5 Best Programming Languages to Use in Cybersecurity
Considering the time and resources it takes to learn just one programming language, cybersecurity professionals can only focus on one system at a time. However, most newbies don’t know which language to prioritize. The best approach is to weigh the pros and cons, then assess which ones suit your platform.
IT professionals looking into cybersecurity should start with Python. You can use this versatile, general-purpose language to pen test systems, analyze cybersecurity risks, and detect malware. Many Security Operation Centers (SOCs) focus on Python.
Moreover, Python is relatively easy to learn despite its versatility. While other more complex programming languages require months of training, it only takes a few hours to understand the basics of coding in Python.
C and C++
C and C++ are low-level programming languages that directly interact with computer hardware. They rank among the most flexible languages. Cybersecurity professionals use them to reverse engineer malware, thus breaking down their makeup, design, and function. Meanwhile, cybercriminals use C and C++ to exploit system weaknesses.
Although C and C++ are undoubtedly two of the most functional programming languages in cybersecurity, many newbies avoid them for their difficulty. Mastering these advanced coding techniques takes years.
IT professionals typically use Java for back-end development projects. This high-level server-side language plays a crucial role in developing various programs, from mobile apps to operating systems.
In cybersecurity, coders primarily use Java for penetration testing. IT admins code in Java to pinpoint system inconsistencies, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses that crooks may exploit.
The server-side programming language is crucial to website development. Despite the introduction of modern, no-code web development platforms, 8 out of 10 websites still utilize PHP coding. Also, PHP allows for better security customization than site editors.
Don’t limit yourself to just one programming language. Although we recommend starting with Python, feel free to explore other more complex options as you progress. Prepare for instances where you may need to code in varying languages. Remember: the most efficient way to catch hackers is to replicate their strategies — no matter what programming language they use.
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Desiree Macy is the Editorial Director of Security Forward which is frequented by security executives, corporate security officers, and private protection professionals each month. Desiree’s interests revolves around cyber-security, and business continuity.