Good Legal and IT Help is Hard to Find

Due to the influx of employees working remotely and the need to straddle multiple regulatory frameworks, the already hyper-specific expectations that legal and IT professionals have for cybersecurity support has dropped even more so than expected. 

Here are three critical qualities employers are looking for:

1. Lifelong Learner

Because the cybersecurity environment is rapidly and continuously changing, employers are looking to hire lifelong learners — those who are agile possess a natural curiosity and have an affinity for learning new, in-demand skills. According to a recent Infosec report, “Cybersecurity professionals are lifelong learners, constantly fine-tuning their skills. Hiring managers want to see that you’re dedicated to keeping up with changes, developments, and emerging trends.”

Despite a continued emphasis on skills, law firms and legal departments may soon be less concerned with formal degrees. As Nick Grimm, division director of Parker + Lynch IT & Engineering, said in a recent Law.com report, “I do think the employer will have to be open to the idea of ‘my candidate doesn’t have a cybersecurity degree, but I’m going to look past that and actually talk to this person and see what the skill level is.’” 

2. Insightful

In the world of cybersecurity, there is always a new puzzle to solve, a new opportunity to rise to the challenge, and with each technological update, unknown risks are created. According to Renee Walrath, Founder of Walrath Recruiting, “A good cybersecurity professional needs to see problems from both sides.

They have to be in the mindset of the company, thinking of what they want to protect. They also have to look through the lens of an external threat and perceive any weaknesses or places to attack. Having both perspectives will make it easier to build a strategy to defend against external threats.”

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3. Plain Speaker

Many roles require cybersecurity support staff to communicate extensively with non-technical staff, including legal departments. In these situations, cybersecurity professionals will need to break down complex concepts into everyday language. Hiring managers want someone who can explain a complicated technical problem to a colleague or client who doesn’t have their level of technical understanding.

According to Scott Laliberte, managing director at Protiviti, “The ability to communicate issues in non-technical terms that business people can understand is a key attribute in attaining leadership positions in this field. Finding a candidate that has a balance of strong technical skills, business acumen, and communication aptitude is extremely rare, but those candidates will go very far.”

Final Thoughts

Despite the demands of a cybersecurity career, the future appears to be wide open. According to the Cybersecurity Jobs Report 2018-2021, in 2019, there was a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals, and by 2021 there will be 3.5 million open cybersecurity positions available worldwide. 

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