Career / Career Progression

7 Skills to Complement Your IT Security Expertise

by Team Nuggets
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Published on October 24, 2017

Cybersecurity is one of the most complex IT topics to master, but having only one skill in IT usually means the end of your career. You need multiple skills to survive in today's competitive market, even if you work in an in-demand sector like IT security. Here are seven skills that compliment your cybersecurity knowledge. 

1. Server Administration

Having the ability to work with different operating systems is important, but understanding fundamental server-client infrastructure is even better. Most security experts focus on either Linux or Windows, because both of these server operating systems have different kernels and methods for dealing with network traffic. It's even better if you know both, but any expertise in managing servers will give you a place in operations. An operations department can always use a security expert.

2. Software Development

What better way to defend against cyber attacks than to write your own security tools? Understanding software development also helps you decompile and analyze new attacks that haven't yet been seen in the wild.

Penetration testing is commonly used to determine an application's ability to defend against attacks, but you need to understand languages such as JavaScript, Java, SQL, and C#. Knowing at least one C-style language will make you a better security expert.

3. Database Administration

Attackers love to get their hands on a database because it holds a mountain of data that could be monetized on the black market. You can learn database administration alongside server support because this skill overlaps with server information.

When you work with database security and support, you need to decide if you want to focus on relational or big data platforms. Most administrators start with relational databases such as MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server.

4. Cloud-Based Services

There are numerous SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS services on the market. Even big businesses use outside cloud services, so it's useful for you as a security expert to bring your understanding of multiple cloud services. For example, Salesforce is a common PaaS platform used in almost any sales team. Knowing how to customize and support the platform will make your resume that much more attractive, as well as help your organization keep it and its customers' data more secure.

5. Big Data Management

Relational databases have their place, but companies need a way to store and work with unstructured data. Big data storage takes many more resources, and managing it takes a different skill compared to relational databases. It's used mainly for analytics and building complex reports in marketing, sales, and logistics. You can help an organization go from midsize to enterprise by bringing this infrastructure to business.

6. Mobile Development and BYOD Policies

Mobile is the future. It's estimated that there will be more people using mobile than desktops in the coming years. Many organizations adopt a bring your own device (BYOD) policy to allow employees access to network resources, and mobile security is still not advanced, so you can have a leg up in the industry by understanding mobile development, technology, and the right security for a BYOD policy.

7. Project Management

If you aspire to grow into a management position, then project management is a good way to start. PM work takes you out of a lower level role and into the corner office. Your goal is to see a project move from the planning stage to a physical product. It helps you understand how to manage a project and the people who put it together. You can then combine this skill set with cybersecurity and manage projects that deal with protecting infrastructure.

These seven skills compliment any security expert. You don't need to know all of them to build an effective career portfolio, but understanding just a few both boosts your resume and increases your ability to attract better employers.


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