How to Choose a Cybersecurity Consultant

Five points to consider when choosing a cybersecurity consultant.

Cybersecurity is of interest in every industry and geography. An array of attacks can happen to any given company: hacking, phishing, wire fraud or denial-of-service attacks, to name a few.  Accordingly, numerous businesses seek skilled consultants to help prevent such disruption. Various articles have covered the topic of how to choose a cybersecurity analyst. Below, are some of the top aspects to consider when selecting such an expert, according to security publications.

Background knowledge

A consultant’s educational background and previous employment may be relevant to consider when hiring him or her. For example, when deciding upon working with a given analyst, the fact that the person has a Master’s degree in security-oriented subjects and multiple years working within the cybersecurity industry may be highly important. Continuing education may also be a background aspect to take under consideration, such as the attainment of certification from ongoing post graduate training programs.

Intelligible Expertise

A consultant should be able to thoroughly explain what expertise he or she has.  Quite often,  skills and experience may be listed on the website of the consultant or consulting firm. The concept of cybersecurity is a broad spectrum, so precise skills should be listed such as basic risk advisory, assessment services, cloud security, penetration testing and threat detection. Mastery of industry standards and the latest regulations are also integral to the knowledge of an analyst, so those skills should likely be highlighted by the consultant, as well.

Proven Record

Past work and successful projects may be listed by the cybersecurity consultants. They may spotlight their previous successful projects and  implementations on their websites.  Examples of proven work may include risk assessment for a bank or training a multinational company’s security staff on the latest cyber threats. In-depth case studies may also be available on the firm’s website which may spotlight the cybersecurity work of the firm. It may be worthwhile to ask the consultant regarding the longevity of existing client relationships to see if long-standing histories with their customers exist or if transactions are short and ephemeral.

Comprehensiveness

Many consultants and consulting firms not only provide one-on-one expertise and advice but also provide software solutions for cybersecurity. Specialty software and end-to-end  solutions can help to protect a company from an array of security attacks. Consultants that offer software solutions along with professional interpersonal advisory may potentially offer a more holistic service to clients.

Customization

Depending on what a business needs for its cybersecurity, customizable consulting may be needed. For example, a client may also be interested in physical security expertise in addition to cybersecurity insights. A cybersecurity consulting firm that has such expansive expertise can incorporate the physical security consulting work to be customizable to the client. Additionally, personalized training of a company’s employees can be part of the consulting services, whereby all needed employees are taught the insights of the consultant.

Conclusion

As with any technology, it is likely that new cybersecurity concerns and threats will continue to evolve in the future, so seeking a consultant that is aware of the latest security challenges and cutting edge solutions is important. After reading background analysis of a consultant or consulting firm and considering reputations, IT decision makers have a better shot at finding the most valuable commodity in the cybersecurity world: trustworthiness.