As a manager, you will have to lead and manage a team of people who will actually be involved in all kinds of technical stuff.
However, to manage a team that does technical stuff, you will have to know some of it yourself as well. Moreover, as a manager, you will not only be held accountable for your own work, but also for your team’s performance.
All this means that there will be greater responsibility on your shoulders. Therefore, if you want to do your job well, you need the right skills and experience for it. This is one place where you can’t simply learn things as you go or expect to get by without the proper expertise. Doing so will only get you in trouble and put the company at risk.
You might even have to give some tests to prove your technical abilities. Therefore, there will be no shortcuts. You will have to put in the time to get the right skills, education, and experience.
Since cybersecurity itself is quite technical and complicated, other jobs such as that of security specialists really focus on the hard skills. However, as mentioned earlier, a security manager’s job is more managerial than technical in nature. Therefore, there is equal importance of hard skills as well as other soft skills.
If a person lacks in either of the two, he will not be able to lead his team well and perform as a good security manager.
These are skills you need to look out for:
- Understanding of the IT security system and the organization’s network structure
- Knowledge of different operating systems, such as UNIX, Linux, Windows, etc.
- Setting up firewalls and encryptions to protect data
- Ability to develop intrusion prevention measures and intrusion detection protocols
- Auditing the network system for weaknesses
- Compilation of data and documenting policies and procedures
- Disaster recovery planning
- Team management
- Leading a team
- Working with others
- Communication (written and verbal)
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Project management
JMost of the skills we’ve mentioned will only come from the appropriate educational background. Not only the hard skills but for the soft skills, your education will give you the necessary exposure for you to develop those skills.
For a security manager’s job, employers will want you to hold a bachelor’s degree at the least. The bachelor’s degree could be in computer science or cybersecurity or something IT related. This will ensure that you have a solid foundation for those hard skills. You’ll get familiar with the programming languages, operating systems, different software, and hardware, etc.
For further honing your skills or even specializing in an area, you could opt for a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. Over the course of your education, you’ll be involved in various projects and internships. These will give you a taste of the practical world, and you’ll get some hands-on experience.
More importantly, it will also help you develop those soft skills such as working with others and communication. Other than that, since the job has a managerial aspect to it, you can also consider getting a degree in business administration or management.
If you’re directly applying for the job of a security manager, you will need to have several years of experience under your belt. The position carries quite a bit of responsibility, and therefore, your employer would want to be extra sure that you fit the bill for it. Now, that will only happen if you’ve got sufficient experience in that industry and, more specifically, in the field of cybersecurity.
If you haven’t got any experience until now, you could consider applying for entry-level positions such as a security specialist. Then, once you’ve got the expertise and proven yourself, you could be promoted to the role of security manager eventually.
Another way to boost your skills and perhaps even accelerate your path to a security manager job is through certifications. If you don’t want to pursue further education, such as a master’s degree, you can try and get those certifications instead. They will show your employer that you do have the necessary skills required for the job.
Furthermore, certifications can also help you stay updated with the latest trends as well as polish your basics. They’re usually not that extensive, so you can do it alongside your job as well. These are some of the certifications you can check out:
- Certified Information Security Manager
- Certified Information Security Auditor
- CompTIA Security+
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- Certified Ethical Hacker