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The myth of the cybersecurity skills shortage

Cyberseuciryt skills shortage

Source: ComputerWorld by Ira Winkler

Interesting article up for a read at ComputerWorld. Which all in all, is a good thing. The article talks of “The myth of the cybersecurity skills shortage” Winkler calls out companies that are claiming there is a cybersecurity skills shortage; which I don’t necessarily believe there is.

From the article at ComputerWorld:

The approach that seems to prevail these days — seeking a new hire who already has the right skills and experience or hiring them away from another organization — just doesn’t work. But it is why so many people believe there is a shortage of security professionals.

Mr. Winkler hit the nail on the head with this statement. I have a significant amount of security experience, I’ve worked for the government, large companies, medium companies, and small companies. I will generally do reasonably well at any interview question poised for me. The problem I’m seeing, is there are companies out there, that have beaten it into the head of their employees, that they are looking for someone that is an absolute master of skillset X, and disregard everything else. I, like many other security practitioners have my weaknesses; if I am slightly weaker in skillset X, then I am immediately assumed not a good fit for the job. 

The way I like to pursue jobs, is I aim for something I want to do, with a company I wouldn’t mind doing it for. Whether I have 100% strength on skillset X, or whether I’m slightly weaker at X, but extremely strong, at skillsets Y and Z; I will still apply, but a decent amount of time, I’ll get shot-down, due to the assumption, that because my skillset at X isn’t the greatest, I’ll never be able to catch up. This is where the fallacy in the argument lies. Company X, needs to look at candidate skills, and make their decision the ability of the candidate to learn skillset X (if skillset X is truly the reason for hiring). So again, there are areas where I’m slightly weaker, such as DLP. That doesn’t mean I don’t know what DLP is, or how it functions, but I’ve never sat in front of a host that does DLP and used it on a day to day basis. Does that mean I’m not right for any position at your organization due to the fact I’ve not been a DLP administrator?

Just something to think about. I always judge interview candidates on not just what they know, but what I think they will learn, and how strong of learners they are.

Linux Showdown 8

Source: TrueAbility

I’ve always had fun competing in the Linux Showdown’s at TrueAbility. It is time for this year’s Linux Showdown, beginning on March 16, 2015! I really recommend this linux showdown if you have any interest in linux at all. First, there is the simple benefit of being able to compete, to see how your linux skills stack up, against everyone else’s (who doesn’t like some friendly competition every once in a while), and secondly, TrueAbility can and will get you a linux related job, if you are on the market.

It will challenge your linux ability, to determine where you stand among every other linux user in the world. So, if you’re up for a challenge, or up to learning more about linux, I definitely recommend that you check out the TrueAbility Linux Showdown #8, and make sure you sign up for the competition that begins on March 16, 2015!

From TrueAbility’s website:

The Challenge

Round One

Begins March 16th

For this challenge, you’re going to be using your scripting skills to implement a “sub par assembler” dubbed:  spasm

Instead of using memory, we’re going to use the filesystem to store and manipulate our data. Your task will be to create a program (in the language of your choice) called /usr/local/bin/spasm  that can handle some basic operations.

Those of you in the top 50 will be invited to the next round, the rest are.. 0xDEADBEEF. Round 2 we make things a little more advanced… so save your script!

Round Two

Begins April 1st

Welcome to the next phase of  spasm  development! You gained an invite to this round by successfully completing the last challenge, and hopefully you saved a copy of it because we’re going to add some functionality to it in this round.