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How To Build An Effective Cybersecurity Team And Its Importance To Organizations

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By: Nihad Hassan

March 17, 2022

Digital transformation is moving quickly and reshaping how businesses work and interact with customers and other third-parties partners. The increased dependence on digital solutions to conduct most work operations has brought numerous advantages to businesses, such as better scalability, reducing costs, and facilitating remote work; however, it also comes with a price. Cyberattacks have become commonplace today, and hackers are racing to invent new methods to attack their targets.

For any organization, building an effective cybersecurity defense strategy requires combining tools or technological solutions, processes, and people. The security tools or solutions range from Firewalls, IDS/IPS, NDR, and reaching to SIEM and SOAR systems. The processes dictate work performances according to security standards and policies. However, the critical element of any cyber defense strategy is the people because people will manage the other two sides: tools and processes.

This article will discuss the main elements IT managers need to focus on to build a successful cybersecurity team. Keeping your team motivated and continually progressing is essential to fight against the growing number of cyber threats in today's complex IT environment.

How to build a successful cybersecurity team

Going years back, no one has imagined that cybersecurity would become an issue. However, after the spread of computers and networks, attacking systems become feasible remotely.

Deploying security solutions was the people's response against attacks carried out by other people, or in other words, the bad guys. We meant to say here that cybersecurity is not a technological issue; instead, it is a people issue.

People are responsible for initiating cyberattacks; at the same time, other people configure cybersecurity defense solutions to mitigate and halt such attacks. The primary defense element here is the human, and building a successful cyberdefense team is a key to responding to today's cyberattacks and cyberattacks in the future.

The following strategies will help IT managers keep their cybersecurity team motivated to enhance their performance and do their job right.

Appreciate The Human Element In Fostering An Organization Cyber Defense

All employees, or the cybersecurity team members, must appreciate their essential role in stopping cyberattacks and protecting the proprietary information of their organization and customers. As an IT manager, you should ensure that all your team members take the cybersecurity requirements seriously and follow the best security practices during work and even in their personal lives when posting personal information to social media platforms.

Many organizations see security as a technological problem; they utilize the latest defense solutions. However, successful IT managers ask their security team members to play the role of advisors for other no-technical employees. For example, the security team must teach other employees about the danger of phishing emails and other social engineering attacks. They should ensure other employees understand how cyberattackers can penetrate their accounts remotely and the severe consequences of such actions on the organization if a data breach occurs.

Make Sure Your Team Understand The Big Picture

The complex threat landscape and the hybrid deployments (cloud and on-premises) of most organizations' IT environments increase the pressure on security teams to ensure the security of their organization's digital assets and IT infrastructure. For instance, when your organization operates or handles clients' personal information in different countries, it becomes subject to numerous data protection regulations, such as GDPR, PCI DSS, and HIPAA. Your security team members must understand that their role is not just to configure the security solutions and ensure cyberdefenses are working correctly. Still, they should also understand the regulatory compliance their organizations are subject to appreciate their essential role as the primary defense line to protect the most precious asset of an organization: data.

Train Your Team

Technology is changing rapidly. To cope with the latest technological advancements and understand the newest cyber-attack techniques and how to mitigate them, your security team members must continue their education, or lifelong learning, to remain in line with modern technological advancements.

IT managers should encourage their team members to follow online courses, read books and articles, and provide incentives to acquire professional certifications to hone their skills.

Employees' training will strengthen their technical skills and make them more capable of stopping unknown and advanced cyberattacks. Still, it will also make their social life more balanced through continual personal development.

Create A Diverse Cybersecurity Team

Building an inclusive cybersecurity team is critical for achieving higher performance. For instance, creating a team from various cultural backgrounds and different work experiences will enrich the cybersecurity team when the members learn t from each other. Another crucial asset to consider is to have a safe physiological environment where all team members can openly and freely shoot out their opinions. Such an environment is critical to fostering innovation and building trust among all cybersecurity team members.

Focus On Your Team Soft Skills

Technical skills (known also as hard skills) are not the only skills needed to create successful cybersecurity teams. Soft skills are also essential for the proper functioning of security teams because it complements members' hard skills and helps them thrive in today's complex IT environment. Cybersecurity soft skills include the following:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Integrity and loyalty
  • Research skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Technical writing skill
  • Ability to collaborate with other people/team members
  • Have a passion for continual learning
  • Social communications skills

Focus on the organization's mission

All organizations exist to work towards a unified mission. IT managers should always remind their team members about their organization's mission. They should clearly understand why their organization exists and their role to achieve the organization's objective and mission.

Many people look at the work of the IT security team as being solely related to the technical side. However, this is not accurate. Many employees wish to join a specific company because they like its mission and want to achieve its objective.

Transparency

Now that all team members understand their organization's mission statement and the big picture of their work, it is time to be transparent. Transparency in work refers to informing employees about the motivation of their organization's decisions in various areas. Your employees will become more willing to accept top management decisions because they know why they exist.

Summary

People are at the heart of any cyber defense strategy; all defense solutions will fail without people. This article discussed the different processes your organization, or IT manager, should consider creating a successful cybersecurity team.

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