How to Hire a Cybersecurity Expert for Your Small Business

As your company’s IT operations grow, it’s critical to have cybersecurity experts on your team to protect your business from cyberattacks. Cybersecurity specialists play a key role in securing your organization’s information systems by monitoring, detecting, investigating and responding to security threats. So how should you go about bringing top cybersecurity talent to your company?

Here are some key things to consider.

Determine the Best Hiring Method for Your Business

Decide how you want to bring cybersecurity experts into your company — this is typically done either by hiring in-house talent or outsourcing to a third-party vendor. Each approach has pros and cons, so let’s have a look at the factors you’ll want to consider:

Hire In-House Security Talent

Hiring in-house talent and building your own cybersecurity team can be very rewarding. The recruitment requires a lot of time and effort, and of course, this approach is an investment for the long term.


  • You can control and shape every aspect of your security operations.
  • You’ll get a deep understanding of the business operations so that your program can be a strong business enabler.
  • You can immediately initiate response efforts if there’s an incident.
  • You may experience a higher cost to enlist an in-house IT team.
  • Given the competitive talent market, it can be harder to hire and retain seasoned cybersecurity practitioners.
  • Your in-house team will need to manage and prioritize all phases of your IT operations, including coverage for security issues that arise after hours and on weekends.

Outsource Security to a Vendor

Outsourcing your security needs provides a lot of advantages. In fact, 48% of organizations choose to outsource security services.1


  • You’ll save the expense of hiring talent and acquiring and managing security tools, which gives you greater financial efficiency.
  • It’s easier to scale up as your company grows and your needs change from one year to the next.
  • You immediately get a team of security experts who have the experience and know-how to safeguard your organization.
  • You get quick entry-to-market and avoid the time, cost and staffing barriers of hiring an in-house team.
  • With outsourcing, by nature you’ll be handing over some level of control to your vendor.

Whether you choose to outsource or build an in-house team, the next step in hiring great cybersecurity talent is knowing exactly who to look for.

<h2 “Cybersecurity Roles”>Know Which Cybersecurity Roles You Need to Fill

Cybersecurity professionals typically start as generalists and then specialize in a specific area as they gain more experience in the field. As you embark on your candidate search, you’ll want to consider where your business needs the most cybersecurity support, such as:

  1. Cloud security
  2. Data loss prevention
  3. Application security
  4. Incident response and forensic analysis
  5. Network security
  6. Endpoint protection
  7. Threat intelligence
  8. Vulnerability management
  9. Penetration testing
  10. Internet of Things (IoT) security
  11. Critical infrastructure security
  12. Secure DevOps

Having a good idea of the type of cybersecurity specialist you need will help you focus your search in a way that helps you attract the right candidates to protect your business.

Learn More

The good news for SMBs is that establishing a strong security posture is within reach. Our cybersecurity checklist will help you uncover any risk areas and identify opportunities for improving the security of your operations.Read: 2023 Small Business Cybersecurity Checklist

Tailor Your Job Descriptions for Cybersecurity

Your job description should include the specific type of work, skills needed and the purpose of the security role as it relates to your overall IT operations. Distinguishing between required and preferred skills will help your candidates determine if they’re qualified and ideally prevent some candidates from being too intimidated to apply in the first place. Keep in mind, it can be a competitive talent market, so don’t be afraid to let your company culture and what makes it special come through in your job postings.

Required SkillsPreferred Skills
Experience working within information security infrastructure Self-motivated and able to work calmly and methodically under pressure
Strong technical security understanding, especially in the area of specialty for which you’re hiringFlexible approach to incorporate changing priorities
Experience participating in and resolving technical security issuesAdaptable and keen to learn new skills
Cooperative, service-oriented individual and collaborative team workerExceptional levels of personal integrity and ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing

Not every candidate will have a cybersecurity background, and that’s OK. If you’re not getting as many applications as you’d like in your initial search, consider generalizing some of the required skills where possible, which will make your job description more accessible to a wider talent pool.

Retain Your Cybersecurity Talent

According to (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, there’s nearly 3.5 million open cyber jobs in 2022. With so much opportunity in the market, your candidates will surely be interviewing with multiple companies. To differentiate your organization and attract top talent, there are several factors that stand out for cybersecurity job seekers:

  • Career growth. Opportunity for job growth is an important factor for cybersecurity candidates. In fact, 30% of security professionals make a job switch when they feel they don’t have room to grow.2 Make sure to highlight what the three- to five-year career path could look like for your candidates during the interview.
  • Team culture. IT is a team sport, so it’s critical to foster a collaborative and supportive team environment. A positive culture will go a long way in attracting and retaining your cybersecurity talent.
  • Flexible work arrangements. Cybersecurity is a demanding job that can often lead to burnout. To balance the demands of the field and maintain high job satisfaction, 49% of IT security leaders provide flexible work arrangements (e.g., employees can work remote or at home) and 42% encourage flexible work hours (i.e., not strictly working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).3 Offering job flexibility might just be what makes a candidate choose your company over a competing offer.

Remember, hiring is only half the equation. To help you keep the great cybersecurity talent you need to protect your business, make sure to prioritize your workplace culture, company values and working environment. You might run a small business, but your team can have a huge impact.

Learn more about CrowdStrike Falcon Complete

With CrowdStrike’s managed cybersecurity, CrowdStrike Falcon® Complete, you get a team of security experts dedicated to securing your business for guaranteed protection backed by the industry’s strongest breach prevention warranty. Because your small business deserves major protection.

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1 (ISC)2. Cybersecurity Workforce Study. 2021. 

2 (ISC)2. Cybersecurity Workforce Study. 2022.

3 (ISC)2. Cybersecurity Workforce Study. 2022.