The Ultimate Guide to Building a Diverse Team in Cyber Security


New ideas are needed if corporations are to establish a more robust defense against cyber-attacks. That entails creating security teams that are more inclusive and varied while relying less on formal educational backgrounds and certification requirements. Cyber capabilities are more important than credentials or awards when a cyber attack occurs.

Nearly all of the studies in 2022 have addressed the need for increasing diversity in cyber security and skill within security teams. When asked about their difficulties with ransomware, cloud security, and third-party risk, most respondents cited inadequate skills among their security teams as hindering a solid security posture. Respondents planned to invest more in security technologies and personnel with a broader range of abilities, among other things.

A more varied security staff is more likely to view risks from a broader range of angles and with more originality. For instance, specific security experts could be more knowledgeable than others about contemporary dangers like smishing (SMS phishing) and vishing (Voice phishing). Men and women assess risk differently, according to some research. Thus, it’s crucial to have diverse viewpoints on the team to be more adaptable.

According to research from decision-services provider Cloverpop, an inclusive decision-making process with input from a diverse spectrum of people can result in up to 60% faster decisions and better outcomes.

The following areas of concentration can guide businesses toward higher performance and diversity: Why is diversity in the workplace important, and why is it important to promote equality and diversity?

Why Diversity in Cyber Security Matters?

Historically, the cybersecurity landscape has not been incredibly diverse. There. It was said. Women made up only 20% of the workforce in our industry in 2019, So why isn’t the online space friendlier?

Cyber teams must stay one step ahead with more inventive and advanced hacking techniques, creative problem-solving techniques, and diverse concepts. If everyone on your team comes from a similar background and has the same predetermined experiences, it will be challenging to do this. Additional diversity will merely provide more protection against threat attack avenues. Younger employees, for instance, can be more familiar with contemporary threats like smishing (SMS phishing) and vishing (voice phishing). At the same time, some studies show that male-oriented teams assess risk differently than those with a more feminine impact.

One essential value that promotes inclusivity is humble learning. We can all benefit from one another’s experiences. We have more chances to learn from each other when our backgrounds, experiences, and ways of thinking are more diverse. To accomplish that, we require psychological safety, a setting that genuinely encourages everyone to express their opinions. The best ideas may be heard when team members aren’t scared to speak out and respectfully question one another.

It can be challenging to find and keep talented employees in cybersecurity. Here are some pointers for creating an inclusive cybersecurity team:

How to Build More Diverse Cyber Security Teams?

Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing professions in the world, with opportunities in both public and private sectors. However, getting started on a career in cyber security can be daunting. From understanding the qualifications you need to gather the right skills and experience to set yourself up for success, there’s much to consider for both sides.

Learn how to build a more diverse cybersecurity team with best practices, resources, and tips. We’ll cover everything from recruitment and onboarding to team building and hiring initiatives. Get started today and discover the benefits of having a diverse cybersecurity team.

1. Establish A Pipeline

You need to build a pipeline if you want to hire top personnel. Engaging potential talent early is essential to building a pipeline. Interest creation takes time. Skill must be developed over time. Curriculum development takes time. Requirements must be established before we can bring folks with raw talent into a ready-to-hire stage. Before qualified talent is accessible for hiring, skills development must occur, which might take five, eight, or even ten years. The pipeline is essential, but it needs care and time to grow.

2. Consider alternative talent channels

Cybersecurity experts may be produced through traditional routes that foster talent and can work with a business immediately. These routes can provide experience and a pipeline but may not always promote diversity. Employing managers might consider repurposing these channels to open doors for people who have developed careers in several industries. For instance, people with histories in the military may transition into cybersecurity roles very successfully — but the doors for training and opportunity must be accessible.

3. Reconsider New Hire Expectations

While haste might be vital, it can foster a climate where tactical operations replace in-depth analysis. Strategic thinking demands time to work through problems and concerns. The business sector could benefit from slower thinking and more prioritization. Look for the highest-priority requirements instead of expecting new talent to meet every need on a long list, and encourage the employee to pick up skills on the job with coaching and mentoring.

