8 Personality traits to succeed in cybersecurity careers

By Sarah Wild

The global economy is predicted to be short of 1.8 million cybersecurity workers by 2022. Hogan Assessments pinpoint the traits young people will need to forge a career in this emerging field.


Content to do the necessary work in the shadows, a successful cybersecurity professional tends to avoid the spotlight.


Programming and systems work might seem to be a soloist’s calling, but keeping colleagues safe is integral to cybersecurity roles. A desire to help people is a must, and fighting threats will require co-operation and trust.


The ability to stay cool in the face of an attack is integral. A cybersecurity professional cannot be cowed of knocked off balance by an urgent task.


As you would expect, an ability to understand and analyse data is a core skill. Criminals are increasingly sophisticated in their attacks, requiring technical professionals to combat them.


Cybercriminals are constantly changing their methods. A young cybersecurity professional will be imaginative, curious and must show a willingness to learn new things all the time.


In a world of constant threats, you cannot afford to be naïve. A healthy amount of scepticism is a necessary trait for all prospective candidates.


In case of a breach, anyone in cybersecurity must take criticism and feedback from affected employees. While it would be easy to become passive-aggressive in the face of (possibly undeserved) criticism, a cybersecurity professional has to front up when things go wrong.


Employers require many of their staff to be detail-oriented, but in the cybersecurity profession it is integral. One small oversight can lead to breach.


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