It seems that a day doesn’t go by without another cyber breach catching the news headlines. As cyber threats of all types continue to increase – growing in number and sophistication – organizations in every industry are working hard to get the best cyber security talent on board.
If you’re interested in making the move to cyber – or if you already work in the field and are interested in exploring new job opportunities – here are some of our insights and recommendations into the key skills and experience that companies like CyberProof are looking for.
It’s Not Just About the “Hard Skills”
While every job in cyber security has its own specific requirements, all positions require certain attitudes and personality traits. Maayan Cohen Haziz, CyberProof’s Global Director of Human Resources, gives some examples of the key characteristics her team looks for in the candidates she considers.
A Can-Do Attitude
“We need people who have the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment,” says Maayan. “While some of the training you need to succeed in cyber can be learned on the job, being the kind of person who is excited to take on new challenges that are outside of your comfort zone is something you need to bring to the table. It’s got to be part of your personality.”
Particularly in the era of COVID-19, being a team player has been (perhaps ironically!) more important than ever. “At CyberProof, people get the help they need – it’s a very friendly company,” says Maayan. “The proof is in the 265 new employees we brought into the company during COVID-19, and in the success of our virtual onboarding and orientation programs. Aside from being bright and having relevant experience, we’re looking for people who see themselves as part of a team even when they’re working remotely.”
The commitment to the team goes both ways – as CyberProof makes it a priority to invest in developing the natural “team spirit” through a wide variety of initiatives designed to strengthen camaraderie and belonging. Throughout COVID-19, for example, employees received “perks” designed to keep individuals feeling healthy, happy, and productive despite the social distancing – including online exercise classes, family gift packages, ergonomic equipment for home offices, and access to professional mental health services.
If strong communication skills are essential when interacting within a team, they are even more important when dealing with our customers. “We’re a service-oriented company and at the end of the day, putting the customer’s needs first is key,” Maayan says. “We’re looking for a service-driven type of person. Exceeding customer expectations has to be built into everything we do.”
Sharing Corporate Values
Any company striving to build a strong team is interested in bringing in new hires who share the organization’s core values. It needs to be a good match. “At CyberProof, we’re committed to the values of humanity, humility, and integrity,” says Maayan. “We’re looking for people who take responsibility for goals and processes, and are willing to be accountable for their work. How do people resolve conflicts? Are they good at making decisions and taking ownership of their activities?” She adds.
Seeking Personal Development
“We’re interested in bringing people into the company for the long term,” says Maayan. “We want to see candidates who ask really good questions about CyberProof during the interview process – people looking for growth opportunities, who are going to continue to be engaged and motivated.”
CyberProof provides opportunities to gain management experience and to upskill and cross-skill. “New employees see that there are opportunities to advance vertically by moving into more senior positions that involve managerial responsibilities – as well as opportunities to move horizontally, by expanding knowledge, taking on new roles, and creating value. We hire great people and want to see them staying with us and growing.”
Technical Skills and Experience
While attitude and personality are part of what companies are looking for, having the right technical background is important. The specifics depend on the requirements of each job, but certain skills are in demand in cyber security as a whole. For a wide variety of positions, it is beneficial to obtain Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, to have knowledge of SIEM tools (like ArcSight and Splunk), or to have experience with Python, Linux and Microsoft Azure. Technical applicants with experience in these disciplines have a definite advantage.
Do I Need an Academic Degree?
An academic degree is not mandatory to land a job in cyber security. But if you are interested in selecting a degree that gives you an advantage in cyber, the most important areas of study include information systems, computing, and telecommunications. And if your long-term career plans include reaching the level of senior management, you may need training in business administration on top of more technical skills.
Cyber Security Talent is Diverse
It must be emphasized that cyber security professionals come from all walks of life, and people who trained in unrelated fields are encouraged to apply for cyber roles. If you have the drive and skill to succeed, lack of formal training or in-job experience should not be an impediment. “Particularly because of the growing shortage of experienced cyber talent, we are very open to considering people with more diverse backgrounds,” Maayan explains.
A lack of skilled cyber security professionals is a growing concern that’s currently faced by most organizations around the world. A recent report from Forrester encourages companies to address the shortage of available talent by considering highly intelligent individuals who lack some of the necessary technical skills and require on-the-job training.
“If we were only willing to consider people from specific intelligence units in the army or those with particular certifications, we would be cutting out a large part of the available talent pool. It makes sense to seek out people with the right characteristics and intelligence and offer on-the-job training,” Maayan concludes.
CyberProof is hiring! If you’re interested in learning more about open positions, click here.