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What Traits are Most Important for Cybersecurity Pros?

November 30, 2022

By Aravind Thangavelu - Engineering and India Site Leader, Skyhigh Security

When I set out to build a team of cybersecurity professionals, I look for certain personality traits and characteristics that I know will lead to success and personal satisfaction for those who choose this career. I look for a certain type of disposition that I’ve consistently seen in the top-ranking cybersecurity leaders.

Those who excel in this field share many common traits. If you’re wondering whether you or someone else is a good fit for a job in cybersecurity, you may want to bookmark and reference this list.

The most important traits and personality characteristics for cybersecurity professionals:

  1. Integrity: Considering that cybersecurity professionals deal with highly sensitive data and privileged knowledge about an organization’s infrastructure and vulnerabilities, trustworthiness is essential. Anyone who is seeking a position in cybersecurity must understand that they are required to undergo a background check and will be evaluated on their ethics and integrity. Open and honest communication, respect for others, altruism, reliability, and transparency are all relevant when it comes to establishing a reputation of integrity.
  2. Humility: This trait may be less obvious, but the best cybersecurity professionals are humble about their skills and tend to keep a low profile. They are not the types to seek out fame and bask in the spotlight. They are modest in their demeanor. This stems from the fact that this is a field requiring a great deal of open-mindedness in order to adapt to constant change.
  3. Curiosity: Curiosity means you are eager to learn. In this fast-moving, highly dynamic industry, it’s imperative to stay abreast of the latest threats, trends, and tools. You have to know the threat landscape and your organization’s environment in order to navigate it well and determine the most effective strategies and tactics. There’s no room for complacency when it comes to protecting your organization. And you need to be savvy about adversaries and their capabilities. An unquenchable thirst for knowledge in the area of cybersecurity will help you stay ahead, as will the ability to learn and adapt quickly.
  4. Hypervigilance: Many great cybersecurity professionals have cultivated a mindset of hypervigilance in the digital realm and maintain good situational awareness. Through pattern recognition and attention to detail, they have a deep understanding of what “normal” is, so when something unusual comes along, they can spot it quickly. They know how to get inside the minds of adversaries and are naturally skeptical. They are sharp and on point. Nothing gets by them.
  5. Maturity: When the pressure is on and time is of the essence, effective cybersecurity professionals keep their composure and stay focused on the task at hand. They remain calm in the eye of the storm so they can make well-considered, rational decisions. They take care of priorities, and they respond positively and keep communication open and honest.
  6. Patience: A problem-solving mentality is key to doing this work. Patient, thoughtful analysis will produce good results rather than a haphazard, hasty approach. There’s a certain personality type that has the patience to stick it out until problems are fully resolved. Analytical and scientific types who make decisions based on data and have solid critical thinking skills have the kind of disposition required for this role.
  7. Passion: Passion is what gets us through the stressful and tedious times. We cybersecurity professionals really care about the people and organizations we protect. We have a natural desire to help them, and this cannot be bought. Passion comes from inside—and it’s either there or it’s not.

I hope this list helps.

If you have the traits and skills of a cybersecurity professional and would like to learn more about the open roles we have here at Skyhigh Security, check out our careers page. You just might be the type we’re looking for!

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