Looking for a job in cybersecurity? Planning for the CISSP exam or other cybersecurity certifications? Hobbies can help build your skills and connect you with the right people.
If you’re working toward a cybersecurity career or have one now, certain pastimes could give you an advantage over others, whether in a workplace, academic setting, or pursuing a cybersecurity certification. These six cybersecurity hobbies are worth pursuing: https://www.makeuseof.com/hobbies-if-youre-in-cybersecurity/.
These hobbies can help demonstrate your relevant transferrable skills as mentioned in number four in our five-step guide to finding a cybersecurity job.
What do you think? Do your hobbies relate to cybersecurity? Tenured cybersecurity professionals, are there any hobbies you’d recommend adding to the list?
The intent of the article is well placed, but biased. There are other "hobbies" such as hardware tinkering that I have seen entry level people go into advanced careers as Common Criteria Evaluators. Those are the elite group of people that prove security assertions about products. For example whether or not an ATM is tamper proof. And what about Cloud/Mobile software development and architecting their own Cloud environments? I'm seeing lots of entry level candidates showing up with those kinds of skills. That's cool.
One of my hobbies definitely helps out in cybersecurity. It is Auto Mechanics. Working on cars and their components allows me to see how they work. Taking a motor or transmission apart allows me to see the inner workings of the motor. Knowing the theory behind the internal combustion engine allows me to examine what might not be working right or give me an insight of where to look for trouble or problems. Being able to use diagnostic tools allows me to pinpoint an area where the problem might be.
I have a saying I use in cyber security: "If you know how something works, you can figure out how to break it or look for weak spots." That is the hacker mindset. Can I get this thing that I am hacking to act or behave in a way it was not intended to perform by the creator? The reason why we have so many patches released is that the creators are usually looking to make it functional, not be the most secure thing on the planet. They may not also have a hacker mindset. They struggle to realize that the hacker wants it to misbehave so they insert something that is unexpected in order to see what happens. So instead of putting in a two digit code for state or province, they put in three to see what happens. Or they put in numbers where letters were expected. Or special characters. Or any other input they can stick in there. Can they overflow the buffer?
That is why I like working on cars. It helps me figure out how things work. The troubleshooting skills also help me figure things out. This helps in cybersecurity.
Not sure that I'd entirely agree with this article. I think all life learning is useful in the broader Information Risk & Security field. You could equally make the argument that culinary skills show an individuals ability to combine multiple tasks with learned information to achieve delivery of a quality product at a specific predetermined time. Sound a lot like writing a security review report?
Personally, as a hobby, I collect specific artifacts. Each of these is cataloged and it's specific details are researched, detailed and documented in a structured database. I can easily reach into a collection of many thousands and immediately access any specific item. Sound a lot like information access management and retrieval? (interestingly I ended up working in the area of electronic discovery for some years)
Back thirty something years ago when we were recruiting for our newly established security team, I was looking for specifically for crossword puzzlers, chess players, and debaters. I think I'm more open now with what I appreciate can be brought to the table by life interests.