How to Hire The Best Cybersecurity Experts: Tips For Small Businesses

How to Hire The Best Cybersecurity Experts: Tips For Small Businesses

According to IBM, healthcare organizations that suffered a data breach spent up to $7.1 million in remediation costs. A data exposure on an energy firm, or the energy sector as a whole, might result in damages of up to $6.39 million.

These amounts are massive because 1) the healthcare industry has better and stricter protocols – it’s a requirement due to the sensitivity of client information; 2) interruptions in the energy industry have a cascading effect on a country’s systems.

How to Hire a Cybersecurity Professional

If this was the extent of the damage of a data breach, then the damage done to business pales in comparison to whole countries. That’s not to say cybercrime is overlooked on small to medium-sized enterprises – they’re just as damaging and could even be the cause of bankruptcy or permanent closure.

Most cybercriminals target customer’s personally identifiable information. Companies pay a huge amount to their customers for a data leak and it defaces the company’s value if the latter finds out about the incident. 

Aside from PII, there’s also the company’s intellectual properties (or more notoriously known as corporate secrets), encrypted PII, employee PII, and other company information. That’s why it’s smart to hire cybersecurity experts to avoid these types of crimes.

How often do cybercrime incidents happen?

On average, cybercrimes occur at least 2000 times a day. That’s every 32 seconds where a hacker tries to get into a computer network or system to perform acts of deviousness. California is known as a place for technological innovation and it’s also the place where it has the highest number of cyber infiltrations. It’s followed by Florida, Texas, and New York.

Cybercrimes range from identity theft, fraudulent online transactions, website spoofing, phishing, ransomware, malware, and a lot more. A good 20 percent of small businesses don’t implement protocols against cybercrime. 

Small businesses suffer from phishing – this cybercrime involves less technology and more about social engineering. It’s all the more reason to automate systems and hire cybersecurity experts.

What does a cybersecurity expert do?

Cybersecurity experts help clients and businesses secure their information and processes against data leaks and breaches. They’re also responsible for ensuring that their system is set up with the least number of vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity is a very broad field of expertise – it isn’t limited to finding bugs and setting up network firewalls. 

Cybersecurity can also mean any number of procedures drafted for employees to minimize the risk of exposing important company information and other internal processes that may affect the business once made publicly available.

In virtual systems (i.e. computer systems, computer networks, etc), cybersecurity experts can ensure there’s no way company or employee information is searchable on the internet. They can install security software, work with software and web developers in identifying exploitable code, and work with quality analysts for consistency in their deliverables. 

On a more administrative level (one that doesn’t involve too much technology), cybersecurity experts can draft policies and write memos for employees to follow to reduce the risk of exposing potentially sensitive customer, company, or employee information.

This can range from limiting the use of recording devices, writing down sensitive information, to avoiding talking to customers about the processes going on inside a company. 

What should I ask a cybersecurity expert?

When it comes to choosing a cybersecurity expert for your company, it’s crucial that you talk with several of them to make sure you’re receiving the highest level of protection possible. Here are 3 important questions you should ask cybersecurity experts.

1 What Can I Do to Prevent Cyber Attacks Now That I Know They’re Happening?

This is a must-ask since it is an important component of your company’s security. A trained cybersecurity expert would most likely tell you to begin by assessing the present state of security.

The security architect must then produce a strategy for what still needs to be completed; this might include creating a defensive strategy with several levels of protection throughout your IT system. This plan would incorporate many overlapping security programs, such as a firewall, an anti-virus software, and an intrusion prevention system.

2 How Do You Prevent Vendors and Third-Parties From Undermining Your Cybersecurity?

Unfortunately, many cyber-attacks originate from vendors and third parties, so only work with organizations that have the appropriate security credentials. Inquire about how much access vendors will have to your company’s information/data as well as what data they will be given to third parties.

3 How Often Do You Test Your Cybersecurity Incident Response Plans?

It’s critical for you to know how often your cybersecurity provider checks to see whether their response plans are still effective and up to date. Questions you should consider asking are: How will you inform us if there is a breach? How will you inform us if a third party has been compromised? How can we monitor your cybersecurity incident response plans?

Where can one hire a cybersecurity expert?

Most cybersecurity experts work under contracts of already existing and dedicated anti-cybercrime organizations and companies. These range from antivirus software companies to compliance and risk management services. 

Cybersecurity experts are either freelancers or long-time contractual workers under these types of companies. A quick search on Google should provide information on where to hire cybersecurity professionals but they can also be found on job hunting websites like Glassdoor and Indeed. 

How much do cybersecurity experts get paid?

Depending on what type of role cybersecurity experts will be taking on, their salaries may vary. For example, software-focused cybersecurity experts can earn $220,000 annually. An online platform called HackerOne allows whitehat hackers to check a system’s vulnerabilities for a reward (colloquially known as bug bounty hunting), with its members even receiving payouts as high as $500,000. 

Administrative roles like chief information security officers have stable annual incomes of $140K to $150K annually. Generalist-cybersecurity experts called cybersecurity architects to fulfill both software-specific and administrative roles simultaneously and can earn $130,000. 

Cybersecurity experts have various job titles so it’s important for recruiters to identify their organization’s needs.

What educational background does a cybersecurity expert need to have?

Although cybersecurity sounds like it requires a good foundation for IT skills, it’s not only computer wizards entitled to the role. There are organizations and companies willing to give training for individuals who want to delve into the world of cybersecurity. 

The very first considerations for the role should be graduates from reputable institutions that provide IT education, computer programming, or computer forensics.

Degree holders of criminal justice and digital forensics are also strong candidates. 

What personality should a cybersecurity expert possess?

A very speculative personality is required from cybersecurity experts. The Myers-Briggs company who currently owns the famous MBTI personality test conducted research correlating aspects of personality to cybersecurity. 

Individuals who did well for cybersecurity had high Thinking and Judging scores, although the differences weren’t far off from Feeling and Perceiving to merit distinction. Since cyber security falls under the realm of IT and computer science, it would be correct to assume that INTJ types work well in this field. 

According to the research, extroverts are more likely to perform better as cybersecurity professionals.

As with every other time, when deciding which cybersecurity expert to hire, conduct extensive research to discover the firm that is best for you and your needs. Regardless of what sort of business you run, it’s critical to safeguard sensitive information at all costs.


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