No information system can be completely secure without a team of people with diverse talents and specialized knowledge working together to keep it secure.
Information security is all about depth of layers and diversity of knowledge, experience and skill. Having diverse players in multiple roles with various sorts of expertise and experience on one cybersecurity team prevents groupthink and blind spots and allows everyone to develop a higher degree of expertise within their own specialty. Think of a good law enforcement team or an effective law firm. Along with dexterity and skill with the tools of the trade, these teams also require mental agility, creativity, eagerness to learn, communication and negotiation skills, integrity, and empathy. Cybersecurity teams require the same.
Cybersecurity is a critical aspect of organizational health due to the rapid growth of technology and our dependence on technology to grow and sustain business. For any organization to be successful it needs a cybersecurity team that is effective and able to readily adapt when necessary. Cybersecurity teams with members who possess experiences in other fields such as telecommunications, engineering, programming, accounting, finance, education, law, design, art, robotics and other disciples are teams with an advantage over malicious hackers and their simple and sophisticated attacks.
Teams with a depth and breadth of experience have an ability to effectively detect and identify any security violations and threats, making it easy for them to counterattack and prevent any damage that might be caused by the attack (Florentine, 2017).
Complexity of cybersecurity threats continue to grow, calling for more expertise, agile thinking and creativity in cybersecurity (Ismail, 2018). Today, hackers are using all sorts of creative techniques to find vulnerabilities in people and loopholes in systems, therefore, there is need to change from the normal way of dealing with threats and coming up with other new ways that can counter and prevent attacks successfully.
It’s also important that organizations mix seasoned cybersecurity experts with IT backgrounds with people of other skill levels and backgrounds to have a well-rounded team. Everyone on the team does not need to have an IT background, in fact, a deliberate search for cyber-professionals without an IT background will only enhance cybersecurity teams and their effectiveness. New threats emerge constantly, and no system is without flaws. Moreover, a business’s most urgent needs will require changes to the underlying information system, each with the possibility of introducing new vulnerabilities.
While advanced degrees and certifications are useful and necessary in several roles, learning, training and education remain key to staffing and maintaining a well-oiled cybersecurity team, and members in every role benefit from diverse backgrounds and experiences in and outside the field.
Don’t be afraid of diversity in all its forms. Embrace it and see how your team and organization profit.
By Cheryl Abram, Instructional Designer
Florentine, S. (2017, September 28). 10 critical security skills every IT team needs. Retrieved from https://www.cio.com/article/3228965/10-critical-security-skills-every-it-team-needs.html.
Ismail, N. (2018, May 15). The importance of creating a cybersecurity culture. Retrieved from https://www.information-age.com/importance-creating-cyber-security-culture-123465778/#.
Zadelhoff, M. van. (2018, February 6). Cybersecurity Has a Serious Talent Shortage. Here’s How to Fix It. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2017/05/cybersecurity-has-a-serious-talent-shortage-heres-how-to-fix-it.