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How to Attract More Women into Cybersecurity Careers

A small college in Claremont, CA may have finally found the formula to start attracting more women into Cybersecurity careers. 

Women may be a key factor to bridging the gap in the cybersecurity field where there is such a severe labor shortage. There are one million cybersecurity job openings in 2018. More than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled, and postings are up 74% over the past five years, according to an analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Peninsula Press, a project of the Stanford University Journalism Program.  

Michael Brown, the CEO of the world’s largest security software vendor, Symantec, claims the demand for cybersecurity talent is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million.

Today, only 11% of cybersecurity positions are filled by women, according to the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) which is a non-profit that empowers women to succeed in the Cybersecurity field,  This is in stark contrast with most other professional fields where women make up almost 50% or sometimes more of the workforce.

Across the nation, women only make up less than 16% of all graduating computer science majors and less than 12% of graduating computer engineering majors according to the Computing Research Association

Not so at Harvey Mudd College, where they have cracked the code to attract women into computer science degrees. More than half — 55% — of the latest class of computer science graduates were women, compared with roughly 10 percent a decade ago.

In fact, programming is becoming so popular at Harvey Mudd, which is a part of Claremont Colleges, that its professors are campus celebrities and incoming freshmen are excited for classes before ever setting foot on campus.

 The professors at Harvey Mudd College may have found the right formula which could be translated to the cybersecurity industry.

Using student feedback, observations from class and a bit of creative social psychology, professors identified three key reasons female students did not major in computer science:

  • They didn’t find it interesting,

  • They were intimidated by it the topic and the culture, and

  • It did not have social relevance.

Maria Klawe, Harvey Mudd’s president since 2006 and a computer scientist herself, used her influence in making the field more attractive to women and has been a nationally recognized speaker on creating more diversity in the STEM Workforce

Building confidence and a sense of belonging and a sense of community among these women makes such a huge difference,” she said. “Once you change the myths and the cultural beliefs about computer science, that has a lot of momentum.”

Here are some key changes the program introduced to help attract more women into Computer Science:

  • Gaming:  Instead of having computer science students write arcane code, professors started giving them fun group puzzles and 3-D graphics to create their own games.  They also used more language based projects such as writing algorithms that can recognize lines of Shakespeare, generating new text with similar sentence patterns and designing facial recognition programs.

  • Solving Real World Problems:  Women, more often, want to know they are contributing to a bigger, worldly purpose, whereas, most males were focused on personal projects.  Therefore, the curriculum was tuned to focus more on solving real world problems such as using algorithms to solve evolution questions, to analyze DNA sequences and to focus on disease research opportunities.  

  • Collaboration Projects:  More collaboration projects were introduced to take advantage of women’s strength in solving complex problems in teams.  They revamped homework assignments to bring groups of students together to solve problems.

  • Created Mentorships:  Professors found ways to remove the so-called macho effect by which more-experienced students — usually male — intimidated others by answering all the questions. They pulled those students aside and privately asked them to become mentors to the less experienced group which created a sense of value for them.

  • Individualized Training:  The department customized the curriculum to align with each person prior experience, so that those who knew less were learning at their own pace specifically in the areas where they needed the most training.  

  • Hired Diversity in Leadership:  The college also purposely sought out and hired more female professors to attract more female students into the program.

While the classroom and a cybersecurity team may differ in many ways, applying some of these same techniques may open up the door to many women who would have not previously considered the security field as a career opportunity.  Here are some tips which may be helpful:

Applying this to Cybersecurity:

  1. Create a fun work environment:  Life is too short to be stressed out all the time. Celebrate the successes whether it is finding a potential threat or going a month without an incident. Liven up meetings with appropriate humor.  Create events to bring your team together such as sponsoring local meetups or getting the team to participate in ‘capture the flag’ contests.

