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Keys to Hiring Cybersecurity Pros When Certification Can't Help

There just aren't enough certified cybersecurity pros to go around -- and there likely never will be enough. So how do you fill out your cybersecurity team? Executives and hiring managers share their top tips on recognizing solid candidates.
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Look for Related Skills

While he holds a cybersecurity certification, Tripwire's country manager for Canada, Irfahn Khimji, CISSP, doesn't think certs are a "must" for new members of the security team. "The biggest thing I look for are transferable skills. A good candidate is someone who can think outside of the box, is eager to learn, and has a drive to be successful," he says.

Some of the related skills executives look for can be quite specific. "One of the things we've found to be good indicators for candidacy in cybersecurity roles are proficiencies in scripting languages like PowerShell and Python," says Adam Laub, CMO at Stealthbits Technologies. "Proficient scripting also indicates a willingness to get one's hands dirty -- undoubtedly a desirable trait for a cybersecurity professional."

And the field of parallel skills isn't just the place to look as a fallback position. "We believe the first place to look is at roles with parallel skill sets. Help desk, desktop and server administrators, and application developers are all great recruiting pools," says Joe Moles, vice president of customer security operations for Red Canary. He provides a concrete example of this: "Individuals who are skilled at troubleshooting network problems are typically very good at investigating network anomalies, which translates to a great basis for a network security analyst," he says

(Image: weerachai VIA Adobe Stock)

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   OVER THE EDGE
Building Cybersecurity Strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Filmed for Dark Reading News Desk at Black Hat Virtual.

LAURA TICH: We have that imbalance, where the big organizations are more protected, where the smaller ones -- which are the most common businesses in the region -- they are least protected... Sometimes they do get the tools, they do get the funding to buy some critical tools, but there's a lack of skills to handle or people who understand how to work those tools. So there are a lot of factors that contribute to our growth -- or lack thereof -- in the cybersecurity industry.

 

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