Cybersecurity Training: Hiring an Expert to Teach Your Team

Our society is becoming increasingly dependent on technology for several tasks and resources previously limited to traditional resources. Nowadays, most sensitive data and financial information are stored in digital databases rather than physical ones. This practice is employed by companies, government agencies, and private citizens who need rapid access to crucial information. 

The information in question varies, but using cloud-based servers or wireless databases has made it easier for authorized users to access the data. Databases are usually restricted to a select few users, with some of them being further partitioned to ensure the most sensitive information is only accessible to the right specialists. Unfortunately, these databases are vulnerable to attack by computer experts who use their skills for personal gain.

The vulnerabilities associated with the most popular form of data storage have led to a surge in cybersecurity developments. Without proper cybersecurity protocols, our data would be vulnerable to potential theft by cybercriminals. Unfortunately, a major issue with cybersecurity has turned it into a difficult resource to acquire. 

A shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals has made it difficult to staff a full team. Even when a professional is found, their specialized techniques can be rendered obsolete within a year as technology evolves. Sometimes, the only way to maintain a well-staffed cybersecurity department is to have another professional help train your team. 

An Expert Cybersecurity Trainer

Why is Training Important?

You might think hiring a cybersecurity professional is a simple endeavor since there are always young professionals looking to break into the industry. The problem is that their understanding of cybersecurity protocols might not be as comprehensive as you need. Computers and software undergo a constant evolution where something groundbreaking one year is rendered obsolete the next. This means your cybersecurity staff’s ability to manage newer issues is non-existent unless they undergo regular education. 

While a hire fresh out of college might be able to offer cybersecurity services at first, their abilities will depreciate as new attack vectors are discovered. New tactics and resources are created yearly, which benefit cybercriminals and enable them to alter their techniques. This means a solution created for a vulnerable database could be rendered obsolete by the following year, and a new vulnerability becomes an issue.

If the cybersecurity professionals on your team are not trained to address these new techniques or are unfamiliar with the latest software, they will be unable to launch effective countermeasures. This leaves a database vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks and could lead to a firewall breach that goes unnoticed since the staff does not know where to look. 

A Cybersecurity Team Member

Without the proper training, a cybersecurity professional will not have the resources or knowledge necessary to secure the network. A lot of information can be learned by brushing up on certain details from their original training, but other issues require them to undergo supplementary training. Furthermore, not every cybersecurity professional has gone through training specific to securing a network and instead focused on understanding software on a fundamental level. While this does offer an essential level of knowledge for cybersecurity professionals, they might not have ever applied it to security.

Learning more about cybersecurity can allow computer experts without prior experience in the field to apply their knowledge to secure firewalls and networks. This training can be acquired through typical classes, but an established cybersecurity professional can also administer it. The question lies in what the professional can teach your staff.

What Can a Cybersecurity Professional Teach Your Team?

Most cybersecurity professionals are multi-faceted and able to execute several techniques and tactics essential to cybersecurity despite technological advancements. While nothing can replace a fully trained team of specialists focusing on different areas of cybersecurity, most experts have a working knowledge of the essentials. 

If there is a specific technique you want your cybersecurity team to know, your best bet is to find an expert who specializes in that area. For example, several cybersecurity experts primarily focus on penetration testing, an essential component of database security. Penetration testing helps cybersecurity teams identify vulnerabilities in a network by acting as the cybercriminals trying to breach it.

Penetration testing comes in several forms, but any cybersecurity expert with the proper training can execute it. They will attempt to penetrate the network’s firewalls using tactics and tools readily available to cybercriminals. The point of the test is that their efforts are genuine hack attempts to determine whether the firewall needs to be improved. 

While a cybersecurity recruit will have insight into the most common attack vectors, an experienced professional will know certain tactics not covered in their initial training. This is due to their experience in the field forcing them to put themselves in the mindset of their adversaries. This has allowed them to identify other potential vulnerabilities that newcomers in the field might overlook.

Cybersecurity Experts Performing a Penetration Test

Penetration testing is an extremely important technique for cybersecurity experts, but there is still more your team must know. Another crucial aspect of cybersecurity is incident response, which requires a carefully formulated response plan and an understanding of the network being attacked. When there is a network breach, your response time must be extremely fast to ensure minimal damage. While your cybersecurity team should know what is necessary to address any potential threat, that knowledge is insufficient if there is no plan. Without a clearly defined response plan, your team will scramble to try and deal with the problem without coordinating with each other. 

Fortunately, one of the first things a cybersecurity team does when assembled is create an incident response plan so everyone knows what to do. Unfortunately, constructing an incident response plan can be complicated when the team lacks firsthand experience. An established expert can guide a newly created team in creating an effective response plan due to their previous experience. 

While there will be a slight disconnect between what the expert has experienced and your company’s setup, the insight could inspire a team trying to create a response plan. Hearing how another professional team handled breaches and issues can illustrate what details need to be addressed in your company’s network. That said, they can also guide your team in creating other security measures critical to your company. Part of incident response is ensuring your network is as secure as possible before an event occurs.

