The future of organizations depends on cyber security experts. By 2022, the cost of cyber crime, worldwide, may cost businesses as much as $8 trillion. At present, the cyber security skills shortage prevents organizations from covering all of their cyber security needs. Thinking of a career in cyber security or know someone who recently entered the field?

Building a career in cyber security requires a combination of foundational knowledge and practical skills. This particular blend of expertise is often acquired through both self-directed initiatives and via experimentation.

In a SANS Institute survey, researchers asked 284 hiring teams to explain what they look for in cyber security job candidates. Here’s what the survey found:

  • 85% ranked computer networking as an essential or “very important” job skill
  • 77% of management teams wanted candidates with Linux experience
  • 73% of management teams seek out those with Windows mastery
  • 73% want candidates who are familiar with common exploitation techniques
  • 67% focus on computer architectures and virtualization
  • Data cryptography and programming were also ranked as important skills

To this day, some of the very best cyber security professionals never attended college, achieving their accolades through passion, persistence, hard work and grit. Others do retain advanced cyber security degrees. But the truth is that mastery of foundational knowledge and skills is what matters most.

What else will carry cyber security professionals through a successful career?

In a brand new podcast, host James Azar interviews a variety of CISOs about real-life situations, stories and solutions from the frontlines of cyber security.

In the first episode, find out about CISO Brian Lozada’s experiences at HBO Max and as a cyber security professional for other major enterprise players. Discover how Brian has facilitated massive transitions from on-prem to the cloud, and find out about the biggest challenges in the process.

Hear all of the secrets. Uncover new best practices and trends. Leverage these insights as you navigate your career path. Check out the podcast here.