In the past, the job of cyber security could sufficiently be handled by anyone in the IT department. These days, with attacks becoming more frequent and complex, more and more organizations are recognizing the need to hire a designated cyber security incident response professional to help protect sensitive data from landing in the wrong hands. If you’re considering recruiting someone for this role within your company, here are 5 key characteristics to look for.
Experience & Tech Know-How – It may go without saying, but it’s important enough to warrant mentioning that the right candidate for the role of security executive should have adequate experience in that area. This means a background not just in IT, but specifically in managing the entire cyber security incident response process, preferably including the use of automation and other systems and sophisticated strategies. Accolades like Masters Degrees are impressive, but keep an open mind and remember that hands-on experience is often much more valuable than a diploma.
Leadership Ability – Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to designate an entire team who will exclusively work on developing, implementing and managing your cyber security incident response plan. Even if you don’t currently have that need, if growth is one of your business objectives, chances are there will be a need in the future. As such, you want to choose an executive that has proven ability to effectively manage and lead others.
People Skills – The task of cyber security isn’t exclusive to the IT department. In fact, it should encompass many other areas and key individuals of the organization, including other executives. For this reason, the person in charge of your company’s security should possess the necessary skills to be able to work well with others on every level both within and outside of the IT department.
Aptitude for Innovation/Analysis – Another component of cyber security incident response is the role it plays in developing best practices and furthering business growth initiatives. This requires a leader that has the skills and ability to gather and analyze data so that appropriate reporting can be done in areas like accounting, marketing and more. The ideal candidate will have experience in the decision-making process and also be capable of identifying opportunities where they exist.
Global Outlook – Cyber criminals hail from every corner of the earth. For this reason, the individual in charge of incident response must have a keen eye for global trends as well as the ability to see things from a broader perspective. From guarding against internal threats to staying abreast of the latest in phishing tactics to preparing for complex, multi-device and intercontinental attacks, the role of security executive runs the gambit. The right person for the job must be mindful of this and well prepared to keep the organization a step ahead of those who seek to do it harm.
With the rapid increase in frequency and complexity of cyber-attacks, the need for dedicated security executives is equally on the rise. The five skills listed above can help you identify and select the ideal candidate for the job on the very first try, saving you time, money and aggravation and keeping your company safe from would-be attacks.