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Top Security Engineers Must Have These Skills

 

As cybersecurity threats continue to multiple and major breaches hit the headlines on a regular basis, more companies are seeking highly skilled security engineers to make sure their systems are secure against the latest threats. To be a top candidate for these roles, you need to bring certain key skills to the table. Otherwise, you might not catch the attention of the hiring manager.

 

If you are wondering which skills can help you become a top security engineer, here are a few you absolutely need.

 

Security Product Expertise

Security engineers interact with a range of tech products while performing their duties. Everything from firewall management to URL filtering to virus protection fall under their purview, so knowing how to use the tools and technologies required to accomplish those goals is essential.

 

Similarly, security engineers need a firm grasp on what a variety of security products and services should cost. Since many security professionals are tasked with making recommendations when a new solution is required, understanding what is and isn’t a good deal is a valuable area of expertise to bring to the table.

 

Passion for the Subject

New threats emerge on a daily basis, and skilled security engineers understand the need to remain up to date at all times. Those who have an enthusiasm for their field are often more adept at staying informed, largely because the topic is of genuine interest.

 

Additionally, passion makes sorting through information regarding the latest security-related technology updates less cumbersome. Those with enthusiasm enjoy digging into the details to learn more about what the patches or new releases have to offer, making them more valuable in the eyes of employers.

 

Written and Verbal Communication

Security engineers need to be able to relay complex information, both verbally and in writing, to a variety of other professionals and stakeholders. This includes individuals who may not have an IT background, making it a necessity to be able to translate the “tech speak” into simpler language to promote understanding.

 

Technical Experience

Aside from security products, security engineers also need a firm grasp on a range of other technical topics. This can include various operating systems, coding languages, and network operations. Without these core understandings, it can be more difficult to assess a company’s needs, identify vulnerabilities, guarantee compatibility, and troubleshoot problems.

 

Time Management and Organization

Without time management and organizational skills, any security engineer would struggle to remain appropriately productive. Many projects are complex in nature, and even daily duties can be highly time-sensitive, making these core competencies must-haves if you want to excel in the field.

 

By acquiring the skills above, you too can position yourself as a top security engineer, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. If you would like to learn more about what makes a successful security engineer or are seeking out a new position in the field, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our tech expertise can benefit you.

 

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

Inside Security

 

Some IT managers are surprised to hear the greatest security threats your company will likely face come from the inside. While not all these actions are intentional, mitigating these risks is critical to the safety of your business and the information you possess. Often, this involves having the proper methods in place for the quick detection of cybersecurity threats, as well as processes to help lower the level of risk. With that in mind, here are some tips for reducing inside security threats.

 

Embrace Temporary Accounts

Not everyone who needs access to your systems is a permanent employee, so having an alternative to a traditional account is a wise move. For example, contractors, interns, or short-term workers can all be assigned to temporary accounts with an identified expiration date based on the length of their time with you. This ensures access is revoked automatically when that date passes or that an extension must be initiated if they stay with the company longer than expected.

 

Audit Often

If you have unused accounts on your system, you are increasing the level of risk. However, many businesses have insufficient processes in place to ensure that access is revoked when an employee leaves the organization, and that means some old accounts may still exist.

 

The easiest way to mitigate this risk is to conduct frequent audits to identify accounts that have not been used during a specified period, such as the past 12 weeks, and evaluate whether it should remain or be removed.

 

Create Thorough Employee Exit Procedures

Most of your workers won’t stay with the company forever, and ensuring their credentials are revoked upon their exit is essential for security, especially for those who were terminated. Create strong policies and procedures that govern how these exits are handled, including when their account should be removed and who is responsible, and make sure they are followed to the letter. This limits the chance that an employee who has recently left can still access the system once they head out the door.

 

Identify Disgruntled Employees

Not everyone who is unhappy in their position leaves, and disgruntled employees may express their negativity toward the company by stealing data or damaging systems. While someone being displeased doesn’t mean they’ll act on their feelings, it is wise to monitor their activities more closely while you work to help improve their situation. Turning a dissatisfied worker into a happy one is a form of insider threat prevention in itself, so invest in their morale and see if things can’t turn around.

