Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Careers & People

11/4/2016
07:30 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

How Businesses, Employees Can Navigate The Security Hiring Process

At Black Hat Europe 2016, security experts weigh in on how companies can build strong security teams, and how employees can educate themselves to meet business needs.

Businesses face complex and dangerous threats in the evolving world of cybersecurity, but one of their greatest obstacles is hiring the right talent to fight them.

At Black Hat Europe 2016, experts discussed how organizations can manage the skills gap through best hiring practices and education. On the other side of the interview chair, security pros can be more effective by learning industry-specific skills and how to talk with the business.

A 2016 survey of Black Hat USA attendees revealed organizations acutely feel the security skills gap. When 250 respondents were asked why their security efforts fail, 37% cited "a shortage of qualified people and skills," and noted a lack in staffing, budget, and training.

More than two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents felt they did not have enough training and skills necessary to perform all of the tasks required of them. Nearly 75% felt they didn't have enough staff to defend their organizations against modern threats.

There are a few ways security pros can effectively improve their knowledge, skills, and capabilities, said Bob Lewis of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA).

An annual report from ISSA and the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) discovered the most popular options for security education included attending specific security training courses (58%), participating in professional organizations (53%), and on-the-job mentoring from a more experienced security pro (37%).

Education may be part of the solution, but it's also part of the problem. Trained security professionals are in higher demand, Lewis noted, and often tough for businesses to keep.

"The average lifespan of a CISO is two to four years," he explained. "There's a lot of churn, it's essentially a seller's market," and it's easy for skilled pros to find lucrative job offers. Nearly half (46%) of ISSA/ESG survey respondents were contacted by recruiters at least once a week.

Current and aspiring security professionals also struggle to establish career paths in the evolving industry, Lewis continued. Factors including the diversity among focus areas, lack of well-defined career road maps, and rapid industry changes which mean cybersecurity pros are not only undertrained, but unsure about what they need to learn.

So which skills are most critical for security pros navigating the job market?

"We need someone to explain technology in business terms," said Floris van den Dool, Accenture's managing director for security services in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. "Can we make our technical issues, our technical findings relevant to the business? That's what I'm looking for when I recruit people."

Van den Dool also noted a growth in demand for industry-specific technical skills. For example, someone applying to a cybersecurity position at a bank or telco network should possess skills relevant to their desired industry.

"There's a big shortage of skills like that," he said. "I think that's where the next wave of security will take us." 

Owanate Bestman, information security contract consultant at Barclay Simpson, cautioned against overloading your resume with too many certifications. While some, like CISSP, withstand the fluctuation in security trends, certifications don't convey excellence in softer skills that security pros also need.

"Communication, curiosity, etc. don't come with a certification, they come with the individual," he said.

Both experts stressed curiosity and experience as important factors for current and aspiring security pros. Applicants should be able to discuss their project experience and how their work influenced the business.

"The main thing in security is you have to be curious, you don't have to be afraid of technology, and you have to understand the business you want to secure," said van den Dool. "Learn, have technical curiosity, and think 'What can do wrong and how can I prevent it?'"

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/9/2020
Omdia Research Launches Page on Dark Reading
Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading 7/9/2020
Mobile App Fraud Jumped in Q1 as Attackers Pivot from Browsers
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  7/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15105
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
Django Two-Factor Authentication before 1.12, stores the user's password in clear text in the user session (base64-encoded). The password is stored in the session when the user submits their username and password, and is removed once they complete authentication by entering a two-factor authenticati...
CVE-2020-11061
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
In Bareos Director less than or equal to 16.2.10, 17.2.9, 18.2.8, and 19.2.7, a heap overflow allows a malicious client to corrupt the director's memory via oversized digest strings sent during initialization of a verify job. Disabling verify jobs mitigates the problem. This issue is also patched in...
CVE-2020-4042
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
Bareos before version 19.2.8 and earlier allows a malicious client to communicate with the director without knowledge of the shared secret if the director allows client initiated connection and connects to the client itself. The malicious client can replay the Bareos director's cram-md5 challenge to...
CVE-2020-11081
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
osquery before version 4.4.0 enables a priviledge escalation vulnerability. If a Window system is configured with a PATH that contains a user-writable directory then a local user may write a zlib1.dll DLL, which osquery will attempt to load. Since osquery runs with elevated privileges this enables l...
CVE-2020-6114
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
An exploitable SQL injection vulnerability exists in the Admin Reports functionality of Glacies IceHRM v26.6.0.OS (Commit bb274de1751ffb9d09482fd2538f9950a94c510a) . A specially crafted HTTP request can cause SQL injection. An attacker can make an authenticated HTTP request to trigger this vulnerabi...