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It must be recognised that 2022 was yet another year where businesses of all sizes faced growing concerns over cyber security and the potential threat attackers pose.  Every year we see discussions about how attackers are becoming more advanced, with new techniques being adopted and, in some cases, old ones being re-used – resulting in year-end predictions being made about what is in store for 2023.

The one thing, however, that has been consistent (and plays directly into the attackers’ hands) is a lack of cyber security professionals and those with the knowledge and experience to defend our corporate networks from the daily onslaught of potential threats that must be investigated – let alone being proactive in mitigating threats before they happen.

But therein lies the flaw. “Professionals” gives the notion that only those with years of experience and numerous certifications can be of value when protecting our systems.

Here at Pentesec, we see it differently!

We look for the potential in people and, in doing so, see beyond the hurdles that many face when looking for a career in cyber security.  We understand that the talent base for such a career is likely bigger than is given credit and often that talent is homegrown and sitting right next to you or is waiting in the wings in the form of the younger generation. Either way, we believe the talent is out there and is held back by the bar to entry which is likely a contributing factor in the apparent lack of talented individuals.

So, why is talent going to be important in 2023?  I think to answer that question we must first discuss certifications, as they are often the benchmark of someone’s ability, but are they?  While we cannot deny that certifications hold value, they aren’t the only thing we should be looking for in 2023 and this is because holding a certification doesn’t necessarily prove ability.

With so many still relying on memory retention to pass any number of multiple-choice questions, we run the risk of stove-piping our selective base and missing the potential to hire someone with an innate ability to understand the vast amount of data that is produced by today’s security tools.

Talent, or competency, on the other hand, isn’t measured by multiple choice questions but is a set of skills that individuals possess which allow them to excel in certain roles. This is what is needed in cyber security.  Having the ability to spot talent will be a game changer in 2023 because it will broaden the pool of candidates needed to fill the numerous cyber security roles and plug the skills gaps we hear about time and time again.

While talent alone isn’t the answer, we believe talent is a good place to start looking and it is at that point, where the necessary skills gaps are identified, can the talent be improved upon through training and certifications as opposed to being the sole criteria.

If you’re looking for a change in career and want to work for a company that looks past your ability to pass an exam, visit the Charterhouse Group careers hub to find out more about Pentesec’s vacancies and speak to one of the recruitment team.