Organizations face a growing number of cybersecurity threats. To protect your organization on all fronts, you need to stay on top of the ever-changing threat landscape. Specialized cybersecurity roles can help you broaden and deepen your organization’s defenses.
Note: Throughout this blog post series, we refer to certain cybersecurity skill sets as "roles." We’ve done this to ensure we cover all security roles and align with the functions of the Cybersecurity Framework and NICE Framework. Each organization may define these roles and responsibilities differently, and there can be many variations of specific title names.
4 must-have enterprise cybersecurity roles
Here are four specialized cybersecurity roles that have become commonplace in many enterprise organizations. We provide an overview of what each role does, how they compare to each other, and why you might need them at your organization if you don’t have them already.
SOC analysts, also referred to as Security Operations Center analysts, monitor an organization’s various tools, networks, and systems for cybersecurity alerts. They’re often among the first to uncover cyber threats.
When a SOC analyst discovers an alert, they determine whether the alert is a false positive or a true positive. Depending on the answer, they’ll either fine-tune the alert rule so it doesn’t flag harmless actions, or immediately respond to the incident and escalate it to other teams and/or leaders.
Learn more about SOC analysts.
If SOC analysts take a more proactive approach, incident responders tend to be more reactive—and for good reason. These cybersecurity experts are on-call to jump into action as soon as an urgent incident occurs. They document the incident, analyze the threat, follow the correct security protocol, and perform a post-mortem to protect against similar incidents in the future.
When they aren’t mitigating high-risk threats, incident responders work on other projects, like managing enterprise cybersecurity solutions. Incident responders are particularly important for organizations that store valuable information, like medical records or financial data.
Learn more about incident responders.
Vulnerability and penetration tester
Vulnerability and penetration testers take a different approach. By simulating cyber attacks against your organization’s defenses, they identify vulnerabilities and other weaknesses that bad actors could exploit. They also scan your organization’s networks, servers, and applications for vulnerabilities and perform threat intelligence to build defenses against the latest cyber attacks.
While many organizations leverage third-party penetration testers to get the most realistic results, it can still be helpful to have a dedicated pen tester in house to simulate attacks as needed and perform routine fixes.
Learn more about vulnerability and penetration testers.
Last but not least is the threat hunter. Threat hunters explore an organization’s systems, networks, and infrastructure to mitigate threats, improve the organization’s threat response, and build safeguards. They often develop and update enterprise cybersecurity incident response plans as well.
SOC analysts and incident responders often rely on automated tools to flag alerts. Threat hunters, however, tend to scour systems manually. In some cases, automation can’t match the rapid rate of change in attack sequences to properly identify threats. Threat hunters fill that gap.
Learn more about threat hunters.
Hiring for enterprise cybersecurity
Which of these enterprise cybersecurity roles do you have today? What are your hiring plans for next year? Pluralsight’s role-based learning paths can help you develop internal talent to fill these roles.
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