Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing fields in technology, and with the number of cyber attacks increasing every year, it’s no wonder why it’s also one of the fields hiring the most.
Nowadays, almost every company needs a cyber security department to protect its data from hackers and scammers. Cybercrime magazine estimates there will be over 3.5 million cyber security job openings in the US by 2025, and there is no sign of this trend slowing down.
While there are cyber security degrees out there, most cyber security professionals will tell you that it’s one of the best transitional careers since most of the skills can or have to be learned on the job.
If you have basic proficiency with computers, there’s a good chance a career in cyber security could be within your reach. However, this job is no walk in the park. It requires a very specific type of individual with an extensive set of qualities to manage the challenges of this field.
This article will go through the 10 qualities a cyber security professional must have to thrive in the role and explain why they’re relevant.
Most of the knowledge required for this profession isn’t taught in school, and some of the lessons are even hidden in a way. A good cyber security professional must stay up to date with hacking trends and the new types of technology that could affect their user base.
Most cyber security jobs will drastically change throughout a person’s career. Not only do new viruses and threats appear, but new user trends like “bring your own device” (BYOD) and remote work can pop up and completely change your industry.
If you’re considering this type of position, you must be ready to adapt to new situations. As these changes happen, cyber security professionals will also have to be open to learning new types of software and techniques to help them in their job.
There’s a common misconception about cyber security professionals that they are alone, secluded in a basement surrounded by servers and computer screens. This description couldn’t be further from the truth in a modern company.
One of the most significant roles of cyber security is creating user awareness. This means a cyber security role entails a lot of communication with coworkers on various subjects to ensure they’ve retained the information and are well prepared to protect themselves from cyber threats.
Good communication skills will help cyber security professionals build the first line of defense for their company: well-informed users.
Cyber security is a field that constantly has to juggle the theoretical principles of the field with their real-world applications. The solution might seem simple and efficient on paper, but if it isn’t practical and easy to apply for users, it just won’t work.
The best way to build a cyber security-aware culture is to show your users you’re all on the same team by offering them realistic measures. Balancing your technological situation’s requirements with your coworkers’ level of understanding is a crucial skill for this field.
5. Detail oriented
Hacks and data breaches are often led through what can only be described as technical details. A cyber security professional must be able to parse through hundreds, if not thousands, of data points and detect even the smallest aspects that might allow hackers to breach their defenses.
Similarly, this skill will allow them to identify the red flags in phishing attempts and teach their users about them.
Faced with an ever-growing list of threats, cyber security professionals must be ready to accept eventual failure. You will inevitably become blindsided even with all the skills on this list.
The most important part is getting back up and learning from your mistakes. In fact, this is often how cyber security professionals learn most about their field.
Security breaches hopefully won’t happen too often in a cyber security professional’s career, but they will happen. Remaining calm in these stressful situations prevents further mistakes. Keeping your mind clear will show you the best solutions to a breach.
This quality is essential in a cyber security career for two reasons. Hackers are constantly coming up with new types of attacks, and the people protecting businesses against them must innovate to find the right ways to stay on top.
The second and most important reason is that workplaces constantly change and evolve to improve productivity and employee happiness. This will bring new security challenges that cyber security professionals will have to solve ingeniously.
One of the constants of a cyber security career is that you will be handling your coworkers’ mistakes. Good cyber hygiene is new for many people, and they won’t get it on the first try.
You’ll need to be able to empathize with people to understand where their issues stem from and help them in a positive way.
Any cyber security professional must be passionate about the field to succeed. The real reward in this career is knowing you’ve educated your coworkers enough to keep them out of harm’s way.
If you want to work in this field, it has to be because you have a genuine passion for keeping people’s information and technology safe.
Building a cyber security culture
Cyber security has always been seen as a field for introverts. And while that can be true for certain positions, there is room for every type of individual. Protecting a company’s data has become less about warding off hackers and more about ensuring employees are aware of the threats they face.
There are still highly technical roles in cyber security, but the highest growth is in cyber security awareness. People striving for this type of work need a mix of people skills, communication and technological knowledge.
There has never been a better time to enter the world of cyber security, and the field is looking for people that would have never considered it before.
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