Increasing cyber crimes worldwide have created a huge demand for cybersecurity professionals. To become a successful cybersecurity professional, you will require diverse skills to confidently identify potential attacks and come up with effective solutions.
In addition to awareness of the latest happenings in the field of cybersecurity, you must also be familiar with various programming languages. When you master coding, you move one more step closer to becoming a top cybersecurity professional as it will help you to identify the plan behind an attack and defend against some of the most malicious hacking techniques.
Read on to find out the 5 best programming languages to learn for cybersecurity professionals.
What Areas of Cybersecurity require Coding?
A majority of mid-level and higher-level cybersecurity jobs that focus on software engineering or analysis require coding. Needless to say, the job roles that specifically require programming skills will depend on your specialty in cybersecurity and will change over the years as the cybersecurity field continues to evolve.
5 Best Programming Languages to Learn for Cybersecurity Professionals
Whether you’re already a cybersecurity professional or planning to get into the field soon, mastering a programming language can benefit you greatly. Here are the 5 best programming languages to learn for cybersecurity professionals:
1. C and C++
C is one of the oldest programming languages. It was developed in the early 1970s by Dennis Ritchie. Its main use is to develop software like operating systems, databases, compilers, and more. It is an excellent language to learn to program for beginners. Moreover, after learning C, it will be much easier to learn other programming languages, such as Java and Python.
C++ is a general-purpose programming language created by Bjarne Stroustrup. It is an extension of the C programming language and the main use is to develop operating systems, browsers, games, and more. C++ supports different ways of programming, such as procedural, object-oriented, and functional.
Both are low-level programming languages that you need to know as a cybersecurity professional. These languages have low-level access to hardware, such as RAM and system processes which can easily be exploited by hackers, if not protected.
C and C++ – Hacker’s Go-To Languages:
- C is a low-level fast programming language.
- It helps in gaining low-level access to memory and system processes after compromising a system.
- Many security professionals use C to simulate the library hijacking attack.
- C++ allows hackers to write fast and efficient hacking programs.
- Hackers can easily reverse engineer enterprise software with C++.
Why are C and C + + Useful in Cybersecurity?
- C and C++ can be useful for reverse-engineering and finding vulnerabilities.
- A lot of malware is written in the C++ programming language. Thus, learning C++ is important for reading and understanding the open-source code.
- Many cybersecurity programs, such as Nmap, the network mapper tool are created using C++.
Recommended Courses To Learn C and C++.
C Programming Language Fundamentals on Pluralsight
Python is a general-purpose, object-oriented, high-level programming language. It is one of the most popular and widely used coding languages due to its versatility.
It includes high-level data structures, dynamic binding, dynamic typing, and some other features, making it an ideal programming language for complex application development. Python is suitable for general-purpose tasks like data mining and big data facilitation. It is a high-level scripting language that is easier to learn than other low-level languages.
Python is a useful programming language for cybersecurity professionals because it can perform a variety of cybersecurity functions, like malware analysis, penetration testing, and scanning.
Python – Hacker’s Go-To Language:
- It is one of the best languages for hacking into web servers.
- Python makes it easier to write automation scripts.
- It does not need compilation to run. You just run the program directly from the source code.
Why is Python Useful in Cybersecurity?
- Python has a short learning curve, which is why it is easy to learn and implement for cybersecurity professionals.
- Enables cybersecurity managers who lead teams to implement projects quickly.
- It has an extensive library, which means that cybersecurity tools are already available.
- Python can be used for accomplishing multiple tasks, such as host discovery, accessing servers, port scanning, and network scanning.
- It helps cybersecurity professionals to get up to speed quickly.
Recommended Courses To Learn Python:
- It is widely used for developing cross-site scripting hacking programs.
- It can be used for mimicking attacks on the server-side and the client-side.
- Hackers use it for attacks, like buffer overflow and stack overflow.
- Enables you to design secure websites and user interfaces.
- Mitigates possible cross-site scripting attempts in web forms and minimizing other technical risks.
- XSS is a popular hacking technique when it comes to compromising a website. If there is an input flaw on the website, the hacker uses scripts to take over the website.
PHP is a server-side programming language that is used to develop websites. Powering 80% of the top 10 million websites, PHP is the most dominant server-side language on the web. Knowledge of PHP, thus, will enable you to know how to defend against intruders.
One of the most common hacking techniques using PHP is DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. Such attacks usually attempt to make web applications unavailable to users by shutting down the website.
Hackers may even use PHP to delete all the data on your website if you are not careful with how you have built it. Thus, learning PHP programming language can help you in identifying and solving these vulnerabilities in PHP code.
PHP – Hacker’s Go-To Language:
- It is extensively used for hacking personal websites.
- Knowledge of PHP prepares you to take down faulty websites as soon as you identify them.
Why is PHP Useful in Cybersecurity?
- Enables cybersecurity professionals to implement robust solutions to secure web applications.
- Integration of cybersecurity and PHP tools can help you mitigate and even alleviate frequent cyberattacks.
Recommended Courses to Learn PHP:
Building Web Applications using PHP by University of Michigan
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a domain-specific language used in programming. It manages the data stored in databases. With organizations getting more data-driven, SQL is the most sought-after programming language for managing databases.
SQL enables users to access records or data in batches with just one single command. Thus, by using SQL queries, the user will not have to specify how the data should be retrieved.
Nowadays, most of the hackers try to exploit databases with the intention of stealing or modifying data. Whenever you attempt to log in to a website, the password stored in the database is brought up and compared with what you have typed into the system.
While you can not see it, hackers take advantage of this by using SQL injection to extract sensitive data from organizations and individuals. It can result in the loss of crucial information, such as passwords, bank account information, and social security numbers. Therefore, learning SQL can help you make databases more secure.
SQL – Hacker’s Go-To Language:
- Black hat hackers use SQL to develop hacking programs based on SQL injection.
- Hackers use it to run unauthorized queries to obtain unhashed passwords.
Why is SQL Useful in Cybersecurity?
- An understanding of SQL, its uses, and how SQL injection attacks, enables you to manipulate websites can be beneficial for cybersecurity professionals.
- Since SQL Injection is one of the top threats to web application security, security defenders will greatly benefit from the mastery of SQL.
Recommended Courses to Learn SQL:
The Complete SQL Bootcamp on Udemy
The Complete SQL Course on Udemy
Which is the Most Secure Programming Language?
While some researchers claim that there is one language that is more or less secure than another, the truth is that there is no best programming language in absolute terms. Many factors go into choosing a programming language. Thus, it is up to you to make sure that when you use a programming language you do everything you can to ensure your project’s security. Any programming language can be ideal as long as you create a perfect cybersecurity strategy.
Knowledge of a programming language will not only look good on your resume but will also ensure that you are one step ahead in the competition.
While a lot of entry-level cybersecurity positions do not require programming skills, it is one of the crucial skills for some mid-level and upper-level cybersecurity jobs. Moreover, with some knowledge of at least one programming language, you may be able to advance in your career and move towards long-term success in the field.
In case you have recently completed a professional course/certification, then