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Cybersecurity's 'Broken' Hiring Process
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InfoSecurityMaster
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InfoSecurityMaster,
User Rank: Strategist
10/12/2017 | 9:13:35 AM
"Broken Hiring Process"? what process?
The article's title presumes that there is a process.  Most recruiting, from the candidate's viewpoint, it haphazard at best.

HR generalists and recruiters are mostly not competent (not equipped, to be nice) to recruit security professionals. 

Another major problem is that positions are not properly and consistently categorized.  I can see two positions with near IDENTICAL veribiage, and when I inquire on compensation, there can be a $10k, $20k, $30k or more difference.  The detail here is that HR doesn't have context to know if they are filling a firewall admin or security/SOC analyst v filling an ISSO or Security Engineer or Security Architect (or CISO). When they realize they really want an ISSO or Security Engineer, they are going to have to up their game $25k or so. 

Part of this stems from Infosec not defining the differences between technical security (e.g. firewall) and infosec management (e.g. ISSO, CISO).  DoD has a policy defining these (by associated certifications), but I dont think that is widely known. 

My attempt to train the recuiter-seekers is to re-work my resume to list the Roles I fulfill, Qualifications and certifications, Goals and Skills. The lastly, Experience/Job list.  Word search only will get then so far; they are going to have to read my story before they get to review former employers.  You would be amazed how many interviews are not interviews - only review of former employment. Ridiculous waste of my time.  Listen to what I am telling you (I AM the Expert, after all).

Oh, and how did that HR miss the clues of "'didn't look into your eyes'" as a possible indicator of extreme competence?  Just read "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" to gain some insight. 

I can only hope this gets cross-posted to some HR/Recruiting sites.....
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
10/12/2017 | 9:49:02 AM
Re: "Broken Hiring Process"? what process?
Great insight, @InfoSecurityMaster. I especially appreciate "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" reference. =) 

The disconnect between traditional HR recruitment and hiring and recruitment and hiring for cybersecurity was something that was apparent in job descriptions, but to hear more about the recruitment and interviewing challenges was eye-opening. Some of these orgs are basically working around HR to find people. Really interesting stuff.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
10/16/2017 | 9:52:59 AM
Re: "Broken Hiring Process"? what process?
> HR generalists and recruiters are mostly not competent (not equipped, to be nice) to recruit security professionals. 

Call me a mean ol' cynic, but I've come across enough recruiters in my time to be of the opinion that there is no need "to be nice" here.

Many HR people look for the wrong things, ignore the right things, and make up a list of arbitrary boxes to tick. Many recruiters have perverse incentives to either cast the net as broadly as possible or to look for the exact-match purple squirrel. They all give their profession bad names -- and they are far from the exception (at least around these east-coast big-city parts).

And, in many cases, they can't fill the cybersecurity and data-privacy positions because they are underpaying and/or undertitling.
InfoSecurityMaster
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InfoSecurityMaster,
User Rank: Strategist
10/16/2017 | 11:55:25 AM
Re: "Broken Hiring Process"? what process?
Sure. Exactly: look for the wrong things, ignore the right things

Says it all, Joe S

It appears that the wide net approach is most common.  Are these guys working in sweatshop conditions? OR do they get credit for every response regardless of outcome. This seems very unlikely, but....
SotarrTheWizard
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SotarrTheWizard,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2017 | 8:00:22 AM
Re: "Broken Hiring Process"? what process?
Actually, when I do get a call from one of these recruiters, you can often HEAR the multiple conversations going on in background, suggesting a "boiler-room" operation, an open call center.  And, just as invariably, the callers are equipped with thick sub-continent accents, suggesting that the call is actually from overseas, and only appears to be domestic, thanks to cheap VOIP PoPs. .  .
guypod
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guypod,
User Rank: Author
10/12/2017 | 5:04:51 PM
Expanding to other teams
While hiring security professionals in a better and more diverse way is indeed critical, IMO the true key to scaling security is empowering the non security team to embrace security practices, building security in
InfoSecurityMaster
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InfoSecurityMaster,
User Rank: Strategist
10/13/2017 | 12:36:33 PM
about The Report
Great to get the actual report.

As per my previous post, the premise is sound (IMEEHDPO).  However, from an analytical perspective, it seems to be a bit small sample.  This can and should be updated, perhaps with partnering with am Infosec organization, like ISC2, ISSA and/or ISACA.  Any of these could provide a wide and large set of security professions to interview. And ISC2 does an annual salary survey.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
10/16/2017 | 9:48:01 AM
Just like everything else.
Everything described here is typical.

Posted job salaries get negotiated upward -- especially if the candidate is smart enough to know that they are in high demand.