  2. Leverage Collaboration & Social Skills:  Create opportunities to build a stronger social community within your group by solving complex problems in teams

  3. Social Relevance: Help your team understand the greater purpose of protecting the company’s intellectual property, infrastructure and communications.  Attend InfraGard meetings as a team to see how keeping threats out can contribute to our National security.  

  4. Reduce Intimidation:  Create a work environment where the less technical are not intimidated by the “know-it-alls.”  Enlist those team members to help elevate the knowledge of the less technical to elevate the capability of the entire team.

  5. Personalized Training:  Evaluate each individuals strengths and weaknesses and customize a training program for them.  Whether it is formal outside training or pairing them up with a coworker, choose a path to ensure they are learning at an appropriate pace without intimidation.  

  6. Women Leadership:  Purposely seek out female security leaders.  Installing a women leader will naturally raise the level of confidence and comfort across the team for other women to join in. 

Changing the negative stereotypes in cybersecurity may take some time, but with purposeful effort, women and other underrepresented demographic groups, can be attracted into security careers.  This can help fill the employment gap and lead to greater opportunities and stronger teams by leveraging their strengths.

About Tim Howard

Tim Howard is the founder of four tech firms including two Executive Search Firms, Energy Sourcing (www.energysourcing.com) and Fortify Experts (www.fortifyexperts.com) which helps companies find exceptional “Embedded” talent through executive search, permanent placement, and project consultants. 

Tim Howard is also a Certified Birkman Personality Coach which helps company’s develop High Performance Teams by increasing effective communication and reducing personal conflicts.

He has been leading technology staffing teams for over 15 years and is the founder of three other technology firms. He has degrees from Texas A&M University in Industrial Distribution and Marketing.  

Invite me to connect:  www.linkedin.com/in/timhoward


Hand Picking Talent

5 Critical Questions to Ask a Cybersecurity Search Firm Before you Hire Them.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of recruiters and search firms out there who want to recruit cybersecurity professionals for you.  You probably receive multiple calls and emails per week looking for security “job orders” to work on.

Although I’ve been recruiting in the technology space for over 15 years and now in the cybersecurity space for about 3 years, I have found there are critical differences between the two areas.  Therefore as a security leader, if you don’t qualify firms up front, you can waste a tremendous amount of your time and may not result in hiring the security expert you need on your staff.

As you know finding the right security talent is not an easy task.  There are a lot of ‘wannabe security folks” out there who do not know their stuff and would require significant training which you may not have the time or resources to complete.

Therefore, here are some questions you should be asking any recruiter or search firm before you hire them to work on critical security roles:

  1. How many security engineers/architect placements have you made in the past 6 months?  If this is a larger staffing firm, ask who would be assigned to your recruiting effort and how many security placements has that person made?  Just because a national firm has made security placements, does not mean the person assigned to you will know the security domain.   Ask for references of their clients and the security professionals they have placed.
  2. Are they active members of any security organizations such as ISSA, ISACA, Infraguard, etc.?   Sr. Security professionals often avoid posting their details to LinkedIn, job boards, and social networks.  In fact, I would be leary of those security professionals who post too many details on the internet.  To find the highly desired, embedded candidates, a search firm must actively participate and build trust within the security community.
  3. Do they attend cybersecurity conferences?  Again, security professionals work with people they trust and know.  They are inherently suspicious (otherwise they wouldn’t be good at what they do).  A search firm who is a trusted insider will be able to attract the passive candidates and leverage a strong referral network within the community.
  4. How do they qualify security candidates?  Ask the recruiter what qualification questions they would ask for a variety of security disciplines.  If they say they need to get back to you, you know they are scrambling or Googling for those questions.  Qualifying firewall engineers vs. threat analysts vs. SIEM developers is very different.  Recruiters who can’t speak the language or properly qualify the talent will waste your time and not be able to attract the talent you want to hire.
  5. How many current security positions are you recruiting now?  Are they a “wannabe” security recruiter?  Do they have a current queue of security professional they are working with or will this search start from scratch?  Their website job postings will tell the real story.  Review their existing posted positions.  Are they a generalist or a do they really work on security roles?

