Plan B The ARM-LP JournalCybersecurity’s talent pool is not deep. A shallow talent pool, however, has two benefits going forward:

  • you can see everyone in the pool
  • it’s easier to observe who the good swimmers are

Essential cybersecurity skills

There are four essential cybersecurity skills:

  1. a solid grasp of social science
  2. English fluency
  3. the ability to understand at least one other spoken language, and
  4. technical skills

A Solid Grasp of Social Science?

This is very important. Every generation encounters this dilemma: modern life motivates certain behaviours either not known or not considered previously. A security consultant must understand these behaviours.

What are “social” sciences?

A social science gathers data by directly observing people and the collectives they form. We will consider four:

Accounting Criminology Economics Marketing

Security consultants need to know this for two reasons:

  1. These disciplines are a good form of general education, and
  2. Security consultants have people as clients, not machines

The people security consultants have as clients are usually busy people with a good general education. They tend also to be well-spoken. Security consultants need to follow suit.

Accounting.

Accounting is a very old discipline. It is constantly referenced (a new tab will open in your browser) in the Old Testament. Numbers provide context to inform decision makers pragmatically. A security consultant is unqualified if she (he) is unable to understand basic accounting, and most especially this essential cost:

  • INSURANCE

Criminology.

A security consultant must be able to recognise  modern social dilemmas that influence crime.

In 1897, economist Émile Durkheim wrote Suicidethe first scientific study to define modern social structures. Durkheim’s observations are very important to security consultants. Robert King Merton’s strain theory modernised Durkheim in 1938. Robert Agnew’s general strain theory validated Merton in 1992. Agnew’s insight thinks strain theory limited when it attempts to explaining social strains (other than financial).

Marketing.

A security consultant needs to to understand how goods and services move to the consumer. The market constantly reinvents itself.

The marketing concept. All free market economies hold a democratic ideal: that the market will decide what becomes widely distributed.  Organisations must

  1. know the needs of their customers, and
  2. satisfy those needs.

Almost every business model relies on the marketing concept in one way or another.

Marketing is more easily understood when we consider it a collective of five major elements, each in a dynamic relationship with the other four:

Place Price Production Promotion Public image

Public image is a complex discussion. Let me leave you with one thought and then we’ll move on:

Public image attracts individuals. People attracted to an organisation have confidence in the community.

Place is the very core of marketing: how goods and services are distributed to customers. Distribution is directly affected by price, which directly affects production: fewer expensive products are made because fewer people can afford them. Production directly affects promotion: how will you know about the new mousetrap if I don’t tell you?

Economics.

Our economy requires skilled labour, but doesn’t produce much of it.  Economists study scarcity, and labour becomes more scarce as the modern economy consumes skilled labour more than ever. Who is to purchase what specialists produce?

Jealousy, in other words, motivates crime. Ours is a digital world. It should not surprise anyone that we have digital criminals.

The Final Rant

I’ll stop ranting (on this topic, anyway) on June 27: Swim With The Sharks.