Review: Cybersecurity: The Beginner’s Guide – by Dr Erdal Ozkaya

I am just about to embark in an online professional cybersecurity course with Masterschool in Tel Aviv, Israel. I am a relative novice in this field and in order to be as prepared as possible for the new academic venture I bought this introductory text to bring me up to speed with the basic of my new chosen specialisation. Cybersecurity is a new emerging growth technology industry and its history is recent. It is an exciting and growing field full of opportunity and career potential and as our daily lives become more and more dependent on computers and technology cybersecurity is becoming more significant and necessary. There are bad actors out there on the internet be they credit card fraudsters, identity theft criminals, hacker groups with political or non-political motives or rogue nation states such as North Korea, China and Russia. Cybersecurity changes rapidly as silicon chips speed up, computer memory exponentially increases and as the internet of things reaches into every aspect of our daily lives and critical infrastructure. A skilled cybersecurity professional will learn the necessary skills and stay p to date with new tech, in order to protect against the bad actors and to preserve the significant benefits that the modern world experiences from the paradigm shift that is the modern age of computer technology. This book is covers such a vast range of material and is well-compiled by author Erdal Ozkaya, detailing the skills necessary to succeed and whenever possible getting direct input from significant workers and experts in the field. For me, the most relevant and inspiring chapter was Chapter 11 where expert opinions were sought out in interviews to leaders in the field from across the globe in a wide variety of different employment roles. This direct experience of cybersecurity professionals spoke truth and the advice was immeasurable and left one feeling with a sense of awe at the incredible opportunities that studying cybersecurity and becoming a professional could offer. The book, chapter by chapter, covers various specialist skills and niche areas of the whole field of this new discipline. Whereas it is possible for a student to become an overall jack of all trades and general cybersecurity expert, in reality the whole expanse of necessary material means (and this is backed up by experts) should be that a student should seek to focus and specialise in a particular niche market, becoming a true master of that particular cybersecurity subcategory. I was drawn to the exciting nature of penetration testing and digital forensics seems to have a lucrative and growing future also. It would be also a noble career path to somehow work in the wider geopolitical sphere in cyberdefense and cyberwarfare. To be honest I was a bit overwhelmed and baffled by the material in this book. Virtually 90% of it was completely new knowledge to me and I got a bit confused with the various terminologies etc and felt like I definitely had a big mountain to climb sat in front of me as the journey progresses. The good thing is that this book is an excellent and comprehensive starting point and as a reference point I can see it standing on my computer desk for quite some time into the future. There are plenty of links to follow up and research to be done. I am sure that once the Masterschool course is complete that the final section of this book about career paths and interviewing etc will be a most vital source. I’ve added other texts by this author to my amazon wishlist and can highly recommend this accessible and inspiring book to any fellow newcomers to cybersecurity.

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