Recruiting security experts is a very different process than hiring IT support or development personnel.  Most recruiters rely heavily on LinkedIn and job boards such as Monster and Career Builder.  Whereas, most good security professionals despise those platforms.  Plus they will rarely ever respond to job postings.  They know they are in high demand.  If they want a new position, they most often leverage their security network.

Therefore, to be successful in a security search, recruiters much know this domain well and go back to ‘head hunting’ where they build long term trusted relationships and referral networks.  Then when an appropriate role comes along, it is much easier to get a security professionals to raise their hand in interest.  As I tell our recruiting team, “It’s not who’s looking for us, it’s who we are looking for.”  That’s what leads to successful searches.


Tim Howard is the founder of Fortify Experts which helps companies find exceptional cybersecurity talent through executive search, permanent placement and project consultants.  Howard has been leading technology staffing teams for over 15 years and is the founder of three other technology and staffing firms.  He has degrees from Texas A&M University in Industrial Distribution and Marketing.  

Tim Howard’s LinkedIn Profile



Quick Interviewer’s Review Checklist

Here is a checklist that reviews some of the points discussed in this guideline.  You can use it to prepare for an interview or as a starting point for creating your own interview, checklist.  By following these guidelines, you can improve your interviewing techniques, evaluate candidates more effectively, and make better hiring decisions.

Before the interview:

  1. Decide on the specific skills and qualities required by the position.
  2. Define your company’s value system.
  3. Define the goals of the interview.
  4. Prepare an outline or a list of questions for the interview.
  5. Review the candidate’s resume and credentials.

 During the interview

  1. Don’t rely solely on first impressions.
  2. Be flexible, but use your outline to make sure you cover every point.
  3. Make the candidate feel comfortable; be friendly, but be professional.
  4. Verify the information on the resume.
  5. Communicate clearly and accurately. Keep questions and answers specific.
  6. Use open-ended questions to explore the candidate’s character traits and thought processes.
  7. Be consistent; ask candidates for the same position the same kinds of questions.

After the interview

  1. Make detailed notes as soon as the interview is over.
  2. Provide detailed feedback to your recruiter so they can prepare the next steps with the candidate or narrow their searching for additional candidates.

Other Candidate Interviewing Resources:


Effective Interviewing: 12 tips on how to hire the best person

It doesn’t take a specialist to conduct a successful interview, but, like most things, it does require preparation and some practice.

We believe this information will help you evaluate the candidates we send to you and ultimately select someone that will become a long-term, highly productive employee.

  1. Sell who you are

Before you try to judge the compatibility of a candidate, you should articulate who you are as a company and what is required by the position you want to fill. This is an important task, yet many companies don’t take the time to define their values and expectations.  If you don’t have a clearly articulated corporate culture, your recruiter can help you develop a profile that best describes the character of your organization.  This profile will play an important part in your interviews.  Once you’ve articulated the values that are important to your company, you can fashion interview questions that will uncover the qualities and characteristics that are consistent with those values.

  1. Know what you’re looking for

It is also important to define the position and the role the candidate is expected to play in your company and to be aware of whether and how the job requirements vary from your company’s overall value system.  For example, a company that thrives on an aggressive style may be looking for a manager who is expected to mediate conflict; this role will require conciliatory skills and a more soothing style than might be expected of other people in the company.  Your recruiter can assist you in developing an accurate, detailed job description and an appropriate compensation package.

  1. Prepare for the interview

The biggest weakness in most interviews is the lack of clear interviewing goals.

What is the interviewer’s role?

  1. Is it solely to judge the professional qualifications of the candidate?
  2. Is it to find out whether or not you’ll get along with this person or whether or not the people in your department will like him?

Clearly define the purpose of the interview ahead of time.  Know exactly where you want the interview to go, then gently lead the candidate there.  Before going into any interview familiarize yourself with the candidate’s background and prepare an outline or a list of questions.  Without doing both of these things, your interview can easily turn into an aimless, unproductive conversation.

