Internships in the cyber security sector are few. Understandably, organisations would not want someone inexperienced handling potentially business critical assets (what would you do in their position?). Therefore, applying and obtaining an internship in this industry requires a slightly more skewed approach compared to the other information technology sectors. So lets explore exactly how to do this.
How to prepare yourself
Obviously with very few opportunities, you would want to put yourself in the best possible position. You can achieve this by preparing yourself adequately with a solid foundational knowledge and skill set.
You can obtain these by practising regularly and attempting the challenges that are widely available on the Internet.
What you need to know
Naturally, you will need to know all the cyber security principles of the CIA. Don’t know what this is? Look it up. Absolutely everything in security relates back to this triad.
Speaking of which, looking up things. Since you’re in the Information Technology industry, you must have sufficiently strong Googling skills. If not, you better start improving now. Make sure you know how to use the various search engine flags such as AND, OR, inurl, site, intitle, etc. These are the ones that you would typically use the most often, but there are many more and once you’ve mastered them, you can find literally anything you want.
What you can do
Practise, practise, practise.
Study security concepts. There is a lot here ranging from the foundation of the CIA through to methodologies and implementations. Everything here is fair go. Every client you will encounter in industry will have a different set up. You must tailor your approach according to that, less run the risk of providing false results.
For those who came to cyber security for the really fun stuff: hacking. Practise this too. A lot. There are a lot of resources out there to use.
Start early, the longer your leave it, the less likely that you’ll be able to make all of this second nature to you. If it is not second nature, you stand no chance.
You think you’re ready? What next?
As previously mentioned, cyber security internships are rare. In fact, almost no organisations provide them. However, most firms are not completely adverse to them. They just don’t have the jobs easy enough for an entry level practitioner to take on. Some do, you’ll need to find them. How? Network.
Networking is essentially the only way to get a job in this industry. That being said, there are a few jobs via the traditional route of resume submitting and interviews, for example this is how the ASD does it. Anyways, back on the point of networking, reach out get a coffee or a beer. The Perth cyber security community LOVE coffee and beers. Attend events such as Second Thursday of the Month or SecTalks. Talk to people in the industry and show your enthusiasm, the community overall is pretty small, everybody knows everybody else, so you just need to get well acquainted with a few and it’ll steam roll from there (as long as you put in the effort).