If you’ve been following the headline news, you’re probably aware that the needs of the cybersecurity space are far outpacing the number of people entering the field. We’ve already written about the universities, colleges and research institutes that are focusing their efforts on training the next generation of cybersecurity experts. Giving appropriate training and internship opportunities to those interested in protecting online privacy and security will certainly go a long way when it comes to staffing issues. And while training helps prepare for the future, there are also certain innate characteristics that will help any security professional bolster their career.
If you’re squeamish around the sight of blood you might not be interested in becoming a surgeon, and if numbers aren’t your thing – well, accounting could be out for you. Every professional requires a certain skillset that can’t always be taught.
While there are many qualities that are beneficial for a career in online security, here are five traits that can help you succeed in the field of cybersecurity:
Solving an online problem is not always going to be a cut and dry scenario. With technology constantly evolving, there may not be a textbook solution available to meet your needs. You have to be able to use your imagination to think on your feet, using creative problem solving to provide the best solution – fast.
Online attacks aren’t going to work around your schedule. Security breaches can happen on weekends, and vulnerabilities do punch their timecards at 5PM. The situation dictates your schedule – you must be able to be flexible when it comes to organizing your priorities and handling incoming requests.
Two heads are better than one when it comes to problem solving. That’s why it’s important that as a cybersecurity expert you’re comfortable working with others. Whether you’re the sole member of your organization’s security team, or you work with a group of 20 others – you need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively.
Be a Leader
As a member of the IT and security team, it’s likely that your co-workers in other departments will look to you as a resource on online security. Whether you’re sharing information in informal one-on-one conversations, or at an organized lunch and learn, it’s important to have the confidence and the leadership abilities necessary for providing a helping hand.
Commit to Learning
Working in an ever-changing field like cybersecurity demands that professionals invest time in learning about emerging trends. This includes familiarizing yourself with the latest devices and their vulnerabilities, as well as staying up to date on new threats. If you’re always the first person lined up to buy a new tech toy, or you’re continuously reading and researching security news from around the world – this could be the career for you.
Did we miss any important traits? Let us know in the comments below.