Security Certifications, Skills that Partners, MSSPs Should Add Now
There are a lot of certifications and online training programs available now, but they don’t all translate into bankable cash. While no good education is a waste of money, straying from the path of in-demand skills is not a profitable business plan. But how can partners and MSSPs sort the buzz from the bank? Here’s what’s in demand in terms of skills and certifications for 2019.
Hot Skills, Certs for Partners
It’s a known fact that salespeople have to know more than how to sell and how to network to cut it in today’s competitive market. They must also be credible and knowledgeable about the product they are selling and where it fits in the security space.
“For generalist security experience, the most widely recognized security certification is the CISSP offered through (ISC)2. Even if you don’t pass the 4-6 hour exam, the preparation for it in the different domain areas is valuable and will make you a more well-rounded security professional,” says Kurt Mills, VP of worldwide channel sales and operations at FireMon, a provider of network security for complex hybrid-cloud environments.
“For more technical product competence, most vendors provide training to the channel on their products. I highly recommend taking as many courses as you can. I have found the basic technical user classes to be very helpful in getting in the shoes of my customers and seeing the world from their point of view, especially when working with my products to do their day-to-day tasks,” Mills added.
Professional associations also offer insights into which skills are most valued in partners; take, for example, the independent, nonprofit global association ISACA, which serves a broad range of IT governance professionals.
“ISACA’s CISM certification demonstrates that individuals in security-management positions have not only the technical capability to manage an information security program but also a thorough understanding of enterprise and business objectives. CSX Practitioner demonstrates proven technical competence in four domains that testify to a candidate’s ability to identify and resolve network and host cybersecurity issues,” says Shannon Donahue, PhD, CISM, CISSP, Director of ISACA Futures.
What does all this advice from various experts in the field have in common? A strong understanding of securing cloud environments, understanding C-suite concerns, and credibility in technical product competence. Those three elements carry over to a diverse set of security product lines. But this also means learning can’t be static and contained to successfully completing certifications; indeed, it must be continuous and part of the partner company’s culture.
“Beyond certifications, you must build a culture that encourages teamwork and knowledge sharing. Security is an industry that is constantly evolving. As the technical landscape shifts from on-prem to cloud to containers to serverless, so must our approach to security,” explained Rich Long, vice president of channels at Alert Logic, a provider of security-as-a-service products.
Hot Skills, Certs for Top-of-Their-Game MSSPs
Because MSSPs are more heavily involved in delivering security products and services than partners tend to be, more is expected of them in the way of skills and certifications. This also calls for a larger role in training others, be they clients or peers.
“Some of the best advice I received was to take public-speaking classes. It helps you think through how to speak to large groups and tailor your story to your audience. In these customer-facing roles, often your customer wants an assessment of how things have gone, areas for improvement and plans going forward,” says Mills.
“Knowing how to frame that story depending on the audience – executives and in-the-trenches security teams will be looking for different things – and projecting confidence in your work and plans will go a long way in keeping your customers engaged and happy with their decision to outsource elements of …