  1. Keep interviews consistent

When you’re interviewing a number of people for the same position, you should create a level playing field for the candidates and a standard for comparison for your final hiring decision.  Ask the same kinds of questions and cover the same ground with each person.  That way, when it’s time to sit down and evaluate your field of candidates, you’ll be comparing apples to apples.

Don’t write a script and recite it word-for word in each interview, because it’s important to allow for exploratory follow-up questions.  Make a checklist that includes all the areas you want to cover with each candidate, review it before you go into the interview, then refer to it during your meeting, if necessary.

  1. Put the candidate at ease

You get the best results when you break through the persona a candidate feels he/she has to project in an interview. Many candidates are nervous, many are trying to meet what they assume are your expectations, and all are trying to be in top form.  To get as real a portrait of the candidate as you can, make him feel comfortable.  Open the interview by trying to find some common ground — a shared alma mater, a city you’ve both lived in or visited, a mutual home state, or professional affiliations.  Use this as an icebreaker, but don’t let the interview veer off into tales of your old fraternity.  Try to create a connection, then lead the discussion to the issues at hand.  Simply being friendly is an effective technique for making the candidate feel at ease.  Being confrontational may show you how he responds in confrontational situations, but it won’t get you much farther than that. An interview shouldn’t be designed to test a candidate’s mettle.

  1. Show respect for the candidate

An interview is a mutual evaluation; the impression you give the candidate will affect his opinion of the company as a whole and play an important role in his decision should you decide to make him an offer.  So, show respect for the candidate by giving him your full attention.  Don’t keep him waiting, and don’t take phone calls or allow interruptions during the interview.  Treat him as a fellow professional.

  1. Listen closely and make mental notes

You can jot down some notes during an interview to help you remember important information, but keep note taking to a minimum.  It is difficult to listen and write at the same time, and you want to absorb and respond to what the candidate is saying.  Also, by looking at the candidate rather than at your notepad, you give the impression that you’re really listening.  As soon as the interview is over, make detailed notes about your impressions and the candidate’s responses.  Your checklist will help you recall and organize the information.  Don’t trust your memory: after three or four interviews, it could be impossible to remember distinguishing information about individual candidates without accurate notes.

  1. Beware the first impression

One of the most common, and unreliable, factors in hiring decisions is the first impression.  Choosing people on the basis of how much they look like us, how attractive they are, or how they strike us during the first few minutes or seconds of a conversation is not a good method of selection  (If you were meeting with a potential client, would you let a poor first impression disqualify him as a potential long-term customer?).  Just because you click with a candidate personally or find you have a lot in common, that’s not an indication of his suitability for the job.  Although there’s no way to avoid your personal feelings in response to an individual, there is a way to deal with them:  when you meet a candidate, quickly and privately acknowledge your initial reaction, then set it aside and get on with the interview.

  1. Be clear and give accurate information

Remember that an interview is a two-way, information-gathering event.  It’s a meeting where both parties expect to learn something.  Articulate your expectations clearly, and represent your company and the position as accurately as you can without revealing confidential or sensitive information.  Leave room for questions, and be honest in answering them.  Be upbeat and positive, even when giving what might seem like a tough answer.  Don’t use the interview to vent your own dissatisfactions or discuss personal conflicts.

  1. Start with the resume, then move on

The early part of the interview should be geared toward determining the candidate’s professional qualifications, but you shouldn’t waste a lot of time having him reiterate facts already listed on paper.  Use the resume as a guide to verify and qualify his experience.

Here are a couple of good questions to use early in the interview:

  • Please give me a brief overview of your job history beginning with your first noteworthy employment.
  • Which technical aspects of this industry are you best equipped to handle?
  1. Ask open-ended questions

With the characteristics you’re looking for in mind, use open-ended questions to identify the traits of the candidate. “How” and “why” questions reveal a lot about the candidate’s experience, thought processes, and motivation. Open-ended questions can also be extremely useful in determining how well a candidate communicates their thoughts and matches your company’s value system.  Be sure to avoid unfocused questions that allow for broad, abstract answers.

