The Essential Soft Skills that Cybersecurity Professionals Need to Succeed
While technical knowledge is, of course, essential for cybersecurity professionals, the importance of soft skills cannot be overstated when it comes to leading successful security teams and defending against cyberattacks. Personal qualities can make the difference between effective and ineffective implementation of security strategy.
The Identity Theft Resource Center recorded 1,862 data compromises in 2021—over 68% more than in 2020. To protect their critical assets, detect breaches, and quickly respond to security incidents, businesses need to hire cybersecurity professionals who can design and implement effective policies and processes.
Cybersecurity Career Outlook
The demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing as organizations prioritize the security of their IT infrastructures and sensitive data. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that information security analyst will be one of the fastest-growing occupations this decade, growing by 33% between 2020 and 2030.
Consequently, recruiters and companies are looking for competent cybersecurity professionals with cohesive, field-relevant skill sets. However, many of these cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled, as there’s not enough qualified talent to meet demand.
The Importance of Soft Skills in Improving Cybersecurity Career Opportunities
While technical expertise is an important criterion, recruiters also look for candidates who have excellent communication and other soft skills. Cybersecurity professionals and recruitment leaders report that a lack of candidates with well-honed soft skills impedes their ability to hire for security roles.
A cybersecurity role requires the ability to deliver assignments on time, as well as problem-solving abilities, analytical thinking, and leadership skills. Communication and teamwork skills also help cybersecurity professionals forge stronger relationships with their employers, colleagues, and other professional contacts.
Top Soft Skills for Cybersecurity Professionals
Aspiring cybersecurity professionals need to develop a strong set of soft skills while honing their technical competencies. Whether in a leadership or management position or a more technical security role, cyber teams are responsible for ensuring that organizational security policies are implemented successfully. They may also need to step in to explain technical issues to a predominantly non-technical workforce.
EC-Council University (ECCU) students are taught to leverage their technical and soft skills to their advantage, learn from mentors who are also industry experts, and improve their skills through hands-on learning. Let’s look at some of the soft skills that constitute an essential part of ECCU programs.
Composure Under Pressure
With technology advancements, organizations are under constant threat of cyberattacks. Cybersecurity teams have the crucial responsibility of ensuring that there’s a contingency plan for threat situations to minimize damage from breaches, such as exposure of sensitive information. Consequently, cybersecurity professionals need to be able to thrive under pressure and calmly lead their teams in stressful situations.
Inquisitiveness and Desire to Learn
Companies worldwide are constantly upgrading their technology stacks to keep pace with competitors and take advantage of innovations. In this continually changing landscape, having an inquisitive mindset and a passion for learning is always advantageous for a cybersecurity professional
Curiosity about how technologies function, a keen interest in learning new subjects, and an enthusiasm for identifying emerging cyber risks puts you one step ahead of cybercriminals as a security expert. At ECCU, students are trained to think like a hacker and find creative and reliable solutions to beat adversaries at their own game.
Teamwork and Communication
Cybersecurity is not a one-person job; keeping cyberthreats at bay is a team effort. A cybersecurity professional must work in sync with team members as well as other departments to fulfill their responsibilities and achieve business objectives.
To perform their jobs well, cybersecurity professionals must collaborate with colleagues and build trust when securing their organization. ECCU’s curriculum and lab activities, based on real-world scenarios, are designed to teach graduates how to effectively collaborate with their peers.
Caution and Meticulousness
As cybercriminals are always becoming more advanced in their attacks, cybersecurity professionals need to be careful and rigorous in developing approaches to fight back. This means methodically thinking through how an attack could happen and what steps need to be taken to secure the infrastructure. At ECCU, students are taught to design a caution-based defense model to safeguard organizational assets in the event of a cyberattack.
Honesty and Ethics
Even the best technical skills will only get you so far without a strong code of ethics. Cybersecurity professionals are tasked with critical work, and practicing honesty in the workplace ensures that they can build and maintain open lines of communication. When cybersecurity professionals are open, ethical, and honest, they promote trust among their employers, coworkers, and clients. At ECCU, students are taught the values of trust and integrity.
EC-Council University: Your Gateway to Cybersecurity Learning
ECCU provides a top-notch educational experience in cybersecurity. ECCU’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are comprehensively curated to impart industry-relevant skills to students.
Soft skills training is an important aspect of ECCU’s teaching methodology. We’re committed to helping our students develop the personal qualities, knowledge, and abilities needed to thrive in cybersecurity management, leadership, and technical roles.
Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), ECCU is the perfect choice for your cybersecurity education needs, offering degree and non-degree programs. Through our courses taught by industry practitioners and seasoned mentors, students graduate with invaluable hands-on experience.
Identity Theft Resource Center. (2022, January 24). Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Annual Data Breach Report sets new record for number of compromises [Press release]. https://www.idtheftcenter.org/post/identity-theft-resource-center-2021-annual-data-breach-report-sets-new-record-for-number-of-compromises
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fastest growing occupations. In Occupational outlook handbook. U.S. Department of Labor. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm
Zurier, S. (2021, May 17). 56% of security professionals say today’s cyber workforce lacks soft skills. SC Media. https://www.scmagazine.com/editorial/news/2021-rsa-conference/56-of-security-managers-say-todays-cyber-workforce-lacks-soft-skills