We’ve talked about the many reasons why it’s a great moment to get started in cybersecurity. But the truth is while anyone can gain the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to work in cybersecurity, it probably isn’t the right fit for some. Certain personality traits and characteristics will help you perform better and understand if the career interests you. So, have you got what it takes to be successful as a cybersecurity professional?
This article reviews the most common traits found in successful cybersecurity professionals to help you understand if this field is for you.
1- A Passionate Learner
Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field. Hackers are always looking/creating new ways to hack into software and hardware, forcing security professionals to improve their protocols and establish new ones to keep their data safe. A good cybersecurity professional is a continual learner and takes advantage of continuing education courses to stay on top of what’s happening in the field to keep his/her skills up to date.
Not everyone enjoys spending “after work hours’ studying and improving on what they are doing daily. However, the best cybersecurity professionals understand that this is key to stand out from the pack and be successful in their careers.
2- Someone who Plans Ahead
A cybersecurity plan is only as strong as its weakest link. Anyone who works in the field must understand this. To be a successful professional, you need to be always thinking defensively and for anything and everything that could go wrong when creating a security plan or protocol. With this mindset and approach, you will be able to identify vulnerabilities and patch them.
The trick is that it is not just about planning. At the same time, a great cybersecurity professional is someone that can handle last-minute changes. As we mentioned, hackers are constantly improving their attacks and scams, and as organizations fix old vulnerabilities to their data, products, and services, new ones are created.
3- Enjoys Being Challenged
Working in cybersecurity means expecting unpleasant surprises any hour of any day. As you learn about vulnerabilities and how to patch and fix them, you will suddenly be challenged by a new problem or a scenario where one threat was to take your attention away from the real threat. Is it stressful? Of course, but it is also a highly satisfying job when you successfully defend against an attack. Anyone who wants to work in cybersecurity must understand that challenges are normal. New ways of attack are always being created, new vulnerabilities are being uncovered, and hackers work 24/7 to win the battle over the good guys.
4- An Individual who Masters Communications
If you believe that cybersecurity is just about working in front of a computer and having no human interaction, then you have watched far too many Hollywood movies and have no idea of what it really means to work in cybersecurity and to be the “go-to guy.” Cybersecurity professionals need to master their communications skills as they are responsible for teaching security best practices to every department in the organization while also ensuring that protocols are followed. Besides, you will need to create reports for non-technical people, such as the management team, explaining security plans and any threat that might have happened. And you have to have strong customer interfacing skills as you will need to talk and negotiate with vendors.
In other words, a successful cybersecurity professional is one who can explain (verbally and in writing) technical things to non-technical people. You are a leader, and leaders need to communicate to earn individual trust. The power to communicate and convince will be your secret weapon.
5- The Worker who Handles Pressure
The cybersecurity professional does not panic under pressure or run away from workplace chaos. A good cybersecurity professional understands that they are responsible for protecting the organization’s assets and that hackers are working around the clock to figure out how to make new orchestrated attacks on information technology structures. Hackers don’t take a day off; they don’t work strictly during office hours.
Cybersecurity is constantly in the news. Every day we are reading about a company or organization getting hacked, a new data breach, and the field’s growing talent gap. The best cybersecurity professionals excel under stress and pressure.