And jobs sit for months -- even years -- vacant in every industry. And the longer they sit vacant, the less likely candidates are to apply for those jobs.
Lorita77
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Lorita77,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2017 | 12:28:02 PM
I'm Living Proof of. Broken HR recruiting for Cyber Security
I'm a career changer with 20 years of project management, developing and managing database, and data analytics experience; I've received my Masters in Cybersecurity in May 2017and had a five month internship in Security. I was told by a prominent Consulting firm that I was being offered a position, and the recruiter asked for my salary request and I informed her my request and she stated, "I don't want to waste your time and I will discuss your salary with the hiring manager and I will get back with you." Needless to say, I never heard from her again. I've been told by corporate recruiter I didn't have enough expirence for an entry level position. I'm finding out my cyber security education and my transferable skills means nothing to the recruiters. I just obtained my Security + certification and I have a secret clearance. I've been networking for over a year. I'm struggling to secure employment in the cyber security field. I recognized that the cyber security jargon vary. The cyber security language needs to be standardize and the field must create employment standards and rating based on education, experience and certifications. There are candidates who are taking and passing certificates exams with little to no education and experience in the cyber security field and they're getting employed without the foundation that is gained via a formal higher education programs. From my experience the recruiters are gate keepers who will not admit that they're not capable of recruiting new and experienced talented cyber security professionals. Thankfully I have employment in my current career field which pays me what I'm worth.
InfoSecurityMaster
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InfoSecurityMaster,
User Rank: Strategist
10/18/2017 | 5:00:41 PM
Re: I'm Living Proof of. Broken HR recruiting for Cyber Security
Oh, Lor! this just makes my head hurt.. . . Where to start?

(I WILL be contradicting myself, so fasten your seatbelt and make sure your table is in the upright position...)

Your career is just all over the map, so to speak.  MS-Sec - check.  Security+ - WHATT?!?! STOP - get a CISSP (you probably wont need a prep boot camp, but get a review book in case you are unsure of content). OR a CISM, or a CRISC or a CGEIT. (ALL ISC2 plus MOST ISACA will do). I  mean, do you really want to reboot firewalls (SEC+).  the ones I noted match in varying degrees to your PM experience, and data analytics will only better.  Or better yet, get all then go for EE Council CCISO. this is how YOU GET APPROPRIATE SALARY. 

AND join the groups - ISSA, ISACA in particular. There might be chapters near you. Isc2 also has some chapters.

But the job ratings in Infosec are inconsistent (did I say that in previous?) - 2 nearly identical requisitions can have salary variations of $20-40k. 

You have experience, just need to twist it in to infosec lingo. Not data analytics: SEIM. (not best example, but I'm living on red bull now). not PM: security mgt. 

then mix with certifications. security is strangely addicted to them mostly. ignoring degrees. what you lack in security work, paint with certs. I listed the CCISO to illustrate the breadth that infosec is moving towards. I've done systems and networks, but now I emphacize scheduling and analysis and management.

Some look for degrees.  I post for some that I am overqualified for, but then get turned down because I dont have a masters. but if they dont ask for certifications, I suspect they have less of a clue.

I dont agree with those exam passers and certifcation addicts that do a week long cram so they can pass a test either. and many have so many certs you wonder if they actually do work.  For myself, I've been doing security for around 20 years, so I dont need to cram; I hardly need to study (CISSP with only a book review for a few specifics like crypto-passed on first. CAP with only an online seminar because I already mostly memorized SP 800-37; also passed on first).

Take the words in PM and data analytics, and find in infosec literature. and also vendor webinars. that will help you to tie the two to security and improve your chances. look at any book or other webinars on the certifications too.
VitalyG
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VitalyG,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2018 | 10:34:45 AM
Re: I'm Living Proof of. Broken HR recruiting for Cyber Security
CRISC, CGEIT are irrelevant certifications
C-CISO is just useless.


Once you got CISSP or CISM there is completely no reason to continue pursuing the rest.

 

And if you have 20 certifications in your title - where do you get time to squeeze in some work?

 

Not to mention, that those top certifications require few years of actual experience and are not available to fresh graduates. 
CyberMark
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CyberMark,
User Rank: Strategist
10/19/2017 | 9:37:36 AM
Re: I'm Living Proof of. Broken HR recruiting for Cyber Security
Interesting post seems we are both in the same position, I to have completed my Master's in Cyber security and am giving up on finding employment. I love the ethical hacking "Pen Testing" side of security, and have sent my CV to about 50 agencies and have had not one single reply. I'm really not sure what to think or what the future holds. I'm sick of seeing reports about the massive shortage of cyber professionals though.  

 
SotarrTheWizard
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SotarrTheWizard,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2017 | 5:19:23 PM
Tales from the Field. . .
. . .   I've been a cybersecurity pro for 15-20 years (depending on how you count it. . .)

Recruiting is getting more random every year, from what I see.  I get generally 5-10 solicitications per week.  But 95+% are clean misses: they appear to be the result of 1-2 keyword searches and a resultant email blast.   For a contract of short duration at about a third to a quarter of my current compensation, in a far distant location.    I suspect these are actually designed to generate rejections for US Candidates, in order to enable a slot for an H1b canidate from overseas.

The few that ARE decent matches still offer insufficient compensation, claiming "that's all the market will bear".  Which seems odd, considering the widespread reports of massive Cybersecurity talent shortages, especially as the mid and senior levels.

It's gotten to the point where I amuse myself by writing rude commentary on the more clueless pitches. . . . which, I suspect, will be a book, sooner or later. . .
rbcashlc
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rbcashlc,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2018 | 2:29:16 PM
Polluted and perverted
The current hiring environment for InfoSec is as my subject line says "polluted and perverted'.  It is polluted due to the fact that every garage-based staffing wannabe knows how hot the sector is and so the constant pummeling of marginally attractive 'opportunities'.  Add to this that most HR shops really have no clue of any details of our professional specifics, so here comes the cutting and pasting of buzzwords and lengthy generalizations. Truly, the weeds are outgrowing the lawn and until there is some strict learning curve success in HR/recruiting/staffing, I do not see an end to it.


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