What is the cyber security required skills needed in cybersecurity professionals\’ tool kit? In this article, we will explore the cyber security required skills needed in today\’s highly technological world.
The Identity Theft Resource Center research states that 2021 will have a record number of data breaches. In September, it was already up 17% from last year. More and more people are getting hacked than I am seeing from my own work. I am working with family members more and more teaching them how to be safe online.
What does this mean? Everyone must be diligent, be aware, cautious when dealing with people over the phone, email, and the Internet. I have mentioned before that the Internet is not a friendly place anymore. There are attackers lurking, waiting, and ready to pounce at a moment\’s notice.
A cybersecurity professional today requires the ability to solve problems with creative and innovative solutions for customers and clients. Let\’s explore the skills required to be successful today.
Soft Skills – the 6 C\’s – Communication, Collaboration, Community, Culture, Creativity, and Curiousity
Communication and Collaboration
A cybersecurity professional today has to have good communication and collaboration skills. They need to be able to diagnose problems with customers by asking the right questions to get to the bottom of the problems they face so cybersecurity professionals can get to a solution quickly. Time is of the essence sometimes with customers and clients with their cybersecurity problems. In some cases, the hackers have all the goods and the cybersecurity professional must act fast to resolve the problems before they become bigger issues for the organization.
Community and Culture
A cybersecurity professional must understand the hacker community and culture to understand their motivations. Their motivation is money and profit. Whatever is the easiest way to steal money from people they will do it. A cybersecurity professional needs to understand what makes a hacker tick, understand the strategies and tactics they use, educate your users about this periodically. Strategies and tactics change over time so cybersecurity professionals need to stay up to date on the latest type of attacks and how they are being done.
Creativity and Curiosity
A cybersecurity professional must have excellent creative and curiosity skills. Being curious is important because you need to ask the right questions to uncover the security issues you might have or have to recover from. Thinking creatively on how to solve particular customer cybersecurity issues may be a people, process, and/or technology solution. It could be one or a combination of them. All problems do not always have a technological solution.
Troubleshooting is a key skill to have when working with cybersecurity issues. Cybersecurity professionals need to have deep technical skills to know where to look when issues are uncovered. If cybersecurity professional does not have a strong technical foundation, it will be very hard for them to track down the problem and solve it. In previous posts, I have stressed the need for strong foundational skills to be a good IT professional. Knowing what is happening inside a system in as much depth as possible will only benefit the cybersecurity professional when faced with critical challenges.
In today\’s world, we have Google and other search engines. Cybersecurity professionals need to know how to use google and other search engines to uncover problems and help find solutions to those problems. It could be someone else has already had a similar problem and you could learn what they did to solve it. The cybersecurity professional also can research how certain parts of a system works to help you research the problem you are trying to find a solution to. Research is a more and more critical skill for cybersecurity professionals.
Cyber Defensive Skills
Cyber Defensive skills are important for today\’s cybersecurity professional. A cybersecurity professional needs to know how to harden all systems on their network. They need to understand their layered approach to security (defense-in-depth). They also need to know how to test those protections or hire someone who can. They need to know how to monitor logs and understand alerts as they arise. These professionals may have to use their research skills to understand what is going on. So, being able to defend the network is critically important. That includes monitoring, detecting, uncovering, patching, and fixing issues as they arise. The cybersecurity professional has to play an active role in the network today and not sit back and wait for problems to occur. Being a proactive cyber defense is critically important.
Cyber Offensive Skills – Ethical Hacking – Pen Tester
To be a good cyber defender, you need to know how attackers are breaking into systems. Cybersecurity professionals need to know the latest and greatest techniques being used by attackers to get into the network and into systems. Understanding the tools of ethical hackers and how to use them is critically important in being able to protect systems and the network. A cyber professional needs to understand the threats, the vulnerabilities in their systems, and how to control the vulnerabilities. So, understanding how an attacker breaches a system and network is a critical skill to have today. A cybersecurity professional needs to continuously test their organization\’s defenses and assume that there is a weak point somewhere and their job is to find it and patch it with defensive skills.
In this article, I explored the absolute required skills needed by cyber security professionals. Again, it all starts with a strong technical foundation that you can build these skills onto. A large part of a cybersecurity professional\’s tool kit is being able to think and act appropriately under duress and stressful situations. Cyber security professionals need to know when faced with a problem what to do in different situations. If they have been hacked, there is a process to follow and they need to test and know that process inside and out. They need to know not only how to defend but also how to attack an organization\’s network. Both are critically important in today\’s highly technological environment.