Why everyone should consider a career in cybersecurity
On January 24th, 2018 I opened a new discussion about diversity in cybersecurity with the #includecybersecuritychat on Twitter. Over the hour-long discussion I asked four questions for almost ninety people to discuss and debate. Here’s what we learned, including excerpts from the chat.
Q1. What are some of the top benefits of a career in #cybersecurity?
The consensus was that cybersecurity jobs are fluid and provide a variety of challenges daily. Cybersecurity roles support the public good, and help individuals, families and companies stay safe online. People working in cybersecurity are part of supportive teams with great colleagues.
Q2. What are the top skills to have if you want to enter the #cybersecurity field?
This question prompted a debate about the needs for hard skills (coding, systems administration) vs soft skills (communications, emotional intelligence). Speakers questioned the value of four-year “traditional” degrees given the rapidly evolving cyberweapons and defensive technologies. Most speakers agreed that tenacity and passion were necessary skills to “keep shoveling against the tide of new threats”.
Q3. Was there someone in particular who inspired you to get into technology? Was it a famous person, a teacher, a friend, a family member?
This answer was surprising as many speakers got their start on technology by writing their own video games. Science fiction books inspired several people, and books and documentaries about famous hackers. Teachers and parents were also cited as inspirational figures for getting involved in technology, including a story of a CompSci professor who’d encrypted the final exam.
Q4. What are your predictions for the future of #cybersecurity globally?
The Internet of Things (IoT) was a primary concern for the audience given the comparable lack of security controls in consumer devices. There was also a discussion on the likely increase of regulations after GDPR, and how organizations may try to work around the regulatory controls. If there was a consensus, it’s that we have not yet hit bottom and things will get worse than in 2017.