Nitro’s Adam Miller on what cybersecurity professionals need to do to be the best version of themselves no matter what stage of their career they are at.
The cybersecurity industry is beset by an ongoing skills shortage, but that could be a good thing for someone who wants to embark on a career in the industry.
If your skills are in demand and you have an interest in cybersecurity, you will more than likely be snapped up by an employer and paid pretty well.
According to Adam Miller, operations security lead in engineering at Nitro, cybersecurity careers are not only “financially rewarding” they also offer other great benefits.
“There is a sense of purpose and satisfaction cybersecurity offers by allowing you to play your part in fighting crime, from email fraudsters to cyber criminals shutting down hospitals. Having a positive impact on the world is a significant motivator for cybersecurity professionals,” he says.
“Furthermore, the cybersecurity industry offers numerous opportunities for career growth and advancement.”
SiliconRepublic.com asked Miller what advice he would give to people who want to work in cybersecurity.
His three main tips are: pursue your passion, get involved with a local cybersecurity community, and invest in self-training and self-study.
Pursue your passion
“A genuine interest in cybersecurity is crucial to success in this field,” says Miller. “If you’re passionate about protecting computer systems, networks and data from cyberattacks, this is a great career path for you.”
“Start by reading books, articles and blogs on cybersecurity to gain a deeper understanding of the field and see if it’s interesting to you. Join online forums or social media groups to engage with other cybersecurity enthusiasts and learn from their experiences.”
Get involved with the local cybersecurity community
“Networking with cybersecurity professionals can provide valuable insights, job opportunities and a sense of community,” Miller points out.
“Attend local cybersecurity conferences, workshops and meetups to meet other professionals in the field. Participate in cybersecurity competitions or join a cybersecurity club to gain hands-on experience and showcase your skills.”
“By involving yourself with the local security community, you can learn from others, share your knowledge and stay motivated in pursuing your cybersecurity career. In Dublin the local OWASP Chapters has regular meetings that include very interesting talks, free pizza and occasional drinks and can be a great way to get involved.”
Invest in self-training and self-study
On top of networking, spend time working on your skills to keep them fresh.
“Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, and self-training and self-study are essential to stay up to date with the latest trends, technologies and threats. Set aside time each day or week to read industry publications, watch videos or take online courses.”
“Consider pursuing industry-recognised certifications, such as CompTIA Security+, CEH or CISSP, to demonstrate your commitment to learning and gain valuable knowledge. If you want to explore pen-testing Hack The Box is a great, free service too,” Miller says.
How to attract and retain staff
As well as his tips for workers, we also asked Miller what tips he would give to team leads like himself who need to tackle the skills shortage in the sector as a matter of urgency.
While a big demand for skilled cybersecurity workers can be a good thing for people entering the industry, it is a constant source of concern for employers and companies that require people to protect them and their operations from cybercriminals.
“The cybersecurity landscape is continuously evolving, and the demand for skilled professionals to protect our digital assets has never been higher,” Miller says.
“Despite the well-documented skills shortage in the cybersecurity field, many organisations are not sufficiently stepping up their efforts to address this.”
Miler’s first tip for attracting and retaining staff aligns with his advice for workers, and it is to connect with the local cybersecurity community.
His team at Nitro “actively engages” with local security communities and other organisations participating in events, workshops and conferences.
He believes the collaboration allows the company to share knowledge, resources and best practices with the broader security community, as well as allowing them to identify the best and brightest in the industry.
Miller thinks that keeping staff motivated, engaged and supported in their training is key to retention. “We believe in nurturing the skills of our existing employees and providing opportunities for growth within the organisation.”
“We also appreciate the draw of good training programmes when it comes to attracting the right candidates,” he says, adding that Nitro has implemented ongoing internal training programmes as well as support for external training.
Thinking outside the box when it comes to hiring strategies is always a good idea, Miller believes. Diverse perspectives and experiences can strengthen a company’s cybersecurity posture.
Lastly, Miller says that employers must offer competitive compensation to attract and retain talent.
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