Features of Hiring Cybersecurity Specialists
The growing sophistication of hackers and scarcity of cybersecurity specialists have led to more data breaches and financial losses for businesses. The figures are telling: in 2022 alone, organizations worldwide detected a staggering 493.33 million ransomware attacks.
This situation underscores the urgent need for top cybersecurity talent. As technology evolves and organizations rely heavily on digital systems, protecting sensitive data, and ensuring smooth operations have become critical goals. But, how can you find the right cybersecurity experts during hiring?
In this article, we will explore the key features of cybersecurity specialists that organizations should consider to strengthen their cyber defenses.
What’s a Cybersecurity Specialist?
A Cybersecurity Specialist is a professional tasked with protecting an organization’s computer systems and networks from a myriad of cyber threats such as malware, ransomware, unauthorized access, and data breaches.
Their responsibilities span from continuous threat monitoring and incident response to security analysis, compliance auditing, and staff training on security protocols. With a profound understanding of various operating systems, networking technologies, and security protocols, they stay updated on the latest cyber threat landscapes and countermeasures.
Features of Cybersecurity engineers
Let’s explore the key features of cybersecurity engineers that differentiate them from other players in the information technology field.
Cybersecurity engineers tend to be private individuals who value personal and professional privacy. They often prefer to keep a low profile and avoid publicity.
They use pseudonyms on social networks or resumes to maintain personal and professional privacy.
They possess a cybersecurity specialist certification or engineer degree certificates. This equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in this complex field.
Rarely transition to or from other tech domains, they exemplify a strong loyalty to their specialization.
They thrive on honing their skills in chosen areas or technologies within the cybersecurity spectrum, embodying a drive for continuous professional growth.
Features of hiring Cybersecurity specialists
When recruiting cybersecurity specialists, understanding their unique professional ethos and expectations can significantly streamline the hiring process. This section outlines key considerations to keep in mind during interviews, and how to foster an appealing work environment for these specialists.
- Scarcity of Candidates: The specialized nature of cybersecurity results in a smaller candidate pool. It’s wise to focus on the quality of candidates rather than expecting a large number of applicants. There are approximately 3.4 million vacant cybersecurity roles worldwide.
- Genuine Interest: These specialists are likely to engage in interviews only if they are genuinely interested in the position, reflecting a serious commitment to their career choice.
- Preference for in-depth cybersecurity specialist interview questions: Cybersecurity engineers prefer in-depth interview questions over test tasks. Instead of practical assignments, focus on conducting comprehensive discussions that assess their theoretical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and ability to think critically about cybersecurity challenges.
- Theoretical interviews: Due to strict non-disclosure agreements related to their previous projects, cybersecurity specialists may need help to provide practical examples from their experience. Therefore, interviews should typically revolve around theoretical scenarios and challenges relevant to the role.
- Attraction factors: To effectively attract cybersecurity experts, emphasize the following factors:
- Project/company value: Highlight the significance and impact of the project or company they would be working on.
- Contribution potential: Discuss how their skills and expertise could contribute to the development and success of the project.
- Investment in education: Stress the company’s commitment to investing in their ongoing education and professional development, including the support for acquiring new cyber security engineer certifications. These engineers highly value opportunities for continuous learning.
Cybersecurity professionals are generally technology-agnostic when considering job opportunities. Therefore, focus on these elements to attract and retain top talent in the cybersecurity field.
“It’s a good idea to cultivate such specialists right from university. Since they all receive a fundamental specialized education, with having a cybersecurity specialist certificate or two, and there are not many free candidates on the market, securing a specialist taken from the university is an excellent strategy to get your ideal candidate.”
Questions to Ask Potential Candidates
The questions you ask potential candidates for the cyber security engineer role will also play a huge part in attracting the right talent for your organization. Let’s look at some possible cyber security engineer interview questions.
- What aspects of our project/company intrigue you, and how do you envision your role contributing to its cybersecurity goals and objectives?
- What drives your passion for a career path in cybersecurity, and what strategies do you employ to remain current with the industry’s evolving trends and emerging threats?
- From your perspective, what are the most pressing cybersecurity risks confronting organizations today, and what strategies do you recommend for effectively mitigating these risks?
- Could you share an example of a recent cybersecurity challenge or threat scenario you encountered in your previous position? While respecting confidentiality, please elaborate on how you approached the situation and the outcomes achieved through your actions.
- Considering your experience, which certifications or specialized areas of expertise are you pursuing or planning to follow to keep abreast of the continually evolving cybersecurity landscape?
While it may seem easy, navigating the cybersecurity landscape can be daunting. To make things easy, consider partnering with a staffing provider who can find the right expert for your organization. Newxel is your ideal partner for this mission. Our cybersecurity services can connect your business with top cybersecurity professionals from around the world.
