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Why You Should Learn Linux For Cybersecurity

Shimon Brathwaite's profile image

By: Shimon Brathwaite

April 26, 2021

Linux is an operating system many people outside of security/IT have no experience with. For the most part, people either use windows and mac as their operating system, but this is not all that's out there. Linux, which shares several similarities with the Mac OS, is an operating system commonly used in corporate environments. If you plan to work in Cybersecurity, IT, or as a programmer, you will be expected to navigate the Linux environment.

Why do companies use Linux?

The first question people tend to ask is why companies favor Linux? Especially considering that most employees are much more familiar with Windows and MAC computers. There isn't just one reason for this, but here I will discuss some of the most common reasons:

  1. It is more cost-effective than windows. Linux is open source and therefore doesn't require paying for any licenses. When you consider that it may be used for hundreds or thousands of devices within a company, this cost can add up to a substantial amount of money.

  2. It is known for being a good bit more secure than the Windows operating system, so for anything related to a company's security operations or holding sensitive information, this makes it a much more appealing solution.

  3. Linux supports the use of many different programming languages, and its command line is easier to navigate, which makes it an ideal environment for making a company's programmers more efficient.

If these weren't reason enough, these are only some of the reasons why companies love to use Linux, especially for their more technical staff. To read more about the benefits of Linux, you can read the top 11 reasons why Linux is superior to windows.

Why should you learn how to use Linux?

If you're interested in Cybersecurity, you will encounter a Linux environment. It will be in some administrative function for most people, where you may be required to pull logs or use a tool that is required for your day-to-day operations. Having a good understanding of the Linux command line will make you more efficient at your job and allow you to pass job interviews when asked specific questions about navigating the Linux environment. If you're interested in ethical hacking knowing, Linux is no longer an asset. It will be a must-have. There are two primary Linux distributions designed just for hacking computers: Kali Linux and Parrot OS in ethical hacking. These two Linux distributions come with all the hacking tools you would need pre-installed and are heavily used within the penetration testing industry. If you're serious about making a career as an ethical hacker, it would be beneficial getting familiar with at least one of these distributions (preferably Kali Linux because of popularity) and navigate it using the command line and the tools that come installed on the distribution.

Conclusion

Linux is a very popular platform for Cybersecurity professionals, and it's worthwhile investing time to learn how to navigate the platform, especially from the command line. Unlike on your laptop, you won't also have a Graphical user interface (GUI) when you're on the job. It would help if you moved around the OS, download files, extract text from files, read and write from files using only the command line. In addition to that, you want to understand how to use useful tools like grep for extracting information from log files using regular expressions. Lastly, I would recommend learning how to do a little bit of bash scripting to automate many of the tasks you need to do in the Linux environment.

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