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SANS Institute releases 2021 “Top Skills” report

Career development and progression

12:00 Friday, 16 July 2021

UK Cyber Security Council

The SANS Institute has released a report entitled “Top Skills Analysts Need to Master”. As the name suggests, the report sets out the key abilities that are essential for security analysts, but not in the sense of cyber-specific technical competencies; instead, the focus is on soft and transferable skills that supplement the technical knowledge. As author Ismael Valenzuela puts it: “[W]hat are the technical and nontechnical skills required to acquire mastery in this role? And how can industry security solutions augment analysts’ capabilities to become more effective?”

Some of the skills lean slightly toward the more technical or procedural type, but are not cyber-specific – for example following the “observe-orient-decide-act” approach. The majority are much more general: the skill of investigative thinking, for example, or a propensity to ask good, relevant questions, or the ability to reason backward from an observation in order to deduce the cause of the effect.

At just 11 pages the report is short but informative.

The full report is on the SANS Institute web site.