In fact, he reports that Nearly one in five jobs is highly exposed to generative AI. The technology has proven to be advantageous for cybersecurity careers, as it automates analysis of threat data and allows cybersecurity professionals to focus more on mitigating risks. And let’s face it, considering the number of high-profile breaches we’ve seen in recent months, from MOVEit to Johnson Controls, cybersecurity professionals need all the help they can get.
Generative AI can be a powerful tool for identifying new risks and alerts, but using it requires a unique skill set. When interviewing cybersecurity candidates, I look for three critical soft skills: lateral thinking, perseverance, and communication.
1. Lateral thinking
While many employers emphasize problem-solving skills in job descriptions, the ability to think outside the box is imperative in cybersecurity. Candidates must be able to pivot quickly by addressing risks and threats in real time. For example, a good candidate with lateral thinking skills will consider how new technologies, such as generative AI, can be integrated into existing resources to more quickly identify security risks and optimize operations.
Candidates must be able to pivot quickly by addressing risks and threats in real time.
In addition to its benefits, generative AI introduces data security and privacy concerns that we cannot ignore. While candidates should know how to use this technology to their advantage, they should also understand how large language models (LLMs) can leverage and compromise organizations’ internal data. Unsurprisingly, nearly half of executives are concerned that the integration of generative AI will lead to new attacks against their AI models, services or data. Security professionals must be proactive and ask how new threats can bypass existing tools and processes. They must be able to look for new ways to address challenges, whether by taking the attacker’s point of view or discovering new vulnerabilities.
To assess whether a candidate possesses lateral thinking skills, the interviewer should focus on situational questions that demonstrate how they used different resources to overcome a challenge. I often ask, “Tell me about a time when you were faced with significant ambiguity or limited information and had to take action.”