To say we live in a cyber-centric world is an understatement; technology has woven itself into every aspect of our professional and personal lives. Consequently, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has grown exponentially, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Many may ask what is the primary mission of a cybersecurity pro? Simply put, to fend off digital intruders and protect sensitive data. However, not all organizations offer an environment conducive to this mission, placing hurdles that make good security nearly unattainable. This sets up an inevitable losing battle, one that can cast a shadow on the reputation of a cybersecurity expert. In simpler terms, some cybersecurity pros are stepping into a minefield.
The Risk Hidden Behind Some Company Doors
The Shoestring Budget Dilemma: Some companies don’t prioritize or allocate sufficient funds for cybersecurity. Often, they see it as a mere audit requirement or an unnecessary expense they’d rather avoid. What’s the fallout? Scarce resources, including essential tools and technologies, that hinder experts from adequately defending the organization.
Training? What’s That?: The absence of investment in training can stymie even the most experienced cybersecurity experts. Organizations that overlook training force their cybersecurity teams to tackle ever-evolving threats with antiquated knowledge and skills.
Blindfolded Management: Ever proposed a vital security measure, only to be given the cold shoulder? When a company culture neglects cybersecurity, professionals often feel they’re shouting into the void. This forces them to devise makeshift solutions, even when they know they go against best practices.
The Legal Labyrinth: What happens if a significant breach occurs on your watch? Some professionals risk facing legal consequences, particularly if they’re aware of vulnerabilities but organizational constraints prevent mitigation.
Safeguarding Your Career: Risk Management Tips for Cybersecurity Pros
Channel Your Inner Sherlock: Delving into a company’s cyber history can offer insights into its future. However, for smaller organizations with a limited digital footprint, this detective work might be more challenging than it sounds.
Turn the Tables: Interview the Interviewer: Politely probe with insightful questions about their dedication to cybersecurity, resource allocation, and incident management. Remember, organizations lacking genuine commitment might put on a facade. Aim to see beyond the surface.
Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s: Secure everything in writing and retain copies of the original job posting. Should turbulence arise, these documents will be invaluable during any discussions about your role.
Stay the Course: Organizations lax about cybersecurity might treat your warnings like background noise. Remember, as a cybersecurity professional, you’re entrusted with safeguarding the organization. You’re not a nuisance; you’re doing your duty. Always maintain professionalism.
Seek Influential Allies: In cybersecurity, sometimes the messenger matters as much as the message. While your insights and recommendations may be spot-on, biases and ignorance can hinder progress. Partnering with a respected figure (if possible) who’s committed to best practices can potentially break through resistance.
Legal Safeguard: While it shouldn’t be a frequent concern, if you feel you’re at risk of litigation due to the organization’s lackluster commitment to cybersecurity, seeking legal advice is not a bad idea.
Document Diligently: If things reach this stage, the situation is often deteriorating. Should you need to defend your actions and explain any impediments, keeping accurate and detailed records will aid in safeguarding your reputation.
Know When to Exit: If you’re constantly met with resistance, it’s probably time to consider your next move, and fast. Whether this realization comes early or later during your tenure, don’t be disheartened. It’s an industry reality you might face again. Prioritize your well-being and reputation; you deserve an environment that values your expertise.
The Bottom Line
Cybersecurity pros navigate a varied landscape of opportunities and challenges. By remaining savvy, understanding the industry, and upholding your integrity, you’ll discover a place that appreciates your contributions.
About the Author: Al Lyle (LinkedIn)
With over two decades in the IT and cybersecurity realm, Al Lyle stands as a seasoned veteran in the field. As the proud owner of Cyberpacket Technology Consulting, Al boasts an impressive array of credentials, including CISSP and C|EH certifications.
Al’s commitment to the world of cybersecurity and IT is not limited to the professional arena alone. He has imparted knowledge at the university level, teaching online undergraduate courses further nurturing the next generation of cyber professionals.
Holding a Master of Science in Information Technology with a focus on Information Assurance, Al’s expertise goes beyond just knowledge; it’s about application. He has held pivotal roles in IT and Cybersecurity Management. Moreover, his technical acumen shines through in his time served in Security Engineering, Security Operations, Digital Forensics, Cyber Threat Intelligence, and Vulnerability Management roles at a senior technical level.
Additionally, Al is the author of the book “Cybersecurity Simplified: In Less Than 100 Pages”, aiming to break down cybersecurity topics for readers of all backgrounds.
When it comes to cybersecurity, Al Lyle is more than just a professional — he’s a dedicated advocate, educator, and leader.