The trends in the Cybersecurity field
The escalating cyber threat landscape and the ongoing war in Ukraine have triggered different trends. Nations are rapidly digitizing their operations, while organizations and individuals are increasingly prioritizing robust cybersecurity. Some more trends in the industry are:
- High demand for IT security specialists: The growing complexity of cyber threats has led to a surge in demand for IT security specialists. More companies are struggling to find qualified experts to fill cybersecurity roles. In the coming months and years, the demand for skilled IT security experts will increase even more.
- Expansion of university cybersecurity programs: To meet the demand for skilled professionals, universities are opening specialized cybersecurity programs. These programs equip students with the skills needed to combat evolving cyber threats. This trend will ensure a pipeline of skilled professionals entering the cybersecurity workforce.
- Military emphasis on IT security specialists: The military increasingly recruits specialists to safeguard digital assets. These professionals are vital for managing drones, securing equipment logistics, and protecting sensitive military data from cyber threats, reflecting the broader importance of cybersecurity in national security.
- Zero trust cybersecurity: The “zero trust” approach to cybersecurity is gaining prominence. It involves continuously verifying users, devices, and applications, irrespective of their location, before granting access. This strategy enhances security by assuming that threats may exist inside and outside the network perimeter.
- AI and ML integration: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are increasingly being integrated into cybersecurity practices. These technologies enhance threat detection, automate incident response, and improve overall cybersecurity by identifying patterns and anomalies that traditional methods might miss.
- Adoption of Cybersecurity mesh: The concept of a cybersecurity mesh is becoming more prevalent, with organizations moving away from traditional perimeter-based security. Rather than relying solely on perimeter defenses, the cybersecurity mesh extends security controls and measures to various points within an organization’s digital environment. This includes endpoints, devices, networks, and individual applications or workloads. This offers more flexibility and adaptability in protecting an organization’s digital environment.
- CISO role expansion: The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role is evolving. CISOs are taking on more strategic responsibilities beyond traditional cybersecurity management. They are becoming critical players in overall risk management, compliance, business continuity planning, incidence response, and aligning security strategies with organizational goals.
Where to hire IT cybersecurity specialist
Whether you’re looking for a dedicated team to handle your cybersecurity needs or simply want someone to augment your cybersecurity team, consider tapping into a global talent pool. Here are some of the top countries where you can get your desired talent.
Poland has a vibrant IT industry and a large pool of skilled cybersecurity specialists. The government’s proactive approach to cybersecurity education and training, as part of its national strategy through the Poland National Research Institute (NASK), makes it an attractive destination for organizations seeking cybersecurity professionals.
The Turkish Cyber Security Cluster, a collaboration among public sector institutions, academia, and private sector cybersecurity companies, is a testament to Turkey’s investment in its cybersecurity industry. The country’s strategic location bridging Europe and Asia further enhances its appeal for talent acquisition. It’s worth noting that Turkey has recently gained attention for its exports of cybersecurity solutions based on the “zero trust approach.”
Estonia is known for its expertise in designing security systems, cryptography, electronic ID, and Blockchain. The academia, industry, government, and military collaborations offer a unique cybersecurity R&D, testing, and management environment. Estonia ranks #5 globally in cybersecurity and produces experts well-versed in cybersecurity policy and governance, making it an excellent choice for IT security roles.
Lithuania and Latvia
These Baltic countries have been producing skilled professionals across various cybersecurity domains. Lithuania currently ranks 6th in the Global Cybersecurity Index, while Latvia ranks 15th. Both countries offer a growing pool of cybersecurity experts.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has led to the emergence of a robust cybersecurity market in the country. Ukraine’s cybersecurity expertise has been honed through practical experience from dealing with cyber threats, especially in the military sector. The country’s computer science programs and a surplus of qualified engineers make it an ideal choice for organizations seeking professionals capable of architecting and implementing projects from scratch and penetration testers.
Germany and Switzerland
Germany and Switzerland have heavily invested in cybersecurity specialists. Switzerland, in particular, is known for its expertise in encryption, protecting sensitive data, and advanced blockchain and smart-contracting technology. These two countries are prime destinations for fintech-focused cybersecurity experts.
Pakistan is a rapidly emerging destination for cybersecurity talent. The country’s universities are nurturing a new generation of professionals equipped with the skills required to combat modern cyber threats, thanks partly to Pakistan’s establishment of the National Center for Cyber Security (NCCS). This makes Pakistan an increasingly attractive destination for cybersecurity professionals.
It’s important to point out that the USA and Israel are the world’s biggest consumers of cybersecurity expertise. They often look to countries like the ones mentioned above to access a diverse pool of cybersecurity professionals with varying expertise and backgrounds to strengthen their security measures.
Knowing what to look for when investing in a software engineer cyber security specialist is crucial. However, it’s equally important to recognize the advantage of leveraging an IT staffing partner to access a global pool of top talents. With Newxel, whether you’re building your cybersecurity infrastructure from the ground up or need to hire reverse engineering developers to boost your network solutions, we can connect you with the experts you need.