Here are some examples of good, probing questions:

  • How do you handle conflict?
  • How do you handle an angry client?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What have you done to reduce costs or generate sales in past jobs?
  • What achievement in the area of ___ are you proudest of?
  • What kind of relationship do you want to have with your co-workers?
  • You’re working under a manager who has great ideas, but is very poor with detail planning. How could you best work with this type of person?
  • What kind of boss do you work most effectively with?
  • If you had only three adjectives to describe yourself, which would you choose?
  1. Be prepared to sell your company

If, after asking your key-qualifying question, you determine that the applicant is a viable candidate, you should be ready to start selling the position and your company.  Typically, the person you are interviewing already has a satisfactory job; it is up to you and your company to make working for you more attractive.

When you reach this point in an interview, try saying something like this:

  • “One of your first projects here will be to…” or,
  •  “You will be working in our most promising new product area”.

Your enthusiasm at this time will create excitement and encourage positive feelings that will be important if you decide to make an offer. Really good people are hard to find.  Make sure good candidates leave the interview with the feeling that you and your company are truly interested in them as potential employees.

Quick Review Checklist

Here is a checklist that reviews some of the points discussed in this guideline.  You can use it to prepare for an interview or as a starting point for creating your own interview, checklist.  By following these guidelines, you can improve your interviewing techniques, evaluate candidates more effectively, and make better hiring decisions.

Before the interview:

  1. Decide on the specific skills and qualities required by the position.
  2. Define your company’s value system.
  3. Define the goals of the interview.
  4. Prepare an outline or a list of questions for the interview.
  5. Review the candidate’s resume and credentials.

 During the interview

  1. Don’t rely solely on first impressions.
  2. Be flexible, but use your outline to make sure you cover every point.
  3. Make the candidate feel comfortable; be friendly, but be professional.
  4. Verify the information on the resume.
  5. Communicate clearly and accurately. Keep questions and answers specific.
  6. Use open-ended questions to explore the candidate’s character traits and thought processes.
  7. Be consistent; ask candidates for the same position the same kinds of questions.

 After the interview

  1. Make detailed notes as soon as the interview is over.
  2. Provide detailed feedback to your recruiter so they can prepare the next steps with the candidate or narrow their search for additional candidates.

Other Candidate Interviewing Resources:


5 Interviewing Tips to Hire Exceptional Talent

Hiring Exceptional Talent is a skill and as with any skill it must be practiced and honed to become highly effective.  Preparation is key.  Before conducting your first interview, you need to do your homework.  Here are several very important steps which need to be taken before you schedule the first interview:

  1. Define your Success Criteria for the Role 

To hire an exceptional candidate, you have to define what exceptional is in your mind.  You need to take the time to write down this criteria.  Don’t just ‘think’ about it – this needs to be clearly defined:

  • What will an exceptional candidate need to achieve in their first 90 days?
  • What are the hard skills they need to get off to a good start?
  • Which of those skills are absolutely critical?
  • Which can be honed or learned within that 90 day period.

Imagine if you hired the perfect person, and a year from now you’re about to enthusiastically issue them a check for the maximum bonus they could earn:

  • What will they have accomplished for you?
  • How will your organization run better?
  • What revenues will they have generated?
  • What new processes will they have created?
  • What load will they have taken off of your shoulders?

From these accomplishments, find the common threat between them and narrow it down a list of 3 to 5 key success factors or attributes this person needs to have or achieve to be considered an exceptional hire.

Most hiring managers never take the time to define this step and allow interviews to wander all over the place.  Defining this criteria up front will provide you with a strong interview foundation which will lead to better hires.

