Here are the soft skills you’ll need to blossom in information security
Cybersecurity is quite technical but it is as much a people’s business as it is a computers’ one. As a cybersecurity professional, you will have to deal with a lot of people and their problems because ultimately it is the people who are building the machines, using the machines and it is the people who are hacking them.
Whether it is cracking social engineering or looking for insider threats, or finding vulnerabilities in the source code written by a software engineer, having non-technical skills or soft skills becomes a key part of your job.
Now, these are things that you will not be taught in your CEH course or a CHFI course but you can always acquire them if you find that you don’t have them already. Here is a list of the most common but not all soft skills that you will need to excel in your information security career, no matter which industry or country you’re working in.
1. Agility: Agility means the ability to quickly understand something and in cybersecurity, thinking on your feet comes in handy in quite a lot of situations, for example responding to a threat or fixing a vulnerability. This is something that you won’t be taught in your ethical hacking training course or incident response course but if you have this characteristic intrinsic to you then it will benefit you a lot in your professional life.
2. Problem-solving: Creative problem-solving is essential to the business of cybersecurity. Information security, or any other security domain for that matter, is not a static and boring field. There are hundreds of problems at every step that cybersecurity professionals need to solve and finding solutions to fix something can be quite a rare talent that only a few people enjoy. If you have a knack for problem-solving and thinking out the box, then this is the correct field for you and you can really go places applying your talent and securing the digital world.
3. Organisation: Organizational skills are very important to lead a productive and efficient life. However, not everyone enjoys having this skill inherited in their personality. But this is something that you can learn with time because as a cybersecurity professional, you will need to follow procedures, methodologies and manage a lot on your plate. Organizing your workflow and tasks would, thus, streamline your work and help you make zero mistakes in your delicate job.
4. Communication: Communication is key to a successful professional life. Whether it is networking with your peers or convincing your superiors about your ideas or decisions, effective and clear communication plays a key role in your cybersecurity career especially because a lot of your fellow workers won’t understand the technical language you speak.
5. Leadership: A lot of employers look for leadership qualities in their cybersecurity employees because they are looking for thought leadership and management qualities in the people they hire so they can expand their cybersecurity teams with the least effort. Leadership is an essential quality in any job and it is not something that you can learn instantly. There are a lot of supporting characteristics that you need to implement in your life, like taking initiatives and staying positive, to become a leader in every aspect of your professional life.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t learned these soft skills in your training, you can always take online courses to learn these on your own and add them to your résumé to kick off your golden career as a competent and valuable information security expert in the industry.