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Anyhow it so happened that the company he worked for had suffered a major well-publicised breach to their systems a few years ago within their US based operations. Which ultimately led to tighter controls throughout their global operations. 

Now what I found interesting was not the fact that my client the hotel operator rejected his CV, but the accompanying comment from the HR Director, which went something like this:

 “We won’t be continuing with your candidate’s application, as he can’t have the level of expertise we require judging by the major hacking operation his current employer faced a few years back”

Now this got me thinking. With the ever-evolving sophistication of cyber crimes, are the cyber crime fighters (the good guys) ‘better’ at their jobs if their company hasn’t yet faced a breach? Or are they made ‘even better’ once their company goes through vulnerabilities? Or put another way, does the experience of being hacked create a better-equipped candidate, who then knows how to deal with certain situations to a certain extent?

It also got me wondering how exactly are cyber crime security professionals measured? I mean the obvious answer could be, no breaches = solid watertight security infrastructure = great security team. However what if that is not the case? What if the company is just ‘lucky’ that they haven’t been targeted yet?

Another question that this chicken and egg scenario raises, are employers looking to hire cyber security pro’s who have experience dealing with multiple breaches, or are they looking for those with a clean record of having kept their companies hack-free (is that even a possibility anymore? Or more of a ticking time bomb?).

Was my client right to reject my candidate’s CV on the grounds she mentioned? Or did she not have an appreciation for what Cyber Security professionals do? Was she analysing the CV in the right fashion? Asking the right questions etc? For me, having had a further discussion with the HR person involved, it transpired that whilst she was great at HR, she wasn’t really well equipped to judge a cyber security CV (which is another blog entirely).

As it stands, I’m in the process of escalating the CV to the Head of Security (an elusive being that spends most of his time on a plane unfortunately). I do feel I need some clearer feedback and more of a technical viewpoint on how this particular company assesses a cyber security professional’s CV.

So going back to my initial question, are the cyber crime fighters (the good guys) ‘better’ at their jobs if their company hasn’t yet faced a breach? Or are they made ‘even better’ once their company goes through vulnerabilities?

My feeling is the answer should be BOTH. However it really depends on who is making the hiring decisions, and how much they really understand about the murky world of cyber crime.

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