We previously wrote about how major increases in cyber threats has led to a soar in the drive to source fresh cyber security expertise into a broad range of industries.
Now, we speak to Terry Gager, Principal Consultant of Security and Intelligence at Cogs Agency about how the modern theatre of conflict demands a strong cyber security response, and what impact this has on the talent pool for cyber security professionals.
A major threat
Ian Levy, a head of the National Cybersecurity Centre predicts a “category one” major cyber-attack will happen soon. But as a fellow cyber security specialist, how likely does Terry believe this is and how can we prepare and hopefully prevent these attacks?
Terry says, “I think it’s imminent, but it’ll happen only if it’s state sponsored. I’m not sure it’d happen in the UK as we are not currently actively at war with another state, but the chances of attacks increase with countries in conflict with each other, such as North Korea, USA, Russia etc. Cyber-attacks are a much more effective way of attacking a country compared with traditional methods of combat.
Because the landscape has changed so dramatically, candidates with a military background are now extremely attractive. A client of ours had cyber security analysts who wrote reports, but the CEO couldn’t read them. The language was too tech. They needed a military person to create a translation, complete with strategic thinking. In this industry, you need to be more proactive in your strategy.
IT people have been doing this all their life with no understanding of warfare or combat, but now this skill, usually found in military personnel, is essential.”
Warfare shapes cyber security recruitment
One of the big questions many in cyber ask is “What is the difference between threat and vulnerability, and what is more important to focus on?”
Terry believes, “it’s quite arrogant to look at the vulnerabilities before knowing the threats. Half of my business is focused on half of people putting things in place that they think they need, but I think it’s going more in the direction of threat. It’s turning into a war landscape.”
With all these changes, what does the cyber security talent requirement look like in 2017, and looking ahead to 2018? What are the most in-demand skills?
“Threat intelligence”, says Terry without hesitation. He continues, “that’s where the big move is at the moment. We’re looking for people with a strong understanding of threats and open source intelligence.
At the other end of the scale, a very strong understanding of firewalls, endpoint security, and very technical people are always needed but in the coming future, strategic people who understand the threat landscape are the ones who will really be in demand.”
At Cogs, we are dedicated to finding the right roles for talented cyber security professionals. We consult with our clients to ensure that every person we place is a good match, meaning that every candidate we work with is well-suited to the role we help them find. If you’d like to speak to Terry or another member of our team about how we can help you find your next role, please contact us on [email protected].