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10 Cybersecurity Skills Every Team Needs in 2022

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By: Cybrary Staff

April 8, 2022

It’s often said that the only constants in life are death and taxes. For businesses, however, cybersecurity skills might also make the list. Even as pandemic pressures have battered small businesses and enterprises over the past two years, malicious actors have been finding new ways to exploit new remote frameworks and compromise key systems.

The result? Effective cybersecurity is more important than ever in a post-COVID world. Here are ten skills that security teams need to navigate 2022.

Application Monitoring

Applications are the lifeblood of business operations. From in-house applications tied to legacy systems and proprietary frameworks to software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings that empower staff to complete key tasks more efficiently, applications are everywhere.

They’re also an ideal attack path for cybercriminals. If attackers can compromise apps without detection — even those that aren’t tied to critical systems — they may be able to move laterally across your network and breach key data. To address this issue, teams need skilled staff capable of tracking resource requests, flagging potential issues, and deploying proactive solutions such as runtime application self-protection (RASP).

Cloud Evaluation

The increasing use of public, private, and multicloud environments is ideal for ongoing hybrid and remote work operations. But more clouds also mean larger attack surfaces and more potential weak points for attackers to compromise.

Cybersecurity staff with in-depth cloud knowledge are now invaluable in efforts to reduce total risk. Organizations benefit from essential cloud evaluation practices, including the continual assessment of cloud risks and the determination of which data should be in the cloud or kept on-site.

Data Analysis

More cyberattacks mean more data. From information about where, when, and how cybercriminals breached key systems to data trends that may indicate where attackers will strike next, companies have an invaluable security resource on-hand — if they know how to use it. By equipping staff with the skills and training they need to actively analyze this data and determine the best course of action, businesses are better prepared to meet emerging challenges.

Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence takes this analysis a step further to flip the script on attackers and discover environmental indicators that suggest the likely path of new attacks. Companies that leverage smart threat intelligence can therefore gain an advantage when cybercriminals come calling. Development of these skills requires the right combination of training, talent, and personality traits, such as the ability of staff to make decisions under pressure and respond to events in real-time.

Incident Response

Despite best efforts, no protective plan is foolproof. This means that all networks and services are under continual risk for . Accepting this reality sets the stage for security improvements.

In practice, this means equipping teams with the incident response skills necessary to create, test, and modify in-depth response plans that reduce the short-term impact and long-term risk of compromise. From creating callout lists to assigning specific tasks and conducting regular incident response (IR) assessments, these skills are a core component of successful cybersecurity strategies.

Compliance Assessment

Depending on the type of data collected, stored, and handled by your organization, differing compliance rules apply. For example, health data is covered under HIPAA, while credit card information falls under PCI-DSS. If the individuals supplying this data live in specific locations — such as the EU or California — additional rules such as CCPA and GDPR may apply.

In-depth compliance assessment skills are therefore critical to ensure businesses don’t accidentally expose personal data to risk and run afoul of regulatory expectations.

Identity and Access Management

Who has access to your data? Why? When? The better your answers to these questions, the better equipped you are to detect and defend against potential incidents.

What this looks like in practice differs based on business needs — you might adopt a two-factor authentication strategy to reduce risk while keeping the process simple for users, or you might opt for a zero-trust network access (ZTNA) approach that makes in-depth verification a priority.

No matter your approach, you need staff skilled in the management and monitoring of these solutions.Your staff should have the skill sets necessary to understand how multiple access frameworks interact across your network at scale.

Communication Skills

As IT and cybersecurity teams become critical to business success and building ROI, there’s an increasing need for technology professionals to communicate with C-suite leaders and other departmental managers. The result? Communication skills are now in demand. These skills include the ability to effectively disseminate highly technical information to non-technical staff, as well as inform key organizational stakeholders about how current security efforts enhance day-to-day operations.

Penetration Testing

By thinking like hackers, security teams can stay ahead of the curve. Penetration testing skills make it possible for IT professionals to “attack” their own networks and see what happens. After pen testers uncover system flaws, security teams can then take action to remediate these vulnerabilities and close off potential avenues of compromise before actual attacks occur.

Here, both reputable training courses and regular testing timetables can help teams improve their penetration testing frameworks. Such proactive planning and training will help to frustrate hacker efforts and stop them in their tracks before they can disrupt your systems.

Cybersecurity Curiosity

Many of the skills above — from penetration testing to threat intelligence to data analysis — can be cultivated through IT training and certifications. But these skills alone aren’t enough. Staff must also be curious about the evolving world of cybersecurity and how it may impact current operations. From keeping up with the news to actively seeking out new training opportunities, curiosity is critical.

2022 promises to be a banner year for attackers, but it’s not all bad news. Equipped with the right skills, cybersecurity teams can shore up current defenses, anticipate future threats, and reduce the risk of compromise.

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