7 Skills You Need to Become
a Cybersecurity Expert

See also: Protecting Yourself in the Digital World

The average data breach cost increased by 15% from $3.78 million in 2021 to a whopping $4.45 million in 2023. And let’s be honest, the only reason why this figure has not doubled or tripled yet is because most companies have begun to rope in cybersecurity analysts like you to their ranks.

As a cybersecurity analyst, your role is to prevent cyberthreats by analyzing your company’s security architecture, preparing security measures, running preemptive security tests, and managing breaches and crises for efficient resolution.

But you can’t possibly fit in all these competencies if you rely only on your hard and technical skills. Since you’re going to be working with an organization as a whole, you must have the following soft skills too.

1. Apt Communication

While you might be well-versed in all the principles of cybersecurity to the extent of knowing which preemptive security measures can effectively resolve the worst possible cyberthreats, it is no use if you can’t communicate them effectively to the team.

Remember that you’re likely to be working in an organization that has a mix of both techies and non-techies. So if you're conveying important information, it has to be in a format that everyone understands.

Imagine educating a company's sales and marketing team on how to scrape lead data from the web using static residential proxies. These groups of people most definitely do not understand stuff like trojan viruses, rotational IPs, and phishing. Static residential proxies are a great network security tool that any cybersecurity expert should know about. You can learn more about it by following the link.

Your job is to break things down and communicate in a simpler language for them. Doing this ensures they are compliant with the given security practices.

The same thing applies to techie departments like the IT and management teams. There's no doubt they understand all your ambiguous terms. But it's best to communicate your messages clearly to enable easier implementation and minimize human errors.

Your communication skills are not only essential intra-organizationally. You also need them in situations where you have to collaborate with non-organizational entities and other cybersecurity experts for brainstorming better security strategies.

2. Problem-Solving

As a cybersecurity worker, there’s no escaping hundreds of cyberthreat alerts each day. And this is where your problem-solving skills come in.

You must be able to identify and articulate every cyberthreat while rolling out different fitting solutions and steps to diffuse them.

At the same time, you should efficiently analyze the pros and cons of each situation, singling out the best alternative with the least negatives, and harmoniously rallying all the concerned teams together before any security crises gets out of hand.

3. Critical and Analytical Thinking

Critical thinking goes hand in hand with problem-solving. Cybersecurity analysts not only combat existing cyberthreats, they also aim to prevent a new one from happening by rolling out proactive security checkpoints.

So, in situations where common sense doesn’t make a cut, you must think like a cyberattacker, find out what you would do if you were them, try it out by carrying out simulations to prove your theory, and document your results.

Are there some details others are missing out? Perhaps the most insignificant ones that normally shouldn’t pose a problem? Critical thinking helps you connect the dots and formulate a countermeasure.

The goal is to see which loopholes hackers can take advantage of, or which ones have already been employed, and how you can resolve them with the least resources.

4. Team Collaboration

Team collaboration is also similar to communication. But here, you're more concerned about working and communicating as a team rather than in a silo.

From carrying out research and running security tests, to making decisions, you must carry your team members along or get carried along by them. This makes it easier to exhaust every possible idea, solution, and perspective that can help you create a better cybersecurity strategy.

Moreover, team collaboration eliminates every chance of lopsidedness or oversights in your security architecture that can be exploited by cyberattackers.

5. Adaptability to Situations

While there are practices and tools that can help us predict some threat trends and prevent them in advance, the accuracy is not 100%. Just as you’re trying to patch up any loophole that cyberattackers can exploit, these attackers are also busy opening new ones that you don’t know about yet.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you suddenly get an incidence report that’s entirely different from what you’ve seen before. You must be able to adapt to every new crisis that does not follow your protocol and immediately roll out appropriate measures or solutions.

Note that your problem-solving ability is directly related to how calm you remain when facing a security crisis. And this directly affects how fast you can adapt to new situations. That's what separates a cyber security noob and an expert.

6. Attention to Every Detail

The ability to focus holistically on every minor and major detail is crucial to becoming a good cybersecurity analyst. That’s because most of the cyber breaches in history were as a result of little mistakes that no one paid attention to or instructions that were sidelined.

According to a report by Verizon, 74% of data breaches were as a result of human errors. To minimize these risks and improve the accuracy of your security judgments, you must prioritize even the most insignificant details that others would have otherwise ignored.

Pay attention to your security architectures, incidence reports whether it’s for your company or not, and account for every possible scenario in your security module in cases of unexpected breaches.

7. Time Management Ability

Last, time is gold, especially for those working in the cybersecurity department. There are tons of new security modules to modify and other upskilling courses lining up on your desk. What about the incidence reports that’s still on the way? All within 24 hours a day.

That’s why you must be able to plan your tasks appropriately, sorting them based on priority, and picking the ones that carry more importance based on the risk and benefit scale. You employ automation tools to reduce your repetitive tasks, notify you when it’s time to do something, and update your calendar for the day.

If you’re the type that gets easily distracted, that’s not good practice as it increases your chances of making critical errors. Techniques like Pomodoro can help out by fragmenting your tasks into sections with breaks to catch up in between.


The cybersecurity industry is booming each day, but so are the threats. That’s why you need to add some soft skills to your arsenal, in addition to the technical skills you already have.

For instance, communication and team collaboration helps to converge your team’s strength.  Coupled with critical thinking and problem-solving ability, you can easily prevent data breaches while resolving the existing ones efficiently.

Others like adaptability to situations, attention to detail, and time management ensure you are at your best when handling any security crises.

About the Author

Vibhu Dhariwal is Co-Founder & Director of Marketing at Digital Gratified Pvt. Ltd., a SaaS Digital Marketing Company. He likes sharing his experience through outreach marketing, link building, content marketing, and SEO with readers. To know more about him, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.