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Diversifying the cyber security hiring pool

Cyber education

12:00 Tuesday, 06 April 2021

UK Cyber Security Council

In a March 2021 podcast produced by security and governance association ISACA, David Lenoe, Director of Application Security at Adobe, talks about the benefits of hiring people who have what are termed “non-traditional backgrounds” into security teams. The content of the podcast is prompted by Lenoe’s 2020 blog article entitled “How non-traditional backgrounds drive successful security teams forward ”.

By “non-traditional”, Lenoe says, he means “people who may not have a computer science or security-related degree”. He gives examples of where a staff member with communications and journalism degree has the perfect skills communicating primarily to internal product teams and secondarily to external customers, and where a colleague with a marketing degree has the ability to influence people without authority.

Lenoe acknowledges that support and education is essential too, though. He values the mentoring process in particular: “Talking to people, asking for advice, sharing best practices … these are things that I really enjoy about talking with folks both inside and outside my organisation”, but also tips a nod to the company’s “digital academy”

The skills gap also gets a mention. “Right now there’s a talent gap so opportunities are out there”, says Lenoe, noting that in the case of people looking to get into security: “there’s plenty of free training out there”.