Having a cybersecurity expert educate your team will allow them to share techniques for shoring up security protocols within your network. This includes e-mail security practices that will minimize the odds of a breach by ensuring internal communication is as secure as possible. This usually involves implementing e-mail encryption protocols to ensure e-mails are only accessible to the sender and intended recipient. 

It also means establishing protocols that prevent employees from triggering phishing traps or other online threats that might spread to the corporate network. Their expertise enables your team to profit from their experience and use it to your advantage without worrying about trial and error. This is not to say the education offered by an existing expert is foolproof, but that it can reduce the growing pains of creating an effective cybersecurity routine to protect the network.

What to Look For in an Expert

When considering hiring an expert to train your cybersecurity team, simply hiring the first candidate that presents themselves is insufficient. You need to ensure the expert you are hiring to train your team has the qualifications and skills to instruct them properly. One of the main things you need to look for in an expert instructor, especially in a cybersecurity setting, is the ability to collaborate. 

Some people are poor team players and do not collaborate with others as well as they should. While there are niche industries where such people can thrive as independent professionals, most fields require people who can cooperate with the rest of their peers. That ability to collaborate is essential for an instructor since they must develop a synergy with the professionals you hired them to train.

While collaboration is essential for full-time cybersecurity professionals, the dynamic is different when the professional is temporarily training them. Unlike employees, the expert trainer is not expected to maintain a long-term working relationship with your staff. Rather, they need to be able to address the concerns of your staff to ensure they can properly navigate the issues their trainees have with the information. 

They should also demonstrate the level of cooperation necessary for a cybersecurity team to conduct their tasks successfully. That said, collaborative skills are not the only thing an expert trainer must have to educate your staff effectively.

The expert you recruit to train your cybersecurity staff must have an existing reference of previous work that proves their skill. This means they should have the necessary certifications and education to work in cybersecurity. This proves their education, but they also must demonstrate past work experience that shows they have dealt with common issues in cybersecurity before. 

Looking For a Cybersecurity Expert

Some cybersecurity professionals offer their services as independent contractors who can be recruited as temporary instructors for your team. While these contractors likely have the knowledge and experience to provide quality training, you must inquire into their professional history. This will give you insight into whether they have the background necessary to guide your cybersecurity team in handling the more important aspects of network defense.

Alternatively, certain cybersecurity firms will lend their staff to a company to help train your cybersecurity team. Unlike an independent contractor, a firm can provide immediate access to their employee’s professional history and specializations. This makes it easier to determine whether the professional training your staff is qualified to instruct them. 

Going through a firm makes finding an expert easier, but it also presents another challenge that can complicate your efforts. There are multiple cybersecurity firms out there, meaning the challenge lies in finding a reliable firm that offers quality services. A well-received firm will likely have more trustworthy staff with better qualifications, making them ideal for training your cybersecurity team.

Finally, the expert you hire to train your team must be adaptable when performing their own tasks. Having an expert with adaptable tactics and techniques means they can provide more comprehensive guidance that prepares your staff for most eventualities. This level of training can promote a more adaptable team capable of coming up with on-the-spot tactics for complex cybersecurity threats. 

This level of adaptability is difficult to teach, and your staff will not develop the same instincts as their instructor. Rather, instruction from an adaptable expert will encourage them to foster their own instincts and gives your network access to their hidden talents.

Ultimately, the biggest challenge is finding an expert you can rely on and whose experience applies to what your staff needs to learn. Nevertheless, it is possible to retain the services of an existing expert who can train your full-time staff.

Technically Speaking…

Hiring a cybersecurity team requires access to well-learned and highly advanced individuals with in-depth firewall and network security knowledge. There is also a significant emphasis on common security practices to minimize unauthorized access to sensitive databases. While you can theoretically hire new cybersecurity professionals fresh from their initial education, you will have better luck if they have extended education. 

Hiring an established expert to train them how to operate in a professional setting will improve their efficiency in the earliest stages of their career. The biggest problem is that fresh recruits in cybersecurity are rare, and established professionals are harder to find. Usually, the best way to hire an expert to train your team is to seek the services of a cybersecurity firm that offers training.

A Cybersecurity Expert

We at U.S. Cybersecurity believe that training the next generation of professionals is an important task that cannot be neglected. That is why we are proud to announce we will be offering expert training for cybersecurity teams looking to expand their knowledge. Our service will allow you to ensure your team has all the knowledge it needs to maintain the quality of skill and service you need. If training your own team is not something you are willing to do, we also offer 3rd party cybersecurity services so you can secure your network without staffing a team. Either way, we are standing by and ready to assist you.

Herman McCargo

Herman is a Microsoft Certified Security Engineer and Cybersecurity Specialist. He’s been in the technology field for over 20 years and has expertise working with the most critical technology infrastructures. He has a deep understanding of cyber risks, threat mitigation and prevention, and overseeing infrastructure.