Cybersecurity needs your skills

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Author: Holly Wright, QRadar Flows Product Owner, QFlow Software Engineer, IBM Security

A little-known fact about cybersecurity is that it is one of the most diverse industries out there. Think of any company. You’d be hard-pressed to pick one that hasn’t gone through some sort of digital evolution, in some shape or form. Healthcare, finance, mining, aerospace, hospitality – you name it. With the widespread and pervasive integration of technology into organisations, comes a need for diverse cybersecurity professionals who can translate their skills across all sorts of industries.

Cybersecurity rewards teams from all walks of life

This is exciting because it means that cybersecurity seeks out and rewards teams from all walks of life. We need people who are adaptive, and who can apply their knowledge of their old hospitality job or “that time the bank detected fraud on my account” to create holistic and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions.

One thing I wish I knew years ago is that almost everyone will change their career at some point. You’re not stuck with any one decision or career path. You can dream about a role and company to work for without already being an expert in the technology. In the case of cybersecurity, providing a new perspective on a challenge could help save a business $3.92M (the average cost of a data breach in 2019!)

In my case, I studied Mechatronics at university, building robots and teaching drones how to fly. As you can see, most of this was teaching me how to work under pressure. I now work as a Product Owner and Developer on a cybersecurity product that helps organisations around the world detect when they are being attacked. I joined IBM with an entirely different skillset, and I had to learn (and am still) learning a lot.

Detect the evolving breeds of attacks

My core role is coding — developing new features that give better insights to customers, so they can continue to detect the evolving breeds of attacks that are being executed. One of my favourite things about working in technology is the fact that one small innovation can have a huge global impact. The part of my role that I am most passionate about is innovating and envisioning how we can become even better at fighting the cyber-fight. I am also fortunate enough to have had travel opportunities in my role, travelling to meet customers at MasterSkill Universities, and using those interactions to fuel new ideas for the product.

Making the world more secure

Technology changes rapidly; the most important skill to have is a passion for learning and taking on new challenges. If you’re a cybersecurity enthusiast, or just want to help make the world a little bit safer, trust that you don’t need to know all the hacking tools and technologies to get started.

We need all sorts of professionals, with all kinds of different backgrounds to be successful in taking on the cybersecurity challenge. When the diversity of thought is as diverse as the industry itself, then we can make the world that bit more secure.

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