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How Do I Choose A Cyber Security Consultant?

Jan 28

Did you know that, on average, a malware attack may cost a business over $2.5 million? That’s not including the time it would take to recover from the attack. The ransomware used today is 57x more destructive than they were in 2015.

Now, if you think that the above mentioned stats may not apply to your small business, consider that there are 30 million SMBs in the US, and 66% of them had at least one cybersecurity incident in the past two years! This means having cybersecurity consultants working for your business have become more important than ever.

A cyber security consultant is a professional who helps organizations improve their defenses against cyber threats, such as hacking, malware, and data breaches. They may be hired by a company to assess its current security , identify vulnerabilities. Professional cybersecurity consultants will then recommend and implement solutions to secure the organization's systems and data.

A cyber security consultant will often:

  • Conduct security assessments and audits to identify vulnerabilities in an organization's systems, networks, and applications.
  • Develop and implement security policies and procedures. 
  • Provide guidance on compliance with relevant regulations and industry standards.
  • Advise on selecting and deploying security technologies, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption.
  • Respond to security incidents and help organizations recover from incidents in the shortest time.
  • If needed, train employees to identify and mitigate potential security threats.

In general, a cybersecurity consultant plays a significant role in helping organizations protect their data which helps maintain the trust of their customers and stakeholders.

Now that you understand the importance of having professional security consultants, we’ll go into how to choose one with the right set of technical skills for your business in this article.

Choosing A Cyber Security Consultant for Your Business

Your business will want to consider several factors when choosing a cybersecurity expert, which include but may not be limited to the following:

Expertise and experience: Look for a consultant with a deep understanding of cyber security concepts and best practices. The professional should have relevant experience in your industry or with the operating systems and technologies your business uses. 

Certification and accreditation: Consider a consultant with relevant professional certifications, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

Reputation and references: Research cybersecurity professionals reputation in the industry and ask for references from clients they have previously worked with before shortlisting them. This will give you a sense of the value they can deliver to your business.

Communication skills: It is essential to choose a consultant capable of clearly and effectively communicating technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.

Cost: Cost is a significant consideration for every business. So, ensure the consultant's services, experience, and what they can deliver align with your budget.

The Consultant’s Experience

A cyber security consultant’s experience is one of the most important factors to consider; thus, it is at the top of our list. The consultant you hire should have technical expertise associated with the systems and technologies you use. This will mean they understand the security measures that need to be undertaken.

Technical expertise refers to their knowledge of cyber security concepts and best practices. This will include their understanding of different types of cyber threats, how to harden security against threats effectively and knowledge of security technologies.

Choosing a consultant with the demonstratable technical expertise and experience is essential to help your organization secure its systems and data.

Reputation and references

One of the keys to becoming a cybersecurity consultant is reputation because they are incharge of guarding arguably the business's most valuable assets. When choosing a cyber security consultant for your business, it is essential to consider their reputation and check references. This can help you get a sense of their track record and the value they have delivered to other organizations.

There are several ways to research a consultant's reputation:

Ask for references: A reputable consultant should be able to provide references from clients they have previously worked with. Contacting these references can give you a sense of the consultant's skills, experience, and the value they have delivered to other organizations.

Check online reviews: Look for online reviews or ratings of the consultant or the consultation service from past clients or industry peers. A well established business in the cybersecurity industry will have many reviews.

Research their industry presence: Look for evidence of the consultant's expertise and experiences in the industry, such as speaking engagements, conferences, articles they have written, or membership in relevant professional organizations.

Overall, choosing a cyber security consultant with a strong reputation and who can provide references from satisfied clients is essential.

Educational Background

There is no one specific education requirement for becoming a cyber security consultant. Some consultants may have a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field, such as computer science, information technology, or cybersecurity. Others may have a degree in a non-technical field and have gained expertise in cyber security through on-the-job training or professional certifications.

Some certifications that cyber security consultants should ideally have include:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Final Word

Every business should take cybersecurity very seriously. That’s why it is essential to take your time when considering and hiring a cybersecurity consultant because this certified security consultant will ensure that your business is safe from 99.9% of the threats out there. AGB offers top of the line cybersecurity services for your business. Contact us today to discuss your needs, and we’ll put together a customized cybersecurity program that fits your business and your budget.