Introduction: Why You Need a Cybersecurity Team
Cybersecurity has always been essential to any industry. But it has become even more critical in recent years. In 2022 alone, the average weekly cyber-attacks per organization worldwide reached over 1,130. A 28% increase followed this in global attacks in the third quarter. With cybersecurity threats growing yearly, building a cybersecurity team has never been more vital.
Ensuring your organization is adequately prepared for the worst possible cyber threat starts with assembling an agile, diverse, and high-performing cybersecurity team. The dangers of a dysfunctional security team are catastrophic. It can cripple entire business operations, break customer trust, dent your credibility, and lead to millions of dollars in damages.
Building a cybersecurity team will help you manage two crucial business components; risk and cost. The right team of professionals is responsible for securing IT infrastructure, edge services, data, and networks. But how do you get the right cybersecurity team?
Here, we’ll discuss how to build a cybersecurity team and what to look for when hiring talents for your security team.
Skills to Look Out for When Building a Cybersecurity Team
Technical and non-technical skills are essential when building a cybersecurity team. When hiring for your security team, there are specific professional skills you should look out for beyond the job role.
In-demand Technical Skills to Build Your Cybersecurity Team
Here are some technical skills that will set candidates apart:
- Malware analysis: Having a skilled malware analyst on your team ensures your organization deeply understands the attacker's tactics and techniques. As such, the team can detect malicious code, rootkits, viruses, worms, or files and prevent them from gaining persistence and destroying sensitive data.
- Data analysis: Knowledge of data analysis and visualization software can give organizations a comprehensive overview of internal and external risks. The data analyst on the team can quickly alert the decision-makers about potential fraud, strange network traffic patterns, security breaches, and hardware malfunctions.
- Cloud security: Cloud services improve information security with stricter access control. This ensures your data and applications are easily accessible to authorized users. With a reliable way to access cloud applications, you can immediately address any potential cybersecurity threats.
- Insider Threat Management: Most cybersecurity teams focus too much on addressing external attacks that they forget insider threats. This can lead to sensitive data leakage, data breach, and damage to a company’s reputation, which doesn’t look good to customers or potential investors.
- Ethical Hacking: Since you’ll probably face many hackers, it’s best to look for ethical hacking skills when building your cybersecurity team. Ethical hacking involves legally breaking into a system to look for vulnerabilities and work out ways to reinforce them to prevent cyberattacks and security breaches.
- Computer Forensics: Although cybersecurity and computer forensics are separate, they're closely related. So, a foundation in computer forensics would be an added advantage. Preserving the integrity of evidence in case of a legal case will come in handy. It'll also help your team understand how to recover compromised data.
Non-Technical Skills You Need When Building a Cybersecurity Team
Although in-demand technical skills are essential, non-technical skills are also critical in a cybersecurity professional's day-to-day activities. These soft skills complement technical skills, helping organizations assemble a robust team.
Here are some non-technical skills that you should look out for:
- Teamwork: Although the best cybersecurity teams must be empowered to make individual decisions, working collectively is equally important. As cyber attackers find new ways to compromise security systems, each person’s skills will be crucial for your cybersecurity team to achieve a common goal.
- Problem-solving: Team members must find creative ways to handle complex information security challenges across legacy, modern technologies, and digital environments.
- Analytical thinking: Many top cybersecurity companies want candidates for information security roles to possess analytical thinking skills. This helps them examine data, find patterns and trends, and formulate solutions.
- Leadership: This is especially important when hiring an executive team member, such as the Chief Information Security Officer.
- Communication and Collaboration: Communication is critical to agile security teams. It is the foundation of relationships between each professional and the entire organization. Cybersecurity communication will help the company address risks faster and more effectively.
- Attention to detail: Cybersecurity teams will be responsible for continuous network monitoring to identify vulnerabilities and threats and provide real-time solutions quickly. Hence, they need to be highly vigilant and detail-oriented.
How to Build a Cybersecurity Team
Are you planning to create a cybersecurity department in your organization? You first need to create a cybersecurity plan. Here’s what you should know to build a high-performing InfoSec team:
Understand the Ultimate Goal of Your Security team
The first step in building a security team is identifying the group's goal. Have you faced countless cyber attacks in the past, and you're creating this team for that? Or maybe you've seen how other companies suffer from attacks, and this is a proactive approach.
