Essential Skills to Look For in a Cybersecurity Consultant

It may surprise you that technical skills alone do not define the best cybersecurity consultant. Indeed, state of the art technical knowledge is required, but the skill set of an expert consultant firm ranges beyond just the technical. Since the nature of cybersecurity breaches are continually changing, it is vital that the team of a cybersecurity firm contain individuals who have strong analytical skills as well as creativity to solve your specific issues with the most advanced techniques.

  1. Technical Skills

As a basic requirement, the cybersecurity team needs to have a thorough understanding of programming, software development, and analytical skills. Teams who have worked successfully for more than a decade on this issue have a proven track record of experience. But the team must also be willing to investigate unique approaches as the cyber hackers are continually coming up with innovative ways of breaching your security. The team needs to have knowledge of operating systems, how firewalls work, and network load balances. You can expect that the cybersecurity team will want to make a detailed investigation of your particular system to define your risks in detail. Demonstrated proficiency with Java, and several other scripting languages are essential as is knowledge of C/C++, dissemblers, and assembly languages.

  1. A Multi-faceted, Comprehensive Approach

However just bolstering your approach to cybersecurity is not sufficient in keeping your data and operations safe from hackers. Along with strong skills in cybersecurity, your team needs to be proficient in network services, unified communications, data center design, and cloud solutions. In Australia, the recently introduced law that requires companies to disclose all privacy breaches has driven most businesses into becoming more comprehensive about the protection of personal data. A unified, systematic approach will ensure that your business is secure from attack.

  1. Testing your System as a Standard Practice

Also, the cybersecurity firm will also need to run vigorous testing of firewalls to locate any breaches so that solutions can be found. The testing of your systems needs to be on an ongoing basis.

  1. Creativity

Your team needs to have a full breadth of knowledge to come up with innovative solutions that suit your needs. The shifting sands of the nature of attacks demand effective responses. Understanding the core issues while finding solutions to meet your needs demands a thorough technical background as well as a solutions-oriented focus.

  1. Keeping Apprised of New Attack Approaches

Your cybersecurity team needs to be dedicated to upgrading their knowledge as cyber hackers devise new ways of penetrating your defenses. Some solutions to new threats may require technical responses, others may be helping your staff understand how they can be a line of security as well. Your cybersecurity team also needs to be aware of any changes in government regulations so that resources can be devoted to making your enterprise compliant with the most up to date requirements. Your firm needs to think like a hacker.

  1. People Skills

For cybersecurity to delve into the details of your system, they will need to be able to interview staff to understand standard operating procedures in your environment. Ability to relate to people in a non-threatening or highly technical manner will enable your security team to gain an accurate view of the human side of your operations.  It is amazing to imagine that 95% of breaches are due to human error and have nothing to do with your IT department. Sometimes, despite your best technical efforts, breaches occur due to a lack of understanding or an incomplete process on the part of the staff. For example, specific technical privileges may be a requirement of individual projects. But when the project ends, there needs to be a process in place to stop the vulnerable access as well.

It is a fact the over 90% of malware is delivered through email. Consequently, it is vital that your staff understand the importance of being prudent with email and attachments. Your cybersecurity team needs to inform staff about different methods of handling questionable situations.  Many businesses are now more vulnerable in this area as the staff uses a variety of mobile devices. What might be an acceptable personal practice, can put your business at risk.

Your expert cybersecurity team will have methods of helping your staff maintain security when they are offsite and most likely using mobile devices. Something as simple as refusing to use free public wifi, but always using VPN (Virtual Private Networks) can make a significant difference to your level of security.

As well as providing pertinent information, your cybersecurity team will run tests simulating phishing schemes to enhance your staff’s understanding of what a risky situation looks like as well as to underscore the nature of undesirable behavior.

  1. A 24/7 Approach on Cybersecurity

Since security breaches can happen at any moment, your team needs to be available always to minimize the damage to your business. There should be a professional and timely response to your problems at any point in the day. You need to count on your cybersecurity firm to respond quickly to any attacks. Downtime is a costly venture.

Your investment in the right cybersecurity firm will be invaluable for reducing the likelihood of significant data and revenue theft, ensuring consumer confidence, and protecting your well-deserved, excellent reputation. Use these seven criteria to select an experienced, professional firm that is at the top of their game.

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