The Hard and Soft Skills of Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity skills remain crucial to organizations and while you can try to learn them all alone, we believe enrolling in one of our cybersecurity programs allows you to acquire knowledge from educators and experts with direct experience in the field so you receive the most up to date skills that match the demands of today. There are a number of hard and soft skills needed by anyone looking to enter the cybersecurity employment market, whether you are entering as a newbie or transitioning from another tech related field.
Here are a few of the key required skills:
Cyber security professionals must develop strong verbal and written communications skills. They will need to communicate clearly with an array of audiences ranging from clients to executives, and must be able to speak to those with varying levels of technical knowledge- usually much lower than their own. If they are unable to communicate to decision makers, their findings and efforts will have no beneficial effects for the organization and beyond.
In order for security to be effective it must be a collaborative, coordinated group effort. All players in an organization are responsible on some level for the health and safety of the organization. If cyber teams are unable to work together and with non-technical teams towards a shared objective, ultimately the safety of the organization hangs in the balance. Professionals must also be able to work with those from different disciplines, backgrounds, and cultures. The skills gap is seeing people from around the world working together towards a common goal which can only happen to its full potential if certain sensitivities are taken into account.
Cyber criminals are smart, calculated, creative problem solvers. And you have to be one step ahead of them. Anticipating and counteracting their attacks requires complex problem solving and out of the box thinking in order to get into the mind of a hacker wishing to cause harm. Another challenge is not to get lost in the complex mass of information a company holds. Successful professionals will be able to organize and problem solve without becoming overwhelmed by the amount of information.
Individuals must possess a high level of integrity and personal ethics to conduct their job. Professionals should take pride in the work they are doing when assessing, alerting, and protecting a company and all its data.
Technical Acumen. This varies from position to position but this includes:
- Understanding of risk analysis based on a quantitative and qualitative metrics in order to identify vulnerabilities in organization and new potential threats
- Proficiency in programming languages
- Anti-virus and anti-malware knowledge
- A working knowledge of common network protocols
- Understanding of malicious codes, how they are spread and the risks they possess
- Recognize the characteristics and effects of various intruder techniques, and be able to identify new techniques
Is it clear which skills you excel at and which need more work? The good news is that together with your professor and course content, you will be able to improve these skills which will make you more desirable to a hiring committee and more effective in your cybersecurity post.