The limit to what modern technology can do seems to have no ceiling, but neither does the intricacy and methods by which your secure data can be breached. Any organization hoping to protect its information employs security measures not only through its hardware and software, but also through the team of IT security experts it employs.
However, some groups make the mistake of hiring individuals who, while they would make perfectly good network administrators, lack the qualities and know-how of an exceptional security expert. Although the duties of both positions share some similarities, there are enough differences that mistaking one for the other can be a crucial error. The information stored on your secure network is important, and oftentimes a breached network can result in damages to your operations that cannot be repaired. Avoid disaster by identifying these attributes when building a security team.
Certified vs. Not Certified
One indicator of an individual who may qualify as a good fit for an adept network security team would be the certifications they’ve earned. There are a number of different exams out there that are conducted by numerous different security organizations. Successfully passing these exams requires that you dedicate the time (and money) towards any corresponding documents or classwork. Some of the most popular of these IT security certifications include the CISSP, GSEC, and CISM.
However, earning a certification doesn’t necessarily reflect on the security technician’s ability to perform well. While they are valuable from an educational angle and making the effort to earn one (or more) certainly shows initiative, proving experience through a technical interview or demonstration of skills is just as important. These certification exams don’t always test for some of the more intrinsic character traits that make for an individual best suited to become a network security professional.
One of the more innate abilities of a good security expert is that they be excessively detailed and conscientious of their work. Reading a system log is difficult for most people, and you’re not meant to speed-read every line. If you get into the habit of just cruising along and scanning a system log, it’s easy to miss a detrimental action and write it off as operating normally. A great security expert is able to not only understand the information and what it means, but is also able to focus while reading each line individually.
Another quality of a good security employee is the ability to work independently. This individual has a very flexible schedule and realizes that network security isn’t merely a 9-to-5 kind of job. The people trying to breach your network’s security protocols don’t only operate during normal working hours, so neither should your security team. They should be able to work whenever they’re needed, and they should be able to decipher a problem and come up with a solution without having their hands held by a supervisor.
The role of being a security expert requires more than just a few certifications and a little training. A proper security expert isn’t in the position only for the title, because for them the trade is a state of mind. These are the people who like to understand everything about the way a system works and actively pursues these interests outside of a working environment. These are the types you want on your security team.