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What Skills Should A Cybersecurity Consultant Have?

What Skills Should A Cybersecurity Consultant Have?

A cybersecurity consultant must be more than an advisor. There are many people who think they have the knowledge for that sort of thing, but you need someone that is the real deal. In other words, a cybersecurity advisor must be an experienced and well-informed expert on the subject. At the same time, it isn’t just about their level of technical skill. People skills are also necessary to succeed in a job like that, and that’s not even the end of the list. Without any further ado, here are the most important skills that you should look for in a cybersecurity consultant.

Ability To Solve Complex Problems

When people talk about “problem-solving skills,” they are usually talking about simple, everyday problems. A cybersecurity consultant, on the other hand, must be able to solve complex and highly technical problems. Often, they must do so on short notice and with little background information. Thus, it requires a higher level of problem-solving ability.

Obviously, this requires a consultant to be familiar with all the technology being used. Even still, you can bet that they will occasionally run into problems for which there is no obvious solution. When that happens, they have to know how to do research, follow leads, and find the solution in a timely fashion.

Good Communication Skills

A cybersecurity consultant doesn’t just work with machines. In fact, the advisory aspect of their role requires them to deal with a lot of different people. Thus, a cybersecurity consultant should be a friendly and approachable individual who can clearly explain things to those without the same level of knowledge.

As an advisor, their job is not just to identify problems and recommend solutions, but also to explain those solutions in a way that anyone can understand. If you start throwing a bunch of technical jargon at the average person, their thinking process tends to shut down. On the other hand, if they understand your words clearly, it will be much easier for them to do things right in the future.

Penetration Testing

It is important to remember that a cybersecurity consultant does more than simply offer advice. They are also supposed to keep an eye on the overall tech situation so that problems can be solved early. From a security perspective, there is no way to do that without regular penetration testing.

Penetration testing is a simple concept: You try to hack a given system just to see if it can be done. Obviously, it is only legal to do this in cases where you have the owner’s permission, so don’t do this without making sure it is allowed. The whole point of penetration testing is to find any existing vulnerabilities and close them.

Because of this, a cybersecurity consultant should, ideally, be what some people call a “white hat.” These are hackers who operate in a legal and ethical way, using their skills to catch other hackers and aid legitimate parties. In some ways, they might be compared to a vampire hunter who is half-vampire themselves. Because they have the knowledge and skills of an outlaw hacker, they are able to defeat outlaw hackers with much more reliability.

A Good Work Ethic

Sometimes, you might have a cybersecurity professional who has all the skills and knowledge, but no real work ethic. These are the guys who sit in the office all day, pretending to work but never really accomplish anything. If someone approaches them for help, they will throw out a bunch of technical terms to confuse that person before going back to their social media or video games. Obviously, this is not the kind of person that any company would want.

Instead, a good cybersecurity consultant must be active and engaged with all parts of the company’s tech structure. They need to be on top of things constantly, tackling any problems that may arise with speed and eagerness. In short, this kind of person should enjoy fixing problems for other people, because that is mostly what the job entails.

An Understanding Of The Cloud

Even a cursory look at the statistics is enough to tell you that cloud computing is the way of the future. Its growth in the last few years has been nothing short of exponential, and that growth shows no signs of stopping. As such, any good cybersecurity professional should learn its ins and outs. When working with any large company, such a person will be working with the cloud on a daily basis, so they need to understand how it works and how to make it work more effectively.

Network Monitoring

When you are being paid as a cybersecurity consultant, the security of that company becomes your personal responsibility. As such, you have to realize that you are accountable (at least to some extent) for any security breaches that may occur. Whether rightly or wrongly, you will be the person to whom they look when something goes wrong.

Because of this, you need to learn how to effectively monitor a network if you want to be a cybersecurity consultant. Internet data is constantly flowing back and forth in the form of “packets,” each of which contains a tiny bit of the data that comprises the internet. Programs like Nmap and Wireshark can be used to monitor the flow of these packets, and this is very useful from a cybersecurity perspective.

When a malicious actor tries to make their move, some sort of data transfer will be necessary, regardless of the methods used. Thus, a watchful cybersecurity professional can catch them in the act and stop them before any serious harm is done. Still, this is easier said than done. Learning how to interpret all that packet data is not an easy task, but that’s one of the things that separates a professional from the rest of the pack.


Whether you are interested in hiring a cybersecurity consultant or becoming one, we hope that this article has been helpful. There are obviously a lot of specific skills that such a person needs, but we chose to stick with the most important general concepts. Of course, you can always call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500 to learn a little more. We hope that you will do so, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.