Developing Our Teams

Today I’ve been reading Adversarial Tradecraft in Cybersecurity by Dan Borges and ran into these lines in chapter 1.

“Expertise is also a seriously limiting factor in the cybersecurity landscape. The ability to develop new capabilities or operation expertise cannot be understated. Talent and expertise are often defining factors and will act as a force multiplier to all subsequent operations.”

Mr. Borges had much more to say on the need to develop the people on our teams. This section leapt off the page at me. We can’t create skills and capabilities out of thin air when a crisis arrives. It has to be done over time and they have to be practiced to maintain a sharp edge. Developing new capabilities as a group builds a team out of individuals. That team will be much more prepared when an event demands it. 

This doesn’t have to take a lot of money. It does require consistency and some creativity. “Hey folks, let’s take a few hours on Friday afternoon to practice finding malware beacons. I’ll hide a (safe) implant somewhere on the network. Your job is to see if you can find it.” Or “Let’s get together for a couple hours to watch this video on malware analysis and then try it out.”

I’ve heard it said that developing people’s skills means that the person will just leave for a better job. Sure someone will leave at some point, but that will happen for any number of reasons. But if a team is actively building its people up, there won’t be a shortage of people trying to be part of it.

Jason Wood