 

Create an Incident Response Team

Whether it consists of one employee or several, having a dedicated team that is responsible for responding to security incidents is crucial. These individuals will spearhead efforts for preventing, detecting, and addressing issues as they occur, as well as creating, maintaining, and using standard documented plans and processes based on the incident type. Establishing an official team centralizes your threat-related efforts, which can make managing issues simpler for everyone.

 

If you are interested in adding IT security professionals to your team, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us to see everything our services have to offer.

 

 

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Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. And Facebook is hiring both.

 

When most companies think of security, they focus on hiring IT professionals that can stop attacks in their tracks. Often, it requires a combination of skills aimed at limiting penetration, closing backdoors, and monitoring for intrusions. While all of these tasks are important to overall security, it does lack one key thing: an attacker.

 

Businesses are often only made aware of vulnerabilities when one is taken advantage of. That means the majority of security operations are reactive in nature. But some organizations have chosen a more proactive approach by hiring penetration experts to test their systems intentionally.

Role of the Internal Attacker

The purpose of an offensive security engineer is to act as an attacker in these scenarios. Their job is to try and make it through security mechanisms just as a hacker would. However, since they are employees of the company, they don’t focus on damage after the fact. Instead, they create their reports, record their techniques, and work with other security personnel to make sure someone outside of the business can’t get in the same way.

 

Often, the process of breaking into these systems and working your way past security measures is called penetration testing. Essentially, it is determining whether security measures are sufficient by blatantly trying to prove they aren’t.

Not a New Profession

Penetration testing isn’t new to the IT security world. In fact, some companies have been using outside services for this purpose for years. The difference isn’t in the process, but who ultimately employs the hacker-for-hire.

 

Many businesses who used to outsource the function have decided to bring professionals on-staff instead. In some cases, the reasoning behind the change is the ability to bring on staff who can do more than penetration testing. That way you can essentially have a hacker on-call while still finding more value in their work. Other organizations prefer to keep the privacy associated with internal testing.

 

Even if a third-party signs appropriate confidentiality agreements, some businesses are inherently nervous about outsiders getting in. By keeping an offensive security engineer on staff, that role can be completed by an employee instead.

Offense and Defense Go Hand-in-Hand

Creating a strong defense requires a solid understanding of the offense side of the equation. By having both sides represented by employees, businesses have the chance to allow each side to learn from one another. This can lead to stronger defenses based on more capable offenses, and that cycle can continue indefinitely.

 

If your company could benefit from an offensive security engineer or you’re filling any other IT vacancies, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you find the candidates you need. Contact us today and see how our recruitment specialists can work for you.

What Security Pros Need in the New Year

From an information security perspective, 2015 was a headline-making year, and not in a good way. Major breaches occurred at healthcare insurance companies, an online dating site, financial firms, and government agencies including the FBI. The challenges facing security pros are daunting. These are a few of the things they need to make their jobs easier:

Integrated security tools.

There are plenty of security products out there, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, data loss prevention tools, threat feeds, and security information and event management products, but they mostly provide independent services. Security pros wish for integrated tools that would provide a comprehensive view of the network security posture and work together to address threats.

Increased security awareness.

Security doesn't make money for companies, so it often gets little attention—and money—until after a problem has occurred. Security pros wish consciousness of the importance of security would penetrate the entire business hierarchy, from the boardroom where strategic funding decisions are made to the lowest-level employees who are vulnerable to phishing and social engineering attacks.

Security implemented throughout the technology stack.

It's no longer possible to secure corporate data by securing the network. Security needs to be built into applications and databases to defend against attacks that originate from within the network. Security concerns should be part of an application's earliest design phases, not an afterthought ineffectually bolted on at the tail end of the development process.

Security focused on major risks.

It's impossible to provide effective security when you don't know where the biggest risks are. Companies need to perform risk analysis to understand which data is being used by which applications and where that data is being stored. Then security efforts can focus on protecting sensitive data which would do the greatest harm if exposed, rather than applying equal levels of protection across all applications regardless of risk.

More security engineers.

There's a shortage of security professionals, so even when a business is committed to investing in security, it's hard to find employees with the skills to implement the necessary tools and policies. Engineers with solid training and up-to-date security certifications will find plenty of opportunity in the new year.

Published in Recruiting