundamentals are more important. This is biased because I deal with network-related incidents more than I deal with application-related incidents.

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