Read the top traits you need to become a great Cyber Analyst.
- A love of technology and gadgets: Having a love of current technology but also keeping an eye out for future developments. Keeping pace with technology out of personal interest means you'll have a higher awareness of the current threats and defences.
- A dislike of software and hardware limitations: Have you ever used a gadget or used some software for a purpose other than for which it was intended? The practice of pushing a device outside of its intended purpose is at the root of ethical hacking and is an important mind set to have. Both when looking for a flaw in someone’s system and in the inventive way we can defend our assets.
- A naturally curious nature: Have you ever asked how something worked only to be told "It just does"? For some people this isn't good enough. Using your own time to answer your own questions about the world is a key quality for researching technologies and uncovering and solving vulnerability challenges.
- Apply yourself to continuous learning: Being able to teach yourself about new technologies, protocols or coding languages as you discover them will allow you to overcome your own limitations and create something new. This could be a new way to enhance a system or a new way to defend a service.
- Enjoy collaboration: Cyber security is a very broad field that is growing and branching out all the time. It would be impossible for any one person to become an expert in every field. So collaboration is not only necessary but a strength that allows us to achieve more together than we can alone.
- Strong researching skills: There are so many small facts, figures, numbers, codes and commands when working in cyber security that sometimes we run out of space to remember it all! So being able to find small pieces of information using search engines and open source tools effectively can be a real time saver.
- The need to work in a changing environment: For some people working in a predictable environment and solving problems in the same way everyday gets boring. No two challenges are the same in cyber security and there are almost unlimited ways to solve the same problem with new tools and techniques being developed every day.
- Having an investigative mind set: An investigative mind set is invaluable when piecing together digital clues left behind by an attacker. Having an innate instinct to know when some information is valuable and being able to record and correlate those pieces of information to build a case could mean the difference between stopping an adversary and patching holes in our defences.
- Do you think that cyber is cool!: When you enjoy what you do, getting better at your job isn't a chore, it really is fun. It's awesome discovering how to get into systems so you can keep the bad guys out. You'll apply your wit to either bend, break or go around the rules that make up a system in order to learn how to defend it. As one of the good guys you'll then help the owners of that system secure the vulnerabilities you exploited to gain access. As a cyber security professional you will be highly sought after by big business as they seek to do business in today's interconnected world. But most of all cyber is fun and is offers its own reward.
Sue has been involved in projects, programmes, training and development for 20 years. Her background is in application development, and along the way she started up and ran a successful software business. She taught business studies and economics up to A-level for several years but now delivers PRINCE2, MSP and APM courses for QA.
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