What it takes to be a security incident responder

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Cyber security response teams are keeping busy these days, with an abundance of hacking and other attacks launched against organizations on a regular basis. The professionals who make up these teams are skilled in evaluating and responding to such attacks in a timely manner and can minimize damage for organizations.

“The demand for cyber security incident responders remains high,” says Debbie Henley, president and co-founder of Redbud, an information security recruitment firm. Two of every three placements by Redbud are either directly or indirectly related to filling an incident response role. “When an organization reaches out to us it’s normally because they are struggling to find qualified professionals on their own,” she says.

Driving the demand is not only the increase in cyber criminal activity, but the fact that more organizations are realizing the need and are rushing to fill out—or start in many cases—their cyber defense teams, Henley says. “With a global cyber security workforce shortage of 1.5 million projected unfilled roles by 2020, incident responders [are] a big part of that,” Henley says. “The shortage is staggering.”

Outsourcing of incident management is certainly a viable security approach, Henley says. “Based on the requests Redbud receives for incident responders, it appears that about 65 percent of incident response management is handled in house, so it is certainly a mix,” she says.

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