What Programming Language Should I Learn for Cybersecurity?

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Cybersecurity comprises several areas of specialization. Therefore, a cybersecurity professional must have a good command of several programming languages as well as computer networking. If you are new to this field, you probably are wondering whether you have the necessary technical knowledge. Particularly, you may wonder whether you have adequate programming skills.

There are myriad programming languages nowadays. Some have very specific applications whereas others are more general in purpose. Some of the most common programming languages such as C, C++, Python, and JavaScript are useful tools for cybersecurity. Most IT graduates took a course of at least one of these languages.

If you plan on working in cybersecurity, it will be useful to master one or several general-purpose programming languages. There are a lot of online learning resources that you can use to become a proficient programmer in a short time. Most IT graduates took a course on e-learning platforms like Coursera in at least one of these languages.  If you need to hire someone to help do your coding homework quickly, services such as Assignmentcore.com can write some coding examples for you to learn.

However, if you are interested in learning the most useful programming languages for cybersecurity, this article will help you. Read on.

Why Are Programming Languages Important for Cybersecurity?

As mentioned above, a cybersecurity team requires specialists in many areas. Granted, a single person cannot have all the skills that are required in cybersecurity However, knowing computer programming can give you a big advantage to recognize the origin of different cyber attacks. 

Cyber attacks and vulnerabilities can take different forms. A cybersecurity professional with programming knowledge can identify more easily a piece of malicious code. He or she can also foresee vulnerabilities in some computer systems. But then again, knowledge of one programming language can be useful only for a specific type of cyber attack and/or vulnerability.

For instance, mastering C can help you to identify potential vulnerabilities caused by buffer overflows. But if you master JavaScript only, you probably will not be able to identify them properly. However, you will be able to understand more easily the security problems in web applications. Likewise, knowledge of SQL can be helpful to identify cyber-attacks in databases.

Most Convenient Programming Languages to Learn

The best is to know as many programming languages as you can learn. But this task would take an enormous amount of time and is not even practical to consider. Hence, you better concentrate on learning a programming language relevant to your role in a cybersecurity team. 

The most recommended ones are:

  • JavaScript. This is by far the most widely used programming language. Its popularity to create web applications is well-known. Programs written in this language are commonly targeted by cyber attackers. Most of these targeted programs are indeed web applications. Thus, the protection of websites requires professionals with proven proficiency in JavaScript. Knowing all the processes involved in the operation of a website gives you an advantage over hackers and cybercriminals. Good command of this language will allow you to point out vulnerabilities in web design;
  • C. Even though this programming language was developed almost 50 years ago, it is still quite useful. Many more recent programs use a syntax that was borrowed from C. This programming language was used to develop several operating systems such as Windows and Linux. Thus, knowledge of C is helpful to find vulnerabilities in operating systems that were created using this language. Most hackers use C to perform cyber attacks against computer networks using Windows of Linux. Moreover, knowledge of C will help you to understand how all the components of a computer work together. If you want to work as a cybersecurity analyst, become a proficient C programmer;
  • C++. This is an object-oriented programming language, which can be regarded as an improved version of C. Many recent desktop and mobile applications have been coded using C++. Hence, to secure them, proficiency in this programming language is a must;
  • Python. This is a general-purpose programming language, which is significantly more user-friendly than C/C++. This programming language allows the automation of many tasks. This feature has been used by hackers to create scripts that automatically exploit remote hosts. AutoSploit is an example of such a script. Hence, knowledge of Python will help you to counter such attacks through effective malware analysis. Since this is a high-level programming language, you do not need a deep understanding of computer architecture to learn it;
  • PHP. This programming language has a more specific application, which is the development of web server applications. Since most web servers run applications written in PHP, learning this language is necessary for web security. For example, good command of PHP will allow you to avoid denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Together with JavaScript, PHP will be valuable tools to secure websites and their applications;
  • SQL. It is another programming language with a specific application. In this case, the language is used to develop applications to manage databases. Currently, most organizations require storing and retrieving large amounts of data, making SQL a highly used programming language. Consequently, hackers that intend to steal or modify stored data orchestrate their attacks using SQL. Thus, if you will work securing databases, learning SQL is mandatory.

Other languages are also useful for your career as a cybersecurity professional. However, if you do not have the time to learn them all, you can choose the most convenient for you from the list above.