IT managers need more than technical certifications to carve out successful cybersecurity careers.
Cybersecurity skills are in demand: a recent report suggests Australia has a shortage of 2300 workers in this field.
Those opportunities are likely to grow as more and more business is conducted online, the Internet of Things connects more devices, businesses collect more information about customers and threats proliferate.
All of which creates an opportunity for IT managers to move into cybersecurity-focussed roles.
However, it won’t be easy to keep pace. Analyst firm Gartner warns that the cybersecurity problem is so large that IT departments can no longer manage it on their own. They will have to work more closely than ever with other departments to stay ahead of threats.
Among their new collaborators are directors, because company boards are increasingly expected to be across cybersecurity risks.
Other stakeholders who need security counsel include records managers who must comply with data privacy laws. They will need to work together to ensure that data collection, processing and storage don’t breach those laws. Legal teams who plan responses to data breaches will also need to be part of those discussions.
Analytics teams who work with vast pools of data and generate sensitive insights should also collaborate with IT managers to address risks involved in processing and storing those insights in the cloud.
Another challenge will be dealing with cybersecurity issues relating to business mergers, acquisitions and partnerships. IT managers will need to work with business teams to understand how companies will work together and the cybersecurity implications.
Looking beyond technical certification
All that collaboration means IT managers need more than technical certifications to carve out successful cybersecurity careers.
They will need to be skilled at managing complex projects across many parts of an organisation. That requires an understanding of business processes throughout the organisation.
Plus, they will need management and leadership skills to bring together IT technicians and people from other departments.
Which is why Universities have developed courses to meet this need. For example, Southern Cross University offers an online Master of Information Technology Management degree, which covers MBA units and IT topics relevant to IT managers, such as information security.
Postgraduate study that combines leadership with technical topics will be invaluable as the cybersecurity challenge keeps growing.