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Cybercrime is a threat to every organization, no matter how small, that stores information or conducts transactions on the internet. If your business sells products or services online, or stores any customer data in databases, it’s crucial to cultivate a company culture that promotes online safety. However, that step alone might not be enough.

It’s also prudent to appoint one reliable person to take responsibility for oversight of your company’s cybersecurity strategy. Ideally, that person would be an expert in the field and well trained to prevent and respond to security breaches. The following are 4 tips for finding the ideal individual who could help to protect your company from vulnerabilities to hacking and cyber crime:

1. Reject Any Candidate Who Favors an Automated Approach to Cybersecurity

A viable cybersecurity strategy cannot reasonably be automated. It requires a manual approach, monitored diligently by one or more capable and alert human beings. Therefore, when you’re interviewing candidates for cybersecurity jobs at your business, you can safely reject any candidate who tries to sell you on the idea of automating the role.

2. Reject Any Candidate Who Tries to Oversimplify Your Company’s Approach to Information Security

In each job interview, you might want to consider asking candidates whether they can offer you a simple approach to cybersecurity. Anyone who says yes can be turned down without reservations; there are no simple yet effective approaches to cybersecurity. Anyone who says there are is not really prepared to help you do the job correctly.

The role will require a combination of approaches that might include risk assessment, penetration testing, application development security, cloud security, access management and incident response. There is nothing simple about it.

3. Look for Someone Who Has Hands-On Experience Preventing Cyber Attacks

Many academic institutions have recently introduced new cybersecurity degree programs. In some cases, they’re simply responding to the high demand for graduates who have the capability to act as information security professionals. However, a successful graduate from one of these programs might not have actual hands-on experience with beating out hackers — or even any real-world information security experience at all. It really depends on the quality of the program; they vary widely in effectiveness.

Be sure to ask probing questions about any candidate’s actual experience in dealing with real-time security breaches. If the candidate does have actual experience in dealing with cyber attacks, be sure to ask about what actions they took to secure their client’s network and prevent future harm.

4. Consider Training a Good Problem-Solver Within Your Company

It would, of course, be ideal to hire a skilled cybersecurity professional who has both relevant training and prior work experience. However, the people who do have such credentials and training are in extremely high demand, and they command eye-popping salaries that you might be reluctant to pay.

If your small business has the budget to recruit and hire such a person, of course, it’s beneficial to do so; consider the potential cost of a security breach, and the cybersecurity professional’s salary starts to look like a bargain in comparison. But, even so, that kind of money might not be in the budget for your business. As an alternative, many small businesses are finding it more cost effective to choose a promising individual and train that person to become a cybersecurity expert on their behalf.

If you take that approach, you’ll want to select a trustworthy team member who has a high level of integrity. That person also needs to have keen analytical skills and a talent for problem solving. It’s helpful if the person already has a background in IT and understands network architecture. Furthermore, it would be great if your chosen candidate already has a bachelor’s degree in IT or computer science.

Even so, further training will be required; you could choose to have the company pay for this individual to pursue cybersecurity certifications or a Master of cyber security degree. Furthermore, make sure they stay current in all the latest cybersecurity trends by reading industry news and tuning into relevant podcasts.

These are 4 tips to consider if you want to hire or train a cybersecurity expert. Following these suggestions can help you to avoid making serious mistakes when you hire a person to help safeguard your business against cybercrimes.

Cybersecurity expert stock photo by Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock