According to a public statement written by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, cyber criminals have increasingly breached the security of retailers, financial institutions and organizations over the last couple of years. Four of these breaches between 2013 and 2014—eBay, Home Depot, Target and J.P. Morgan—resulted in criminals accessing the data of approximately 353 million people.
Those businesses that stopped cyber-attacks did so through a combination of cutting edge software and a strong human component made up of expert cyber security personnel. If you want to become more adept at protecting you and your business from cyber security attacks, you should work to develop the following skills:
It goes without saying that every one of your cyber professionals must possess the highest level of modern cyber security and related software skills. Speed and organization when using these tools are equally critical to preventing a breach. You and your employees should be able to notice when files have been changed, tampered with, or accessed under suspicious circumstances, and technical skills in programming can help you know which sections of your site and databases need to be protected and how.
Cyber defense professionals must also have the ability to recognize security vulnerabilities and pre-attack criminal activity. Each member of your cyber security team must be incredibly analytical, detailed-oriented and capable of pattern recognition and creative, out-of-the-box thinking. Being prepared with encrypted data and protection software is a must.
Although you want your cyber security personnel to do whatever they must to stop an attack, the ability of each team member to follow proven protocols is crucial. Any failure to follow these protocols can allow criminals to breach a system successfully in sometimes simple ways. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service tested more than 1,000 cyber professionals and found that many failed to follow required proven protocols. Knowledge of and adherence to existing policies also helps professionals come up with new and better protocols.
Cyber security professionals work with people from a wide range of domestic and international business, organizational, cultural and social backgrounds both at a site and while traveling, including customers, vendors, other professionals, government officials, academics and the media. Diplomatic individuals often relate extremely well to people from different backgrounds. They are capable of a high level of finesse and sensitivity when communicating and negotiating during day-to-day activities, security meetings, training sessions and delicate operations.
You need cyber professionals who are capable of responding rapidly, adapting quickly and communicating clearly before and as an attack happens in a team environment. Each team member must be able to nurture not only the individual strengths of their co-workers but also team cohesion. It may be beneficial for you to run drills or simulations of cyber-attacks with your employees in order to further prepare them against breaches of your actual data.
A little preparation goes a long way. Cyber security professionals who have mastered these skills are more aware, efficient, successful, and safe. You can prevent most attacks by merely improving your workforce by learning and teaching these skills.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. Dixie recommends talking with people who have degrees in diplomacy to learn more about this topic.