  1. Create Questions around your Success Criteria

Look back at your success factors.  What questions do you need to ask to uncover if a candidate can achieve those?   Write down these questions.  What experiences does a candidate need to have to prove they can do it again?

Questions like “Give me an example of how you ….” instead of “Do you have this skill?” are much more effective in understanding a candidates’ breath of experience.  Questions like:

  • Tell me how you were able to exceed that quota.
  • Why did you decided to use that technology?
  • What processes did you put in place to make you more effective?
  • What method did you use to come up with that ROI?

Interviews should be conversational but knowing these criteria and questions up front will allow you to intertwine them throughout the interview.

  1. Analyze the Resume

Too often, hiring managers, wait until the candidate sits down before they even start looking at the resume.  Again, interview prep is critical to getting this right.  Would you walk into a new client prospect without being prepared?  Hiring an employee can have the same revenue effect.   The wrong hire could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The right hire can make you hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Spend the 15 minutes prior to an interview to review and highlight areas which you need more information such as:

  • Are there employment gaps?   If so, ask about them. It may help uncover if this person is a job hopper or if he or she has a difficult personality that results in terminations.
  • If they have a short term job, ask if you could speak with that manager for a reference?  This can be one of the most revealing questions.  Be aware of what their non-verbal communication are saying too.
  • Does his/her career progression make sense?
  • Did they make a lateral move or change industries abruptly?
  • Ask which position was most challenging and/or most rewarding?
  • Where did they achieve the most / the least?
  • Who was their best manager and why?
  1. Dig Deeper

Most of the time candidates will come into an interview with stock answers and examples.  It is your job to get beyond the stock answers.  Follow up questions are critical in revealing a candidates motivations, attitude and aptitude.  Ask follow up questions like:

  • “Tell me more about …..”
  • “Why did you ….”
  • “Can you give me another example?”

When a candidate runs out of a stock answer, their true character comes out.  When you feel you are getting a stock answer, don’t rush to move on, dig deeper to see what lies under it.

  1. Be Consistent Across All Candidates

Hiring managers a notorious for ‘going with the flow’ of the conversation which makes comparing candidates very difficult.  If you are truly trying to uncover an exceptional candidate, you must be methodically comparing them.  Using the same basic format and questions simplifies the evaluation process.

Writing down how a candidate ranks against the predefined success criteria during and immediately after the interview process is critical.  We often think we will remember the specifics around a candidate’s interview but often after multiple candidates are interviewed and weeks go by, those conversations all blend together.

Taking notes about how each candidate addresses each of your success criteria eases your mind and speeds up the hiring decision process.

By training yourself on how to be a better interviewer, will directly result in you making better hires enabling you to surround yourself with an exceptional team.

Other Candidate Interviewing Resources:


Why hire a Virtual CISO?

Have you heard that some companies are in effect ‘renting’ a temporary information security officer?

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

While every organization needs an information security officer – to identify information threats and implement strategic and compliant security plans – not every company can afford to hire one full time.

Here are 9 reasons why an organization might consider hiring a virtual CISO.

