top of page

Essential Skills for Your Cybersecurity Team

Robert Mueller, the Former FBI Director, stated, “There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be.” 

Cyber threats are evolving with increasing sophistication. Building a robust cybersecurity team equipped with essential skills is critical. Here’s a guide to help get your organization up to speed on some of the crucial skills your cybersecurity team will need to navigate the complex threat landscape.

Technical Proficiency within Cyber Roles

The following skills represent the four most common security components within an organization. Each of these areas is complex and presents different types of cyber threats. It is important to understand the unique requirements of your open position. 

  • Network Security: Understanding network configurations, including firewalls, VPNs, and wireless network standards, is crucial. Your team should be able to monitor, detect, and prevent threats on the network level.

  • Application Security: With the proliferation of software applications, ensuring their security against exploitation is vital. Knowledge of secure coding practices, code review techniques, and vulnerability testing are key.

  • Cloud Security: As businesses migrate to the cloud, expertise in cloud platform architectures, cloud-based security protocols, and secure migration practices is essential.

  • Endpoint Security: Protecting the end-user devices that access your network (computers, mobile devices) from threats is critical. Skills in anti-virus management, encryption, and secure configuration are necessary.

Analytical Skills Boost Cybersecurity Teams

Following technical proficiencies within cyber talent, it is important to examine the analytical skills that will be required within an open role. What component of the position will require the candidate to ‘think on their feet’? Where has there been the most noticeable gap when handling past threats? 

  • Threat Intelligence: The ability to gather, analyze, and apply information about existing and emerging threats is fundamental. This involves understanding the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of threat actors.

  • Incident Response and Management: Skill in developing and implementing incident response strategies ensures your team can swiftly mitigate damage from security breaches.

Cybersecurity Professional Soft Skills

It is crucial to always remember that soft skills often contribute to team morale and culture. Assure that candidates for your open role rank high in the following categories. 

  • Problem-Solving: Cybersecurity professionals must think like hackers to anticipate and mitigate attacks. This requires creativity and a strong problem-solving mindset.

  • Communication: Clear communication skills are essential for explaining technical issues to non-technical stakeholders and for effective teamwork.

  • Ethics: A strong ethical foundation is crucial in a field where professionals constantly handle sensitive information and have access to critical systems.

Continuous Learning Within the Cybersecurity Community 

Cybersecurity professionals must stay up-to-date on the threat landscape to be effective. Continuing learning and specialized cyber-specific knowledge are critical to ensuring your team remains competitive against evolving threats. 

  • Adaptability and Continuous Learning: The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, requiring professionals to be lifelong learners and stay abreast of the latest technologies, threats, and defense mechanisms.

Specialized Cyber Knowledge

  • Regulatory Knowledge: Understanding relevant laws, policies, and regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA) is critical for ensuring cybersecurity strategies comply with legal standards.

  • Cybersecurity Frameworks: Familiarity with frameworks like NIST, ISO/IEC 27001, and CIS Controls helps develop, implement, and manage an organization’s security posture.

Cultivating Your Team’s Skills

Building a Cybersecurity team involves a blend of hiring the right talent, offering continuous training, and fostering a culture of learning and ethical responsibility. Encouraging certifications (e.g., CISSP, CISM, CompTIA Security+) can also potentially work to further validate skills and knowledge.

As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, the capabilities of your cybersecurity team must continue to also evolve. Focusing on a blend of technical proficiency, analytical capabilities, soft skills, continuous learning, and specialized knowledge, create a cyber team capable of protecting your organization's digital assets and maintaining the trust of your stakeholders. 


bottom of page