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FCW : January and February 2017
January/February 2017 FCW.COM 21 true potential. According to Kaspersky Lab’s 2016 Corporate IT Secu- rity Risks Survey, most companies do not have the full-time expertise to proper- ly handle a cyberat- tack on their own. “As the U.S. govern- ment shares many of the same challenges businesses face, it’s important to note that only 15 percent of the employees in an IT department of a large company are dedicated to security, which means only 33 specialists in a typical team of 220 experts are managing all aspects of the infrastructure,” James said. The government is aware of the demand, if not the battle, for qualified professionals, said Andy Vallila, leader for Americas Sales and Marketing at One Identity, the security business under Quest Software. “In the federal government, cybersecurity workforce recruitment has been top of mind,” he said. “Yet as threats remain on the rise, the workforce thins.” To address those concerns, late last year the Obama administration’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity recommended improving the overall recruitment of cybersecurity professionals at federal agencies and targeting those efforts to the best in the field, which means those professionals should be doing everything they can to stand out. “The most successful security professionals continually broaden their skillsets to evolve and adapt to the latest trends like cloud and mobile,” Vallila said. And they should continue to do so “instead of assuming that the skills that got them the job 10 years ago are the skills that will keep the job today.” Getting the right certifications Smart cybersecurity professionals pursue ongoing training and certifications, which have the dual benefits of advancing their own careers and addressing the government’s concerns. However, Henderson said it is important to be selective. “Not all certifications are created equal,” he added. “It’s almost always better to focus on courses and certifications that teach you real-world technical skills.” Based on his experience in the public and private sectors, Spires said he believes the most qualified cybersecurity professionals are the ones who take three steps: 1. Create an individual development plan with a five-year objective that takes into account the requirements in the Cybersecurity Workforce Frame- work. 2. Obtain appropriate certifications offered by organiza- tions such as (ISC)2, ISACA, EC-Council, Cloud Security Alliance and CompTIA. 3. Build a strong professional network outside your agency. Spires’ advice is to “get involved in some level of inter- agency work and also get involved in professional orga- nizations that are relevant to your particular specialty in cybersecurity. You can start by getting involved with the organizations that offer the professional certifica- tions you pursue.” James also recommended that professionals seek “con- tinuous education to improve their skills and experience in order to better manage the ever-evolving cyberthreat landscape.” She suggested that they attend cybersecuri- ty conferences to learn and share information with their colleagues and cited specific certifications that can help advance their careers — Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Systems Security Certified Practitio- ner, EC-Council Certified Security Analyst and CompTIA Security+. In addition, she said the Global Information Assurance Certification is highly regarded by government and military leaders. Furthermore, DHS offers a number of courses for cybersecurity professionals, and Vallila said there are numerous “events both in the D.C. area and around the country where you can learn from other cyber experts and network to stay close to the latest advances in cybersecurity.” n “The most successful security professionals continually broaden their skillsets to evolve and adapt to the latest trends like cloud and mobile.” — ANDY VALLILA, ONE IDENTITY 0217fcw_020-021.indd 21 1/24/17 9:42 AM
November and December 2016