  1. The information security workforce shortfall just keeps growing.  According to the 2015 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study, which is an online survey of almost 14,000 information security professionals in small (25%), mid-sized (32%), and large (43%) organizations, the shortfall will reach 1.5 million in five years (this is the difference between the workforce needed and the expected labor market). Almost three-quarters of respondents in a 2014 Ponemon report said their organizations do not have enough IT security staff.
  2. There’s so much competition. Data from Burning Glass, a labor analytics firm, reported in a Network World story, showed that cybersecurity job postings grew 74% from 2007 to 2013. That is more than twice the growth rate of all IT jobs.
  3. Turnover. Senior security executives on average leave after 2 ½ years, according to the Ponemon study.
  4. The workplace is technology-driven. While the barrage of cyber threats is never ending, the number of devices used by the workforce keeps increasing too. Mobile devices, cloud-based services, Internet-of-Things, and the latest, wearable devices, all need protection too.
  5. Mounting problems caused by the workforce shortage. The Frost & Sullivan study put the spotlight on configuration mistakes and oversights as well as longer and longer remediation time following compromises. Good leadership takes a proactive stance rather than reactive, which is the status in many organizations now.
  6. It’s effective. “Renting CISO can be beneficial to companies because they can help navigate risk and compliance issues, and in some cases have had experience speaking with board members,” said a spokesperson from MAFAZO Digital Solutions in a CSOonline article. “They can present a case well and articulate the value of security.”
  7. Availability. How to hire an information security officer? An online search will show that ‘CISOs for Hire’ (temporary, part-time and/or virtual) is a growing business model.
  8. Affordability. The concept is especially appealing to smaller companies that lack internal security resources, writes Bob Violino in a Dell.com article. For small to mid-sized business, it may be difficult to justify the expense of a full-time Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
  9. Results. Businesses who hire CISOs recorded the highest levels of confidence in their security stance, according to the 2015 Annual Security Report by technology company Cisco. Here’s a review of information security best practices.

The Frost & Sullivan study concluded that once you hire an information security officer, it’s still important to improve security awareness throughout the company. The most important methods: provide on-going employee training and embed security processes into the workplace.

This is why Fortify Experts’ vCISO program is one of the most effective ways to help reduce the risk of a security breach. Learn more about how to Fortify Experts can help protect your company. 


Top 10 Reasons to hire Military Cybersecurity Experts

It is well publicized that there is a critical shortage of trained cybersecurity talent in the workforce (Over 400,000 jobs with only 50,000 people to fill them).  However the irony is – there is a constant stream of highly trained intelligence personnel coming out of our armed forces who are having a difficult time securing a decent job in the corporate world.

Although we may honor our veterans, are you willing to hire one even though they don’t have exactly the skills in your job description?  I have spoken with many intelligence veterans or soon to be veterans who are frustrated with the lack of opportunity coming out of the military.

I contest that the military is an excellent source of cybersecurity talent as they work with highly secure and encrypted communications, intelligence systems and networks and, top secret data.  When their information is breached, people don’t get credit cards stolen, people die.   In fact, one intelligence analyst told me, “If my analysis of the intelligence and social networking data is wrong, I could cost an innocent man his life.”

Coming out of the service, military leaders and intelligence analysts are highly trained, process oriented, and have a heightened sense of security awareness that most civilians don’t understand.  Therefore, here is a list of my top 10 reasons to hire a military expert for your cybersecurity needs:

Top 10 Reasons to hire Military Cybersecurity Expert:

  1. Military intelligence, secure communications and network cryptology is very transferable to the corporate cybersecurity world. While software applications are different, the principles are extremely similar.
  2. Although they may not have the exact skill required, they are trained to adapt to new roles very quickly.  Military personnel are accustomed to making frequent job changes and having to become competent in critical roles in a very short time.
  3. They are experienced in monitoring of critical systems such as NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain, Military data intelligence, Nuclear War Ships, etc.)
  4. Military personnel are disciplined to work in adverse conditions therefore, can work independently and are not typically complainers.
  5. They are used to mundane roles which can escalate quickly.
  6. The military is very procedure-oriented, requires extensive reporting and they are conditioned to follow rules-based procedures and actions.
  7. The military has a heightened sense of security awareness civilians don’t typically understand.
  8. With pensions in place, many times they are willing to work for less to gain corporate experience and there are tax credits for employers
  9. They are lower risk hires with a strong work ethic, security clearances & clean backgrounds.
  10. Hiring a veteran rewards veterans for their service and puts them in back into the civilian workforce.

Many of the top cybersecurity experts in the industry, began their careers in the military.  Maybe your next hire can have that same potential.  If you are interested in seeing if a veteran is right for your cybersecurity needs, contact Fortify Experts at (www.fortifyexperts.com).

To see a list of available military cybersecurity experts go to: https://www.fortifyexperts.com/available-cyber-security-experts/