Cracking the code: How to find, retain, and grow cybersecurity talent
Cyberattacks not only highlight data safety concerns, but also the skills gap in the cybersecurity industry.
While cybersecurity breaches occur for a number of reasons, perhaps the reason of the most pressing concern is a workforce unable to keep up with quickly developing software, and increasingly sophisticated methods of attack.
Although hiring is a priority for cybersecurity companies and internal IT departments alike, the skills gap is causing many of these roles to be left unfilled.
In an interaction with People Matters, thought leader Camellia Chan, the CEO and founder of X-PHY, a Flexxon brand, helps crack the code towards hiring and growing cybersecurity talent.
How the skills gap arose, and how it can be resolved?
Technology cycles are becoming shorter and shorter - making it difficult for organisations to keep pace. This rings the most true when it comes to software development, specifically.
However, when it comes to hardware and firmware, the longevity of technology is extended. As such, very specific niche skills are required to continuously develop the types of innovations needed to generate true value to users – such as in the cybersecurity space.
What skills should managers look for when hiring cybersecurity talent?
It goes without saying that being technologically savvy is essential in the cybersecurity industry, and that those who are in the field will minimally need to be able to take responsibility for things like maintaining information security systems, continuous network monitoring, providing real-time security solutions, etc.
Cybersecurity certifications are also a must. However, when looking for star cybersecurity talent, managers should seek those with:
- Problem-solving skills - It is imperative that those working in the cybersecurity sector are able to find creative ways to take on and address complex security challenges across a variety of existing and emerging technologies and digital environments.
- Close attention to detail - Missing the smallest security detail can cost an organisation millions of dollars. Having an expert that pays close attention to detail while under pressure is critical to ensure a company's safety.
- The hunger to continuously learn - the technology landscape is always evolving, working to keep pace with an ever-changing world (i.e., the economy, pandemics, epidemics, political unrest, and much more). With these constant technological changes, security measures must evolve alongside them or else cybercriminals will take advantage of any security gaps created. A skilled and qualified cybersecurity expert knows this and will make sure to continuously learn about changes in technology to remain agile and relevant at all times.
The do’s and don’ts of talent retention and revamping old job postings
- Do support individuals in all stages of learning
- Do empower employees to upskill
- Do invest in employees’ continued education and provide skills matching initiatives
- Do mention that you offer the things mentioned above in your job postings to entice top talent to work for you
- Don’t forget that employee engagement.is critical to keeping top talent
- Don’t ignore that poor employee benefits and/or annual compensation is important for maintaining employees’ happiness
- Don’t neglect the importance of career development opportunities
How to prioritise upskilling, foster a dynamic learning environment
The global tech talent shortage is an issue for many corporations. In response to this challenge, we created an R&D lab, known as Flexxon’s Innovation Lab.
The intention of our Innovation Lab was not just for commercial R&D purposes but to foster greater collaboration and cooperation among employees, while facilitating the exchange of skills among our employees. The lab functions like our very own sandbox to push the envelope, strengthen team dynamics, and deliver an enriching environment to our employees
We regularly invite cybersecurity experts from our board of directors in addition to individuals from external sources to share with our team. As a result, many employees have joined with a niche skill set and have since expanded that skill set over the course of their time with us. Through this, we have built a safe and exciting environment for the cross-sharing of skills and experience – from software and firmware developers to hardware equipment development.
We also have remote workers collaborating with our local team. Our core development team is based in Singapore, with sub-teams across Asia in countries such as Pakistan, India, Vietnam, and Cambodia.