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Top 5 Programming Languages for Cyber Security

Cyber security is the application of technologies, processes and controls to protect systems, networks, programs, devices and data from cyber attacks. It aims to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect against the unauthorized exploitation of systems, networks and technologies.

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.

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.

Here we have top 5 programming languages for cyber security which you can lean:

1. C and C++

C and C++ are critical low-level programming languages that you need to know as a cyber security professional.

These languages provide access to low-level IT infrastructure such as RAM and system processes, which if not well protected, hackers can easily exploit.

The C programming language is the backbone of most operating systems. It is a lean, flexible, and efficient language that can be used to complete a wide range of tasks such as cryptography, image processing, and socket networking.

Essentially, C++ is usually regarded as C’s big brother — which has been concocted with crack, meth, and steroids and mixed without any favors. C++ is a fantastic language that is largely based on C’s source code.

There are several cyber security programs created using C++. For example, Nmap, the network mapper tool, is created using C++.

As a cyber security expert, if you are experienced at using C/C++ programming languages, you’ll know how to respond to attacks targeting lower level operations within your computing environment.

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 open-source code.

  • Many cybersecurity programs, such as Nmap, the network mapper tool are created using C++.

2. Python

Python is a high-level programming language that is increasingly becoming popular among cyber experts.

It’s gaining traction mainly because of its adherence to code readability, clear and simple syntax, and availability of an extensive number of libraries. So, whatever task you want to do, you can always complete it easily with Python.

For example, you can use the language to send TCP-packets to machines, perform malware analysis, and create intrusion detection systems with minimal reliance on third-party tools.

However, unlike C/C++, Python is not low-level; therefore, it may not provide enough visibility to hardware resources.

Learning Python for cyber security will give you an edge in your career. You’ll be equipped with programming skills that can assist you to identify vulnerabilities and discover how to fix them.

Why is Python Useful in Cybersecurity?

  • Python has a short learning curve, which is why Python 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.

3. JavaScript

JavaScript is a high-level programming language, which is often referred as the “lingua franca” of the web.

JavaScript is a core technology that powers the Internet. Primarily, it’s the language that adds interactivity to web pages.

Although JavaScript was initially implemented only on the client-side in web browsers, it’s now possible to use the language in other types of host infrastructure, such as server-side in databases and offline applications like PDF programs.

Therefore, because of its extensive usage, learning JavaScript can make you go one step ahead of the hackers.

You’ll understand the concepts of how websites and other applications work and the best designs to employ to ward off malicious users.

For example, cross-site scripting is a JavaScript-based attack that involves an attacker implanting malicious code in a web application.

If you are experienced in using the JavaScript programming language, you can prevent such types of attacks from occurring.

Why is JavaScript Useful in Cybersecurity?

  • Enables you to design secure websites and user interfaces.

  • Mitigates possible cross-site scripting attempts in web forms and minimizes other technical risks.

  • JavaScript allows you to work with cookies, manipulate event handlers, and perform cross-site scripting (XSS).

  • 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.

4. PHP

PHP is a server-side programming language for developing websites. Because most websites are created using PHP, learning the language will enable you to know how to fend off intruders.

For example, DDoS (Denial-of-service) attacks usually attempt to make web applications unavailable to intended users.

With PHP programming knowledge, coupled with skills in other technologies like JavaScript, you can implement robust solutions to secure web applications.

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.

5. SQL

SQL (Structured Query Language) is mostly used in managing data stored in databases.

Because of the current explosion of data storage systems, SQL is widely used for maintaining and retrieving data.

Similarly, hackers are increasingly orchestrating the language for damaging or exfiltrating the stored data.

For example, SQL injection attacks involve exploiting SQL vulnerabilities to steal or modify data kept in databases.

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.

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