Every year, businesses lose billions of dollars to various types of cybersecurity attacks, from basic email malware to complex DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. In this era, it is imperative for corporations to utilize cybersecurity experts to keep their businesses running smoothly and safely for themselves and their clients.
Finding an optimal cybersecurity expert for your organization can be difficult at times, and hiring someone who is under-qualified could potentially lead to catastrophic events. The following qualities and characteristics will help you identify the right cybersecurity expert for your organization.
1. The Analytical Mindset
A cybersecurity expert with a strong analytical and diagnostic skill set will help ensure the safety of your organization. Having an analytical mindset helps the expert see both the massive and minute details and how they interact with each other. For example, let’s take an employee login page, one of the most targeted pages during cyber attacks. Most corporations who have some type of “employee login” form use the basic two-box set up on one page; username/email and password/key/pin. A qualified cybersecurity expert with an analytical mindset may suggest using a two-factor authentication; a two-step sign-in process where employees will need to access another already-registered device to complete the sign in process. Even though it seems like a small adjustment, this method of authentication prolongs the hacking process resulting in hackers shying away from pages with this type of authentication.
2. Details! Details! Details!
Cybersecurity is an industry where attention to detail is one of, if not, the most critical characteristic for cybersecurity experts to possess. Missing the smallest security detail can cost a company millions of dollars and terabytes of information. Having an expert that pays close attention to detail while under pressure is optimal and will help ensure an organization’s safety and security. For example, let’s say your organization has a breach of security, and the attacker is hacking and stealing copious amounts of valuable information. A cybersecurity expert who fails to pay attention to the minute details may be able to recover the information but may leave your organization prone to another attack.
3. Wearing the Black Hat
In any problem-solving situation, analyzing the problem through different perspectives helps fast-track an effective resolution. This applies when resolving or preventing cyber security attacks. Cybersecurity experts who put themselves in attackers’ shoes give themselves the best opportunity to fix current security attacks and prevent future attacks from happening again.
4. The Fruit of Passion
Having a genuine passion for anything you do gives you the opportunity to perform that task at a high level. If the person you hire as your security specialist doesn’t have a true passion for cybersecurity, they might not execute their duties properly and may start to “cut corners” around their responsibilities. Having someone like that, in charge of the protection of all of your organization’s earnings, assets, and information, is most definitely not an ideal situation for your organization to be in.
5. Continuous Learner
In the past decade, technology has changed and improved vastly. Ten years ago, Apple’s app store Google Chrome, iPhone 3G, Android OS, Spotify, Uber, and Venmo had all initially launched. Now, all of these products are leaders in their specific industries and continue to improve and change. With these constant technological advancements and changes, security of your organization always needs to be monitored, adjusted, and improved.
Today’s technology can allow hackers to remotely access an organization’s earnings, assets, and information with ease. A qualified cybersecurity expert that continuously learns about the changes in technology will be able to adjust their methods of resolution, resulting in your company staying safe and secure.
6. Square or Round?
Possessing a well-rounded skill set in any occupation will always be helpful, but in cybersecurity, it is almost mandatory. Effective cybersecurity experts must possess a wide range of skills; from cyber governance and related soft skills to technical skills, such as penetration testing, hardware/IoT security, industrial control system security, secure development and code review, network security, identity, and access management, etc. On top of all that, they must be able to communicate the various terminologies and issues in non-technical terms that business executives can understand. An expert that has a strong balance between technical skills and communication aptitude is the most ideal candidate for your organization.
7. Persistence Pays Off
Resolving cybersecurity breaches can take numerous hours and can be very frustrating at times. Experts need to be persistent to solve the issues in an effective and timely manner. A cybersecurity expert who lacks persistence is usually not very patient, disabling them from resolving security breaches effectively or efficiently. A persistent cybersecurity expert will make sure that every nook and cranny of your organization is carefully secured, and they tend to genuinely care about the well-being of your organization and employees.
8. Veteran vs. Rookie
Military veterans are known to be sustainable cybersecurity experts due to their proven ability to learn new skills and concepts quickly, a very important characteristic to have because of the cybersecurity industry always changing. Another advantage that military veterans have is that they may already possess security clearances needed for cybersecurity work. Veterans also tend to accomplish priorities on time and understand the importance of staying persistent until it’s done right. They understand that cybersecurity is detail oriented with disastrous consequences for failure, similar to active military duty. This compilation of advantages and characteristics of military veterans make them very attractive to hire as cybersecurity experts.
Locking It Up (conclusion)
Regardless of if you are a highly-ranked executive, corporate employee, or a small business owner, cybersecurity is essential for you and your organization to succeed. From having an analytical mindset to continuously learning about the changes in tech and security, top cybersecurity experts possess those qualities making them an ideal candidate to hire.
About the Author: Akshay Viswanathan is a third-year student at Drexel University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Marketing. In his free time, Akshay enjoys creating music, playing basketball, and Philadelphia sports.