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Cybersecurity experts need technological and soft skills

13/09/2016 by Usha Tyagi


In an age when cybercrime continues to increase, companies around the world are having to take steps to protect themselves from breaches. Though this often includes hiring security experts with the right technological skills to handle modern computer networks, an expert is calling for chief security officers (CSOs) to also maintain soft skills.

Talking of the rising need to focus on digital security, Palo Alto Network Regional Chief Security Officer Sean Duca said that professionals need to have expertise in automation as well as tech skills. CSOs are not able to rely on legacy security software anymore. Nor can they be sure that manual efforts to identify and isolate threats will always work. “The only way to deal with adversaries using automated tools is to automate defences and manage the change from protecting the perimeter to real-time monitoring,” Duca said.

Duca went on to explain that security officers need to use software that can automate quietly in the background and make intelligent actions to prevent breaches and reduce risks. There is also the need to remember that every document opened or shared in the cloud creates more potential data that could be stolen and, therefore, it needs protecting. “It is important that CSOs don’t simply rely on a system to detect a threat or challenge in real time, but also think about minimising the risk.”

There are a raft of other skills that modern CSOs also need. Though many experts may be armed with technological know-how, it is also vital that they have business acumen. To gain adequate money, resources and tools to properly safeguard companies, CSOs must be able to communicate properly with board members and stakeholders. If this is lacking, many experts will not be able to conduct their role effectively.

Robert Half Asia Pacific Senior Managing Director David Jones explained that the IT security role has evolved over the past few years. Now, in addition to having analytical skills, candidates need to have extremely well developed communication and business acumen expertise. “CSOs with the ability to clearly articulate cybersecurity issues, and the impact a data breach can have on an organisation, in a language that senior management and non-IT employees understand, are highly sought-after,” Jones explained.

Many firms around the world continue to struggle in the recruitment of cybersecurity experts. The problem has been made worse by the evolving cybercrime world, with new technologies bringing security risks with them.



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