Reframe The Issue, Stay Informed, And Stay Vigilant
As machines become increasingly accurate and intelligent, we humans will need to sharpen our cognitive skills. One of your primary responsibilities as a Learning and Development leader is to ensure that you empower the workforce to develop the four sets of skills that are critical to thriving in 2030. A series of articles titled “eLearning Skills 2030” explores many of these skills to make your job easier and help you and your team future-proof your efforts. This article explores embracing lifelong learning, why it is a critical skill, and how to sharpen it.
What Are Cybersecurity Skills?
Cybersecurity skills refer to the soft and technical skills that increase our ability to protect ourselves, our data, and our devices from cyber threats. Cyber threats have increased and will continue to increase exponentially as digitization continues to proliferate in the ways we work, learn, and live. In fact, research states  that in 2020 and beyond, cyber threats have been slowing down the pace of innovation around the world to the tune of several trillion USD in 2020 and beyond. Deloitte Canada states that the four key drivers of cybersecurity risk include: exponential increase of personal data and business transactions online; a broader and wider range of cyber threats; more complex cyber threats; and increased requirements by individuals, organizations, and states to mitigate cyber risk.
Why Are Cybersecurity Skills Important?
Cybersecurity skills are vital because they equip leaders and their teams with the mindset, ability, and tools to detect and mitigate cyber threat risks and attacks. According to Gartner’s research conducted in 2022, 88% of Board Directors consider cybersecurity as a key business risk rather than the previously regarded IT technical problem . Similarly, in her Harvard Business Review article, Lakshmi Hanspal discusses how during the pandemic remote work transformed the concept of cybersecurity from an IT responsibility to everyone’s responsibility and that the underlying foundational value of robust cybersecurity is trust.
How Can You Sharpen Your Cybersecurity Skills?
While organizations are currently exploring ways to deploy AI for early detection of cyber threats, as a leader you can follow sharpen your cybersecurity skills with these four tactics: reframe the cybersecurity threat issue from an IT problem to a business leader’s responsibility; cultivate empowerment and accountability; explore and share cybersecurity learning resources, and pursue a cybersecurity credential.
Reframe The Issue
Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT problem, it is a business leader’s responsibility. As a leader, you must facilitate this reframing by increasing awareness of the issue and deploying deliberate risk management practices in your business unit and organization. From a practical standpoint this can mean incorporating in every project and initiative both cyber risks and prioritizing mitigation strategies; sharpening common sense; managing safe communication and business transaction interactions online; strengthening structured problem solving, and digital ethics skills.
Cultivate Empowerment And Accountability
Detecting cyber threats requires common sense, as well as cultivating empowerment and accountability. Empowerment means exercising latitude in communicating and transacting in the digital workplace and marketplace, whereas accountability means taking responsibility for all these actions, remaining constantly aware and vigilant of cyber threats, and being ready to take action when needed to protect yourself, your data, and your devices both at the individual and the organizational level. About 80% of all cyber attacks take place because a password was hacked or a data breach was facilitated because employees were not vigilant, empowered to act, and accountable for their actions.
Explore And Share Cybersecurity Learning Resources
While cybersecurity training is mandatory, there are a plethora of additional cyber security learning resources available that you and your team explore to deepen your business unit’s accountability around cybersecurity including staying aware of key trends, threat detection techniques and tools. For example, such resources may include:
- FEDVTE is a free learning asset for government employees seeking to improve their cybersecurity skills.
- Fortinet is a reliable resource to stay informed on cyber threats
- Cybernews is an informative cyber security website with rich content, trends, and updates on all things cyber.
- Infosec Magazine is an online magazine that includes useful resources, updates, webcasts, and podcasts around cybersecurity.
Using such resources facilitates your efforts to always remain vigilant to cyber threats and aware of cyber attacks on data, systems, and organizations. Understanding the risks of cyber attacks and the resulting costs to the organization including loss of credibility, loss of reputation, and loss of data can be vital to your organization. To protect your organization, cultivate a culture of continuous learning around cybersecurity and cyber risk mitigation.
Pursue A Cybersecurity Credential For Business Leaders
Several online learning providers and universities offer cybersecurity training and credentials for business leaders. These programs last from a few weeks to a few months and offer learnings and tools to help leaders detect risks, address data breaches, and cyber-attack threats. Such programs can teach you how to protect and secure data and computer systems from cyber attacks by understanding how cyber attacks are structured and implemented. Gaining a better understanding of data and information systems can help you apply empowerment and accountability while leading your business unit. Such programs can also help you learn the language used by IT and thus facilitate your efforts to reframe the issue from an IT problem to a business leader’s responsibility.
Cybersecurity skills are becoming increasingly vital as cyber threats increase and become more sophisticated and complex. Today, cyber threats are no longer an IT problem, but a business problem. As a leader, you have a responsibility to sharpen your cyber security skills, along with your data literacy, data analytics, and digital ethics skills so that you can better lead your unit and organization in an increasingly treating digital environment. Four tactics to help you sharpen your cybersecurity skills include reframing the issue to a business leader’s responsibility, practicing empowerment and accountability, staying informed about cyber security tactics while remaining vigilant about cyber threats and attacks, and pursuing a cybersecurity credential for business. Additionally, you have a responsibility to empower your team to also build these skills so that it can continue to lead tomorrow, in 2030, and beyond.
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