4. Look Past Name-Brand Universities

Only a few colleges provided cybersecurity courses ten years ago. Today, numerous colleges and universities, including technical schools and junior colleges, provide a variety of cybersecurity training programs. Even though a well-known university may look impressive on a résumé, a graduate of a less prominent program may be a better fit for your team.

5. Make Junior Hires

Leadership may occasionally be reluctant to work with cybersecurity experts with less than five years of expertise. You can train these people for your business’ unique ecology and promote them as other employees leave and new opportunities become available. Additionally, hiring managers can search the organization’s many divisions for suitable applicants who would fit cybersecurity roles well. It’s possible that someone has already invested in the business and wants to do so again in the future. The chance to advance into new fields is advantageous to the organization.

It’s hard for a recruit to have five to ten years of expertise in these technologies since they are so cutting-edge. However, there are times when less experienced employees are more likely to have learned new technology than someone with years of dealing with legacy systems.

6. Create Diverse Job Descriptions

What duties, activities, and projects would a new hire be required to perform over the following 12 to 18 months? Consider the particulars before making a hiring decision. You might not need someone with ten years of cyber security experience, but you could want someone with experience in a customer-facing position or who excels at problem-solving. Different words have different restrictions. Someone needing expertise working directly with developers or on a similar platform is distinct from a job description that includes experience with a specific tool for a time.

7. Do not use Culture Fit

When “some firms use cultural fit,” the result is a workforce where everyone sounds, looks, and thinks relatively alike. This can lead to ageism in cybersecurity and technology, which is just as undesirable in the workplace as sexism and racism. Although some hiring supervisors may wrongly assess a candidate due to a lack of years of experience, the opposite is also sometimes true. People with extensive experience could face unjust judgment due to their advanced age.


Teams that use an inclusive decision-making process and solicit input from a broad spectrum of people, according to Cloverpop, made decisions twice as quickly and produced results that were up to 60% better. Therefore, there has to be a broader variety of educational and linguistic backgrounds, greater ethnic diversity, and even neurodiversity to combat new threats from as many aspects as feasible.

Performance and values are crucial to diversity and inclusion (D&I) promotion. Naturally, a workforce that is inclusive and varied will result in more significant results. Diversity is vital to the success of your organization. I recently met with some friends to discuss methods for creating and hiring diverse cybersecurity teams.

We understand that attaining high levels of performance is not enough to create a diversified staff.

Hiring managers may have trouble forming teams in the first place due to the lack of cybersecurity capabilities. We’re hoping that these pointers may assist recruiting managers in putting together the greatest teams possible.

Hiring managers need to be open, honest, and sincere with candidates. They must provide feedback and know where they stand as soon as possible so they’re not constantly waiting for an answer; consider asking their employees for their opinion on hiring practices and making the changes – a great way to get insight into what would make working at your company better.


How can companies ensure that their efforts to build diverse cybersecurity teams are sustainable in the long term, especially considering the challenges of retention and career advancement for underrepresented groups in the field?

Ensuring the sustainability of diversity initiatives requires a multi-faceted approach. Companies can implement mentorship programs, career development opportunities, and diversity training to support the retention and advancement of underrepresented employees. By creating an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued and supported, organizations can mitigate turnover and promote long-term career growth for diverse talent.

What steps can hiring managers take to create a more inclusive recruitment process beyond avoiding cultural fit, such as implementing blind resume screening or establishing diversity-focused interview panels?

Hiring managers can take several proactive steps to foster inclusivity in the recruitment process. Blind resume screening can help mitigate unconscious bias and ensure candidates are evaluated based on their qualifications rather than demographic factors. Additionally, establishing diversity-focused interview panels comprising representatives from diverse backgrounds can provide different perspectives and reduce the likelihood of biased decision-making.

In addition to internal initiatives, are there any external resources or partnerships that companies can leverage to support their efforts in building diverse cybersecurity teams, such as mentorship programs or community outreach initiatives?

Absolutely. Companies can leverage external resources and partnerships to augment their diversity efforts. Mentorship programs can pair employees from underrepresented groups with experienced mentors who can provide guidance and support. Community outreach initiatives, such as sponsoring events or participating in industry conferences focused on diversity and inclusion, can also help organizations connect with diverse talent pools and build relationships with external stakeholders committed to promoting diversity in the cybersecurity industry.