Your Cybersecurity Team Requires These Skills

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Dec 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

Cyber attacks have escalated sharply in recent years, affecting companies of all sizes, in all industries. In 2017 alone, cyber attacks are expected to cause a whopping $5 billion in damages – a fifteen-fold increase in just the past two years. At the same time, a shortage of IT professionals with cybersecurity skills means many companies are facing an uphill battle to keep systems and data secure.

It’s estimated that by 2019, there will be a global skills gap of 2 million cybersecurity professionals. Not only do 40,000 information security analyst jobs go unfilled in the U.S. every year; an additional 200,000 cybersecurity roles need workers with specific skills and knowledge.

Experienced security analysts and security managers are in high demand, and employers realize the benefit of hiring staffers with industry certifications such as CISM (Certified Information Security Manager), CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) and CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker). These types of certifications provide workers with skills and resources that can be invaluable in identifying potential systems weaknesses and responding to information security incidents.

Here Are The Skills You Need To Look For

Even if you think your company’s IT department is fully staffed today, you will likely need to add more information security professionals over the coming years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of information security analysts is expected to grow by 28 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Here are the skills you need for your cybersecurity team: 

1. Security engineering

Security engineering tries to prevent cybersecurity threats by building, designing, and testing a complete and secure system. This starts your cybersecurity on the right foot from the very beginning. Without this step, you are opening up your network to threats. Security engineers need to build a network that is safe, dependable, and secure, but also includes measures to protect from threats that have yet to come. 

2. Encryption

You'll want to protect not only your network but your actual data and files. Companies who are using the cloud will benefit greatly from having encryption strategies. They will protect hard drives, data, and files that are traveling in an email, browsers, or into the cloud itself. Even if data is intercepted, hackers can't do much with the encrypted data because it is unreadable to those without the encryption key. It's best to implement this encryption from the beginning, rather than an afterthought. Your workflow should integrate this seamlessly so that you can be successful at protecting your data. 

3. Intrusion Detection and Breach Response

Before a breach occurs, you'll need to detect intrusions. Network intrusion detection systems (NIDS) should be put in place to passively monitor the network traffic. If any behavior seems suspicious, the system will flag it for review. They will also block that traffic and gather information about it while alerting network administrators.

Sometimes, breaches can still occur, so having a breach response expert would be ideal. Their duty would be to create a data breach response plan. A solid breach framework would need to be ready to act when triggered. This plan would ensure preparedness with resources, set of instructions for sealing the breach, and any follow up actions. This could range from insurance, legal assistance, data recovery, or notifying important and relevant partners about the issue. 

4. Firewall Development

Firewalls are great software to have if your network is connected to the web. It will keep unwanted visitors and malicious software outside the network where it belongs. With firewall software, you can prevent data interceptions, block malware, and keep important information, such as passwords or confidential data, from leaving your private network. Unauthorized users won't have a chance of accessing your network without knowing the set of rules designed into the software. 

5. Vulnerability Analysis

If you want to scan your networks fro holes and vulnerabilities, you'll need a security analysis and vulnerability assessment done by a professional. This way, you can identify where there are problems and close them off before they grow into bigger problems. One tool for this would be security analysis software. Its job is to prioritize each vulnerability and address it with "protect, detect, and react" security plans. Hackers will often be looking for the same vulnerabilities in your computer, network, or communications infrastructure, so it's important that you beat them to the punch. 

6. Penetration Testing

Along with you vulnerability analysis, you'll also need penetration testing, which is deliberately probing a network or system to find any weaknesses. A network administrator who has experience with penetration testing can help you locate issues and patch them so you will be protected in the future. You can either run manual or automated processes that infiltrate servers, applications, networks, and end users' devices to see if it is possible. If it does occur, it will let you know where the break-in was able to be successful. This will keep vulnerabilities on the radar and give auditors proof of compliance.

Heading off these problems, before they happen, can save you time, money, and agitation. That being said, this process is a constant practice, not a one-time thing. On special occasions like a new office location, you're going to want to engage a penetration testing specialist. Security patches can be issued on site, and your network infrastructure will stay safe in real time. 

7. Security Information and Event Management

If you need to keep your eyes on every touchpoint, try security information and event management (SIEM). It encompasses everything in its approach to monitor and gather details about IT security-related activity. This can be detected on servers, endpoint devices, and security software like NIDS and firewalls. SIEM systems will compile the information and make it centrally available so that you can manage it and analyze it in real-time. It can even identify any patterns that stand out. These systems aren't easy to set up and maintain, so it's crucial that you engage a skilled SIEM administrator to successfully catch suspicious activity.

8. Cybersecurity: HTTPS, SSL, TLS

To keep information private on the web, we need to have a grasp on the different standards and protocols for how information is sent over the internet. HTTPS protocols can conceal and protect data in browsers. If you want secure communication channels, implement TCP/IP protocols (with cryptography measures woven in) and encryption methods like a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or a Transport Layer Security (TLS). In addition, anti-malware and anti-spyware software are critical to monitoring incoming internet traffic or malware like spyware, adware, or Trojan viruses. Keep them installed and regularly updated if you want to benefit fully from this software. 

9. Endpoint Threat Detection

Teach your employees to follow good security practices to prevent ransomware attacks. This includes having antivirus software, the latest OS, and backing up data to the cloud and a local device. It gets even more complicated when you add in multiple personnel, systems, and facilities. The devices that your users use can be the weakest link in the security chain. Endpoint security experts help prevent data loss and theft where it most frequently enters and leaves the network with users. If you need someone to implement authorization technology that grants a device access to your network, employ an endpoint security specialist. Their job would be to implement various levels of protection. 

10. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Endpoint security includes other important security strategies like data loss prevention (DLP). This is a proactive strategy that gives steps to ensure no sensitive data is sent from the network, whether on purpose or by accident. If you want to monitor your end users, DLP software can watch your network to make sure users aren't copying or sharing private information or data. This is definitely more of a proactive practice as opposed to reactionary software. 

You Need Cybersecurity Professionals

The need for qualified information security professionals is only expected to rise over the next several years. Keep your data safe by investing in your organization’s cybersecurity efforts.

To find out how Infinity Consulting Solutions can help you find talent with the specific skills and experience you need, contact us today.

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