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Why should you consider playing CTF

Learning new skills is one of the most essential things to get ahead in your career. Especially if you are working in a field such as Cybersecurity, where new challenges keep arising on a regular basis. Continuous learning and upgrading your skills is the only way to keep yourself in the game. For a Cybersecurity professional, there can be several possible ways to keep himself up-to-date with the latest tools, trends, and developments. One of the fun ways security professionals can hone the relevant skills is by playing CTF (Capture The Flag).

Why should you consider playing CTFs

This section highlights the reasons why you should consider taking part in the CTF events.

What is a CTF?

CTFs are the competitions organized to hone and test the proficiency and expertise of information security professionals. Players use real hacking tools to break into the system, detect vulnerabilities, and exploit them to capture an encoded string. This string is known as a flag. The captured flag is evidence that a player has discovered the weakness in the systems.

There are three types of CTFs events: jeopardy style, Attack-defense, and Mixed style. One can either participate solo or with a team.

CTF-01

Reasons why you should consider taking parts in CTF events:

Here are the reasons why you should consider taking parts in the CTF events:

CTFs are fun

CTF are fun

CTFs events are fun to participate in as they offer an opportunity to get your hands on some exciting and tricky hacking problems. You can evaluate your Cybersecurity skills, gather knowledge, and get to know and hang out with like-minded people. Many CTF event organizers add narration and gamification features to make the challenges more entertaining. A scoreboard is always on, which increases the aspect of beneficial and healthy competition.

Develop Team spirit

Develop Team spirit

One can play CTF as an individual but playing in a team is exciting. A team may have members having different talents, skills, and weaknesses. To accomplish a specific task effectively, team members have to cooperate and support each other. In this way, you develop a good team spirit while solving problems with people from different backgrounds and skillsets. This experience is vital for your career that no college and book can teach you.

Venture into a new field:

Venture into a new field_

CTF allows you to explore other things apart from the field you already are well versed in. For example, you might be familiar with web exploitation or programming, but you can get intrigued by something else while playing CTF games. Thus CTF helps you explore and get acquainted with other fields and areas of expertise you may be interested in.

Learn to cope up with failure

Learn to cope up with failure

The first CTF experience does not go as per your expectations. It’s alright for Individuals to fear failure who have never participated in a CTF competition before. They are often quite worried about the lack of knowledge and skills required to participate. The fear of high competition from competitors may seem daunting. Therefore, the first CTF competition is challenging for a newbie. Your first CTF participation is crucial as it motivates you to participate in more contests and perform better. Failures can be disappointing, but you need to work on your skills and strive to give out your best.

Boost your confidence

Boost your confidence

Those who do well in their CTF competition are likely to feel confident and solve more difficult problems. But don’t get too exhilarated. Being confident is good, but you should never be arrogant. In a competitive and fast-changing research field as Information Security, your knowledge and skills are tested every day. Thus, learning should be a never-ending process.

You get better by practicing

You get better by practicing

CTF competitions enable you to upgrade the expertise that you have previously gained. They allow you to utilize your hacking skills legally in a more controlled and protected environment. Many CTF vulnerabilities are based on real-world scenarios. You need to stay up-to-date with the latest news about the vulnerabilities. In that way, participants are expected to enhance their skills and acquire new practical skills as they move forward.

Strengthen your theoretical base

Strengthen your theoretical base

CTFs are completely practical based. Proficient performance in any field needs a strong conceptual base. In Cybersecurity as well, an in-depth understanding of theoretical concepts is necessary to carry out specific tasks. Thorough knowledge of high-level programming, reverse engineering, and exploitation methods is required to tackle CTF problems. There is no better way to understand theoretical concepts than implementing them in reality. Participating in a CTF contest and handling a real problem based on the theoretical concept you have previously studied is best for understanding it better.

Cope up with your anxiety

Cope up with your anxiety

Participating in a CTF competition increases the participants’ self-confidence about dealing with severe security incidents in the real world professionally and effectively. It is evident that young IT professionals do not effectively handle the first security incidents as they are off-beaten by anxiety and panic. By participating in CTFs, the participants feel more confident about their skills. They are well prepared to face a real event without panicking after spending some time in a realistic but controlled environment. Thus, CTF events help them become familiar with corresponding to similar scenarios.

Secure a well-paid job in information security

Secure a well-paid job in information security

Participating in CTF competitions helps fresher get their first breakthrough in the Security domain. It could serve as a stepping stone to kick start a successful career as a Cybersecurity professional. By participating in a CTF competition, candidates deal with real-world situations. They are challenged to confront real problems. CTFs provide a controlled and secure environment capable of simulating real-like conditions similar to the security professionals’ faces in their day-to-day work life. The participants use real hacking tools, follow principal methodologies, face real challenges, and start thinking as security professionals. Finally, it is widespread for security organizations to attend and sponsor CTFs to hire those who do exceptionally well in the competitions resulting in a possible interview or opportunity.

Wrapping up 

CTFs events are more than a gaming competition. These events serve as excellent opportunities for aspiring and current Cybersecurity professionals to upgrade and showcase their existing skills. While participating in these contests, you will learn values and competencies such as teamwork, improvisation, and formulating attack-defense strategies. It also helps security organizations to choose accomplished Cybersecurity professionals for their security teams.

CTF Training with infosec train

Infosec Train is a prominent IT security training provider offering training programs for a range of highly reputed certifications in the information security domain. Infosec Train’s Capture the Flag (CTF) Training is an excellent opportunity to learn everything you need to become a professional CTF player. CTF training program comprises various tasks and challenges to polish the problem-solving and critical thinking abilities of candidates. The training focuses on upskilling their existing knowledge regarding Penetration testing and provides them with hands-on practical experience to hone their relevant skillset.

Check the latest schedule for the CTF training program in the link provided.

AUTHOR
Shubham Bhatt ( )
Infosec Train
Shubham Bhatt holds a bachelor's degree in computer science & engineering. He is passionate about information security and has been writing on it for the past three years. Currently, he is working as a Content Writer & Editor at Infosec Train.
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