If you are a cyber security specialist, it is not necessary to have coding skills, but it’s definitely better and in best interest to have knowledge about at least one programming language. To position yourself for long-term success in this sector, one needs to be familiar with the basics to expand quickly in the cyber security world.
Having proper knowledge of at least one programming language helps in defending your business against hacking and other cyber threats. Knowing cyber security programming languages will always keep you one step ahead.
Which Cyber Security Language Should You Learn First?
While there are many coding programs, it is highly recommended to start with Python. It conducts many cyber security tasks such as scanning, analyzing malware and offers high level of web-readability.
Python is commonly used by some of the biggest tech companies like Google, Reddit and NASA. Let’s discuss Python and few other programming languages.
Programming Languages to Learn for Cyber Security
With more than 250 computer programming languages used today, and as many as 700 used world-wide, in cyber, the number shrinks to around 10 to 15. Let’s check out a few below.
For many years, Python has been a dominating language in cyber security. Being a general-purpose language used in many and most of the security situations, is it also a server-side scripting language which does not require compiling by coders.
It has several benefits including automation of tasks and performing malware analysis. With an extensive third-party library of scripts, it also helps in detecting malware, penetration testing, scanning and identifying any kind of cyber threat. The code readability in this language is clear and easy syntax with huge number of libraries.
- Acquiring cookies, exploiting event handlers, carrying-out cross-site scripting
- Java Libraries like NodeJS, ReactJS, jQuery
- Strengthens the website’s functionality
- Due to how common this language is, applications and systems using this are prominent targets
It is commonly used by front-end, back-end and full-stack developers because of its popularity and versatility.
C language is great for reverse-engineering and identifying vulnerabilities. It is one of the easiest coding languages to learn enabling low-level coding using this. It is easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities using C, while security specialists make sure their C code lacks vulnerabilities.
It helps in finding bugs, programming errors and other types of malfunctions, therefore, it is essential for cyber security programmers to find the flaws using C, before the hackers do.
Commonly used by cyber security defense analyst, C helps the programmers to mitigate threats, and to analyze the threats and vulnerabilities. After identification, they are expected to conduct investigations and forensic functions to get to know what will happen if a hacker tries to attack.
Golang, which is a popular language for security professionals and cyber programmers to use in server and cloud services to increase flexibility and data analysis capabilities.
It helps in identifying malware targets the systems. Golang can be constructed for all major operating systems because it is a single source code. It has a large size of malware coded which helps in penetration testing.
Golang’s malware creation process is very smooth because of its vast libraries.
Structured Query Language
SQL, a domain specific programming language, used to parse data in large databases, is one highly popular and demanded database management programming language.
It not only deals with database systems; it also manages activities such as Relational Database Management System and is a pretty straight-forward coding language.
This language is used by database administrators, programmers and end users in order to create SQL queries for retrieval, insertion, modification and removal of data from database. This language is very prone to lead attacks such as stealing data and executing other web-based crimes.
Ruby, a general-purpose high level language, was created and developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in Japan, and became one of the most popular programming languages in the cyber security world.
Even though it is identical to Perl and Python, it was written in C and is easy to use and manage massive code projects for Airbnb, Hulu, Kickstarter and Github.
It is also helpful in managing a system’s complex information, making the programs easier to develop with the use of less coding.
Adapted from the C coding language, C++ has features like:
- Supporting objects and classes
- Faster than C language
- Less known than other languages, 0.1% websites use it
- C++ helps in developing desktop and mobile apps
- Eliminates bugs and vulnerabilities
C++ helps the cyber security specialists to identify weakness by recognizing security flaws in code. It also identifies the effects of the flaws on the application using the database including all possible risks.
This server-side programming language is used to create websites and is used in 80% of the web’s top 10 million domains. Along with protecting your system from hackers, it also:
- Performs automated security analysis using RIPS
- Examines data flow from input parameters to critical operations
- Identifies vulnerabilities in the system
- Helps in creating server-side web application logic
- Handles back-end resources and data sharing between servers and PHP users
- Eliminates flaws and vulnerabilities
PHP is commonly used by cyber security-focused developers and businesses as a server-side language which works with HTML, helping websites to work properly. It is also useful for web developers and designers to use PHP in order to connect databases with web pages.
Having good knowledge of programming languages is not only good for resume, but also keeps you one step ahead in the competition.
Even though, several entry-level cyber security positions do not require coding, it is crucial to use in mid-level and upper-level jobs. Knowing at least one coding language gives a push start to your career and takes you towards long-term success in the cyber security field.