What CSOs should look for in new hires

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Ajay Nawani, chief of Cyberoam Academy
Ajay Nawani, chief of Cyberoam Academy

Last month, college graduations were celebrated throughout the country, springing the class of 2013 on the working world. 

Many graduates left academia with security-related degrees in hopes for finding jobs in the industry. As CSOs, headhunters and hiring managers review countless resumes to fill open job opportunities. It is important that they look at prospects with the right mix of classroom education, hands-on exposure and training to ensure the right people are hired, and have the skills needed to succeed in their jobs. 

As security threats continue to grow in numbers, the number of cyber protectors in the workforce must grow as well – and the next generation of workers must be on top of their game.

In an increasingly connected world, the exponential growth of devices and networks is affecting thousands of organizations and millions of people that conduct business online. The growth can be exciting, but can also have some scary results. 

Given the rapid growth of smart devices, mobile apps, social media and online shopping, it has become clear that the world needs more qualified people in the security space to combat new online threats and bridge the network security skills gap.

Confirming the need for a larger and more dynamic network security workforce, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that by the year 2020, demand for cyber security experts will increase by 28 percent. And considering the number of breaches, network security is emerging as a promising career avenue.

The numbers are significant and speak for themselves, but do you need more proof that security professionals are essential to protect private organizations, government and IP? Look no further than the lazy passwords we use on a regular basis. 

As headhunters, human resources managers and CSOs look to make strategic hires that will excel in their given organization, how can they be sure that students today are prepared to leave the world of education and meet the actual network security needs of the industry?

To ensure job prospects succeed in the real world, more comprehensive education courses are needed to ensure they are ready to take on the cyber attacks of the future.

Often times, universities offer individual courses for specific security verticals, such as ethical hacking and penetration testing. While courses that focus on a specific topic are helpful, it is clear that a course covering all security fundamentals is necessary.

There are a small number of schools nationwide that go a step further and offer more comprehensive courses. To prevent the next generation of security professionals from failing, more courses that enable students to deploy enterprise-grade equipment to deal with real-life scenarios, rather than using simulators, are needed.

The ideal coursework will prepare job candidates for deploying security solutions, managing and applying security policies and principles, and embracing cutting-edge concepts to test and discover network vulnerabilities.

Such courses will give participants a clear advantage in the job market, businesses the peace of mind knowing that prospects are available with the right mix of skills and knowledge, and ultimately us knowing we can be protected.

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