A blue padlock with several digital lines coming from it, symbolising cybersecurity.
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What skills do you need for a cybersecurity career?

15 Apr 2022

As Infosec Week comes to an end, we asked experts from Accenture and Yahoo what an ideal candidate looks like for a security role and the skills they need.

Click here to view the full Infosec Week series.

Throughout this week, we have explored what a career might look like for someone in the cybersecurity industry.

What we have learned is that this is a constantly evolving space with new tools, techniques and technologies to learn about all the time. It’s a challenging and very rewarding career.

As well as technical knowledge, some of the skills needed to succeed include staying calm under pressure, being able to logically split problems into smaller chunks and communicating IT risks effectively to other business areas.

According to Sean Sposito, a senior technical security engineer at Yahoo, an ideal candidate for him is someone who is as good at communicating solutions as they are at implementing them.

“We look for potential – not certification – and teammates who are puzzlers. People who have the ability to extend their empathy to others and educate our users,” he said.

“Technical skills don’t predicate success. We work within an industry that actively recruits talented individuals without college degrees as individual contributors. What does indicate success? High levels of emotional IQ and the ability to work cross-functionally. In short, our best people influence others.”

Liam O’Connor, a senior manager of security at Accenture Ireland, added there has never been a better time to start a cybersecurity career.

“Cybersecurity talent is in demand globally and this will only increase as the threat landscape continues to evolve and grow,” he said.

“Cybersecurity professionals tend to wear various hats, with career paths taking them from a security analyst role to a board-level position. It’s more than just a job choice – it’s important to have a real passion for cybersecurity.”

O’Connor added that what Accenture looks for in its security candidates are people who are passionate, inquisitive and adaptable, with strong interpersonal skills. “Technical skills can be taught, but the right attitude is a must,” he said.

For those whose interest in security has been piqued, there are plenty of employers looking to fill a range of infosec roles in Ireland right now.

With all these companies hiring, Hays’ Christine Wright offered some tips earlier in the week to help you showcase your skills in a cybersecurity job interview.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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