Understanding the ultimate goal will help manage a cybersecurity team effectively, define processes, hire the right talents, and choose the appropriate technology stack. This will also help you outline processes for your red and blue teams and if you need a white, green, or purple team.
Prioritize Fundamental Cybersecurity Skills
Many candidates will look good on paper, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're the best for the job. Traditional degrees and qualifications may look glamorous but technical expertise and real-world experience should weigh more.
Look out for skills like secure software development, analytic and diagnostic skills, and a profound understanding of network architecture. Soft skills like excellent communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking should not be ignored.
First Look Inward
Recruiting outside talent will always be a step in developing your cyber team. But it's crucial to first concentrate on improving and growing an already-existing team. Reviewing your current staff not only offers the highly alluring prospect of career advancement and self-improvement, but it may also save you time and resources compared to training new employees on certain networks and systems.
By showing prospective outside candidates that your organization is committed to professional advancement, building an internal talent pool can help boost the caliber of applications.
Find Complimentary Skills
When you build a cybersecurity team, finding a candidate who complements the existing organizational structure, skills, and personnel is important.
Although each team member should have a few core skills, developing a team with various complementary abilities will maximize your operation's potential and help protect against the always-evolving spectrum of cybersecurity threats.
Diversity Is Important
When drawing a cybersecurity strategy; having team members with experience in various areas of the industry will be beneficial when putting together your team. This is because having a variety of perspectives when building your security controls will only strengthen the overall program and security infrastructure.
Diversity should also cut across gender, sex, race, class boundaries, and disabilities. This will help provide insights and knowledge from different backgrounds, increase productivity, and ensure relevance in the future.
Invest in Upskilling and Education
Any cybersecurity plan you develop will need a skilled group of qualified cybersecurity experts. There are new security threats daily, and attackers use emerging technologies to breach complex security infrastructure and access sensitive data. And cybersecurity is an industry where you must be ahead of the game every time.
It's essential to constantly provide advanced cybersecurity training to your security team to ensure they have the appropriate skills to prevent and solve cyber-attacks.
Fortunately, cybersecurity teams can continue working while learning simultaneously. For example, you can upskill your cybersecurity team for free with Cybrary. Your security team will gain access to a suite of courses, hands-on practices, real-life scenarios, and other learning activities.
Different Types of Roles for Your Security Team
When building a cybersecurity team, there are roles you should look to fill. This is important when you're trying to hire talent. Here are ten roles that should make up your cybersecurity team:
- System Administrator: A System Administrator sets up and maintains a system or specific system component. This includes installing, configuring, updating software and hardware, and conducting backup and recovery.
- Software developer: To ensure secure software development and automate repetitive processes when developing security systems.
- Penetration Tester or Ethical Hacker: A Penetration Tester simulates cyber-attacks against your security system to identify exploitable vulnerabilities.
- DevOps Specialist: To streamline communication and collaboration between the security and engineering departments.
- Data Loss Prevention Specialist: To manage disruptions in business continuity when sensitive data critical to business operations is compromised or lost.
- Identity and Access Manager: To enhance security and provider greater control over user access to your system.
- Security Architect: To evaluate organization security and provide a robust security architecture framework.
- Incident Response: An Incident Handler minimizes the impact of data breaches or other incidents and the time it takes to respond to them. This also includes financial and reputational implications.
- Risk Manager: To establish the company’s existing and potential risks, completing risk assessments and ensuring overall cyber risk management procedures.
- Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC): Also called Privacy Officers, their responsibility is to align IT with business goals and mitigate risks. Privacy officers must also ensure the organization meets all industry standards, such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and government regulations. For example, depending on your location, you'll need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Building a cybersecurity team can be a time-consuming process. However, with the proper guidance, you can assemble the best team to secure your entire business operations and keep you from losses. This guide will help you understand how to build a cybersecurity team and choose the right fit.
Providing career advancement and self-improvement is a sure way to keep cybersecurity talents. You can build your cybersecurity team to a formidable level through Cybrary’s range of learning activities. Learn technical and non-technical skills, including hands-on learning with real-world cases. Start for free now.