Six Skills You Need to Succeed in Cybersecurity

Secret Service Agent

One reason companies can’t find the cybersecurity professionals they need is that there just aren’t many true experts. If you want to be one, here’s the kind of skills and personal traits you need.


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17 Responses to “Six Skills You Need to Succeed in Cybersecurity”

March 03, 2012 at 6:45 am, bob said:

Not a comment but a question. Where can I have a good training on this field?


March 03, 2012 at 1:47 pm, John Zavgren said:

Excellent article. I agree with the author’s attitude about certification. I’ve taught courses (cryptography, Internet security, defensive coding practices, etc.) that have enabled my students to pass the CISSP examination. But, I’ve never seriously considered taking it, because it costs too much and the certification isn’t sufficient for professional competence.

I’ve seen a lot of job postings over the years that emphasize certification. I’m not sure that the potential employers really understand anything about security. One telecommunications company, who’s recruiter (a friend of mine) contacted me, merely wanted to fill a position for the lowest possible salary. The recruiter leveled with me: the executives of the company merely wanted someone to point to when the issue of security came up. “Look guys, we’re doing the best job with the best people”. I see all too much of this.


March 03, 2012 at 3:05 pm, Thomas W Thompson said:

I have 25 + years in IT. I hve been labelized as a PM generalist. I need help to take the next step in Cybersecurity. PLEASE HELP ME.


May 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm, Latrese said:

I would like to become marketable for employment in the wireless security sector. What type of education/certifications should I persue. I have Cisco CCNA and experience in LAN/WLAN Networking and Mobile Platforms


December 01, 2015 at 4:38 am, John Doe The 1337 said:

I have just started my Cyber Security degree, and it’s no joke. It’s my first year, and I just don’t get coding, it’s frustrating me specifically coding in .bash (Perl, C, C++, Python). Is it something that I will eventually get through just making simple scripts or shall I rethink my degree choice? I understand networking and VPN’s, hardware and software (linux OS’s, MS, Apple).

Thank you sir(s) and ma’am(s),


December 05, 2015 at 11:31 pm, sam said:

Many areas to cover… remember how to eat an elephant, one bite at a time!! I’m working on my Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity, and its a great challenge, my professor stresses generalism, knowledge of many things. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything, the greatest challenge in the world.


January 06, 2016 at 5:45 am, Myra said:


I just recently completed my CyberSecurity degree
and I experienced those same frustrations you are describing.

In short, it is imperative that an InfoSec (information security/cyber security) professional have the ability to *detect* and mitigate threats, risks and vulneralbilities in informational resources.

A popular technique of cyber criminals is hacking informational resources via loop holes/back doors in computer programs. Furthermore, an InfoSec professional can mitigate/respond to /eliminate *some* incidents/threats/risks via writing code.

That being said, to be an effective cybersecurity professional, understanding computer programming and the associated risks and vulnerabilities is very important. Your professors should have explained this if he/she is “any good”

Good Luck and hang in there!


February 10, 2016 at 8:45 am, Tati said:

If anyone needs training, offers a bunch of training courses for free. They have CISSP, Cisco CCNA, PMP, Ethical Hacking, CompTIA Security+, and a bunch of other stuff that might help you with advancing your career in Cyber Security.

There’s also Code academy for programming – Just depends on what you’re looking for.


November 02, 2016 at 11:39 am, amal said:

hi guys. i am a computer science engineer from Tunisia. i’m searching for a subject for my thesis in smart cyber-security so if can anyone have an idea or can help me. we don’t have many researches in this domain in my country. thnx


November 16, 2016 at 6:56 am, Chetan said:

I don’t know coding,can I take cyber security course?
Plz help me by giving reply…


May 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm, harry said:

Ability to get the job done……
name one job that doesn’t require this skill


July 02, 2017 at 12:02 pm, Sarah Beth said:

That would be a government job.


July 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm, Hashtag Realtalk said:

[John Doe The 1337 said: Greetings, I have just started my Cyber Security degree, and it’s no joke. It’s my first year, and I just don’t get coding, it’s frustrating me specifically coding in .bash (Perl, C, C++, Python). Is it something that I will eventually get through just making simple scripts or shall I rethink my degree choice? I understand networking and VPN’s, hardware and software (linux OS’s, MS, Apple).] Well, what happened? Did you rethink? I think you should have re-thought if coding “frustrates” you. Lots of cattle ranches need workers.


August 01, 2017 at 7:58 am, Simon Dean said:

Just to say a word to all frustrated InfoSec candidates: “Don’t proceed if you can’t enjoy it.”

The security industry is embarassed enough from people who join the field with no special interest to the topic and this is hurting the industry as a whole.

If you don’t like coding, pick a domain that doesn’t involve coding, for instance, network security. Coding is mainly for programmers who specialize later in the app security domain.

Security is not a specialization as a whole and you can’t never master it. However, you can specialize in one or two of its domains.


September 14, 2017 at 9:21 am, Erin West said:

I finished my Master’s in Info Sec last Dec-Management track and although I had 6 general classes that covered the domains for the CISSP, I did get to pick a few classes that interested me like Risk Management, Forensics, etc. I have no interest in writing programs myself, but have interest and experience in 3 of the domains. Your degree may be broad, but you as long as you know the principles, you will be fine.


October 11, 2017 at 7:26 pm, Cliff Randolph said:

This was a good article. It has a lot of good advice. However, as an IT Security Professional, how do you protect against the following:

-100 % of PC component manufacturing happening in China? (I have been shopping around for PC components that are not made in China. They are simply not available. Go down to Fry’s Electronics, search online, check out Best Buy, check out CDW and others if you don’t believe me.) How do you know that that device doesn’t have malware in it? Oh, the Chinese Government would never put malware in their products… yah right…

-How do companies protect themselves against offshore software development? Their vendors use them, they often use them, partners use them. It only takes one script to create a backdoor. And how many lines of code are in an organization or company?

-How does a company protect itself against devices that you aren’t the administrator of? BYOD is major problem, IMO.

-After reading the comments above, how does someone that wants to learn IT Security get the training he or she needs? Companies have outsourced a lot of their IT Development outside our borders so a lot of the expertise is elsewhere. And a lot of things change after 2-3 years… Organizations like EDD/Worknet aren’t providing this training. (I just checked into it and they provided a bunch of redtape and side talk. Fill out these forms, go online and fill out those forms, register with this site…. Guess what, I already did that and received zero responses….It’s frustrating, I know. And these agencies advertise training programs, but who’s getting the training? Is the money for these programs sitting in a pool somewhere?

-And finally why isn’t there a “Driver’s License” for Developers. Every time code is created, modern technology should stamp the creator of the code’s ‘drivers license’ on the code itself. This way the people creating malware could be caught and held accountable. And if they refuse to get a driver’s license, then their code won’t work. Technology companies would have to enforce this within their technologies. Let me say that I’m not a fan of this kind of Big Brother envolvement but there is so much hacking happening today that something has to be done… And if you are a Security Professional that says you haven’t been hacked, I would say that you just haven’t learned enough to detect it.


November 16, 2017 at 7:22 am, mary said:

Why isn’t there more stuff manufactured in the United States? There are lots of excuses. I find the lack of security in America terrifying. I don’t understand the reason that I need to put my money, time, and life at risk to use computers and the internet. There is too much importance placed on marketing and not enough on security.


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