Top In-Demand Cybersecurity Skills in the Upcoming Years

Hey there,

We recently ran a series of webinars* on how different-sized cybersecurity teams modernized their security operations and embedded polling questions within the webinars to gather some feedback. A set of possible answers was selected based on the ENISA NIS Investments report. In this blog post I’d like to share the results of the polls and the conclusions we can draw from them.

The Right Skills, Processes and Technology with the Right Data

When establishing or modernizing security operations across an organization to make it become more resilient, two important elements are needed: 

  1. People with the right skills
  2. Processes and technology with the right data

Skills Decreasing in Value

Skills that have been in high demand in recent years are now decreasing in value. They include: 

  • Tier ½ SOC Analysis (mainly replaced through automation) 
  • Manual Penetration Testing (mainly replaced through automation)
  • Technology Management (mainly replaced through Service Management, due to the increased availability of service based offerings / Cloud hosted Security Services) 

Skills Increasing in Value

With many traditional cybersecurity tasks giving way to automation, what know-how still makes cybersecurity professionals indispensable in their field? Fortunately, there is still plenty according to ENISA. I have personally enjoyed many of them for years and they are also a reflection of our security strategy here at Splunk. The key cybersecurity competencies ENISA identified as the winners in the years ahead are:

  • Risk Management 
  • Service Management 
  • Incident Response 
  • Threat Intelligence 
  • Data Science and Analysis 
  • Coding 

What is the Number One Cybersecurity Skill that any Security Department will need?

When deciding to advance your skill set you may be confronted with a choice between the ISACA CISM Course (Risk Management), the Splunk Developing SOAR Playbooks Course (Incident Response) and the Splunk For Data Analytics and Data Science Training (Data Science and Analysis). 

Let’s take a look at the results of our poll, listing the focus skills by priority.: 

In-demand cybersecurity skills

Insights into the Security Operations Maturity

In order to dive deeper into maturity levels we asked two additional questions. These questions were aligned with two modernization stories we talked about in our webinar 5 Security Modernization Stories: What Our Customers Taught Us In 2020.

In the first story, Skyscanner shared how crucial it was for them to enrich their data with context such as “To which project belongs an EC2 instance on AWS”, ”What is the criticality of an IP Address” or “Is a highly privileged user behind a certain username”. It is not a big surprise that most participants of our poll considered enriching data and adding context to security alerts to be very important. Fortunately, these best practise enrichment concepts are built into Splunk Enterprise Security.  

In the second modernization story Norlys talked about how they increased efficiency with Splunk Phantom and their playbooks. They shared how they measured their improvements with different KPIs such as Mean Time to Detect, Respond, Contain, Recover and Closure. The poll also revealed that the majority of organizations measure more than 5 KPIs in security operations.  

Top In-demand cybersecurity skills

Hope this gave you some valuable insight to help you plan and take your security operations to the next level. 



*The majority of webinar attendees had job titles such as CISO, Head of Information Security, SOC Product Owner or Cyber Security Team Lead. 

Matthias Maier is Product Marketing Director at Splunk, as well as a technical evangelist in EMEA, responsible for communicating Splunk's go-to market strategy in the region. He works closely with customers to help them understand how machine data reveals new insights across application delivery, business analytics, IT operations, Internet of Things, and security and compliance. Matthias has a particular interest and expertise in security, and is the author of the Splunk App for IP Reputation. Previously, Matthias worked at TIBCO LogLogic and McAfee as a senior technical consultant. He is also a regular speaker at conferences on a range of enterprise technology topics.

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