In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the significance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Yet, amidst this growing field, there’s a crucial detail that often goes unnoticed: the term “Cyber Security Professional” is not a protected title. This means that virtually anyone, regardless of their skills or experience, can claim to be a cybersecurity expert. Given this ambiguity, it’s vital for individuals and organizations to discern between those who can genuinely contribute to their cybersecurity needs and those who might not.
Understanding the two primary types of cybersecurity professionals – auditors and technologists – is key to determining whom to trust with your cybersecurity needs. Auditors are experts in policy and compliance, ensuring that cybersecurity measures meet legal and regulatory standards. They are adept at identifying gaps in policy and management but may lack hands-on technical expertise. On the other hand, technologists are the technical experts who actively manage and protect against cyber threats. Their role is hands-on, dealing with the actual technologies and practices that keep digital assets safe.
Auditors are individuals who, though they may not have hands-on cybersecurity experience, are skilled in the art of auditing. Their background might be more aligned with fields like accounting rather than technology. These professionals are adept at reviewing policies and ensuring compliance with various standards. However, their lack of technical expertise typically prevents them from writing effective procedures, as they may not fully understand the underlying technologies involved in cybersecurity.
On the other end of the spectrum are the technologists. These are the real tech-savvy individuals who engage directly with cybersecurity technologies. They can be broadly categorized into two groups:
Red Team: These professionals specialize in offensive security. They test your defenses by simulating cyberattacks to identify vulnerabilities.
Blue Team: In contrast, the Blue Team focuses on defensive strategies. They implement controls and technologies to prevent unauthorized access and safeguard your digital assets.
Recognizing the type of cyber security professional you need is crucial. Auditors can provide a semblance of security, often necessary for meeting insurance or regulatory requirements. They excel in creating an environment that appears secure on paper. In contrast, technologists are the ones who build tangible security measures. They implement real, technical solutions to protect your digital environment. However, they might not always communicate their strategies effectively to non-technical individuals.
For comprehensive cybersecurity, the collaboration of both auditors and technologists is essential. While auditors ensure that your cybersecurity measures are up to par with industry standards and regulatory requirements, technologists fortify your digital environment against actual cyber threats. Together, they can provide a balanced approach that not only satisfies regulatory bodies (‘the suits’) but also establishes robust and understandable cybersecurity measures.
In a world where the title of “Cyber Security Professional” is not safeguarded, understanding the distinction between auditors and technologists becomes imperative. By recognizing the strengths and limitations of each category, you can make informed decisions about who to engage for your cybersecurity needs. Remember, effective cybersecurity is not just about meeting standards or deploying technologies; it’s about integrating these aspects to create a secure, comprehensible, and compliant digital environment.