1. Start by reading everything you can about security. This can be books, articles, and information on the Internet.
2. Work toward achieving a security certification. A good choice would be the Security + certification. Attend a training class if you can, if not spend more time experimenting with your own equipment.
3. Build your own home lab. It doesn't have to be new equipment. I have seen students build up excellent test networks from parts that were salvaged from Goodwill or Salvation Army. Most large cities have used computer outlets.
4. Finally, take this knowledge and experience and ask your employer for more security-related duties. If that doesn't work, look for an employer that is willing to give you a chance to grow and reach your full potential.
This was first published in September 2003