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How to Hire Cybersecurity Experts and Why It’s Crucial for SMBs

How to Hire Cybersecurity Experts and Why It’s Crucial for SMBs

The number of cyber attacks grows by 50% every year. Even such a giant corporation as Microsoft, the company that has to prioritize data security, faced an attack in 2022. Uber, Invidia, and Twitter are also among the companies that faced the costliest cyberattacks in the previous year.

And despite large enterprises being popular targets of cybercriminals, small businesses aren’t immune from them either. But the difference here is that while large corporations have enough assets to defend themselves, small companies possess limited resources to invest in cybersecurity.

43% of all cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses, while only 14% of companies are prepared to face these attacks. With a reference to Cyber Security Ventures, Forbes predicts that by 2025, cybercrime will cost the world economy around $10.5 trillion annually, so in 2023, the necessity to hire cybersecurity experts is higher than ever. 

At Bridge, we help small businesses and growing enterprises address their data protection challenges by sourcing remote cybersecurity professionals for them. We are well-aware of the pitfalls SMBs face along the way. So, keep reading this article to find out how to hire cybersecurity engineers in today’s fierce market competition for such rare gems.

How a cybersecurity specialist will protect your business data

Before we proceed with the main steps in recruiting cybersecurity professionals, let’s find out what a cybersecurity engineer does and how hiring them can benefit your company.  As we already know, cybersecurity specialists are responsible for the protection of your network and data. They make sure that your business has all the necessary tools in place to stay protected from external and internal risks. But that’s not all.

Cybersecurity engineers also identify any vulnerabilities or threats that might arise in the future and prevent them from happening. In addition, they have an important role in ensuring compliance with industry standards, such as GDPR (​​General Data Protection Regulation), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Last but not least, the analysis of vulnerabilities, threats, and risks associated with your business and the development of an effective security strategy is also a task cybersecurity professionals have to deal with. 

Long story short, hiring a cybersecurity specialist is one of the smartest investments you can make for your company. With data breach detection, prevention and protection practices in place, you will be able to prevent both financial losses and reputational damage, getting a competitive edge and the trust of the users. 

How to hire a cybersecurity expert

Now, after the main benefits of hiring cybersecurity experts are clear, let’s find out how to hire them step-by-step, ensuring that you will recruit a specialist that fits your company’s needs and can help you develop a strong cybersecurity strategy for the long run. 

Decide on the role you need to fill

The field of cybersecurity is complex and diverse. There are a lot of different tasks to solve for keeping your IT ecosystem safeguarded from hackers, and that’s why there are various cybersecurity roles and responsibilities. So, before you hire a cybersecurity expert, you have to identify your company’s cybersecurity goals and related vulnerabilities to address, and only then decide on the specialist you need. 

Below are the main cybersecurity roles and their overall responsibilities: 

  • Information Security Analyst. An Information Security Analyst is a person who is responsible for maintaining the integrity of an organization’s information infrastructure by identifying, monitoring, and responding to cyber threats.
  • Software Security Engineer. Software Security Engineers are responsible for developing and implementing security policies, procedures, and practices for the software systems of the organization.
  • Security Architect. The role of a Security Architect is to provide the company with a comprehensive vision for its information security strategy. They are responsible for designing the network architecture and all its elements, including hardware and software.
  • Penetration Tester. As the name suggests, the main task of a Penetration Tester is to simulate different cybersecurity attacks and check how the system will respond to them. 
  • Security Consultant. A Security Consultant is a person who advises companies on how to protect their computer systems. They are responsible for researching vulnerabilities in an IT ecosystem and suggesting ways to solve them. 
  • Cloud Security Specialist. A Cloud Security Specialist (or Analyst) is responsible for ensuring your cloud data safety, integrity, confidentiality, and availability. 

Some key skills and qualifications your cybersecurity expert should have



After you have decided on the role you need to fill, you have to specify the cybersecurity engineer skills your company requires. Below are basic hard and soft skills cybersecurity experts are usually required to have, but you can always add more specific ones related to your company’s personal cybersecurity goals. 

Hard skills: 

  • Network and system administration. This is the professional’s ability to manage different devices and systems that make up a network, including their security. 
  • Technical skills (coding). This requirement includes knowledge of protocols like TCP/IP and HTTP, as well as programming languages like Python and Java.
  • Understanding of cloud security principles. A cybersecurity specialist should know how different cloud providers handle security in order to ensure that you make the right choice and that your data is fully protected.
  • Risk identification and management skills. A typical cybersecurity engineer has to identify risks associated with data access, storage, and transfer. 
  • Security audit. Cybersecurity engineers are also responsible for auditing the organization’s security systems on a regular basis, ensuring that they’re up-to-date according to the industry’s best practices and standards. 

Soft skills:

  • Cognitive competence ‒ the ability to understand and remember information.
  • Functional competence ‒ the ability to use knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to solve problems or complete tasks.
  • Attention to detail ‒ the ability to pay close attention to details of things, people, or situations.
  • Social competence ‒ the ability to interact with others effectively and appropriately in different social settings.
  • Problem-solving skills ‒ the ability to solve problems by making decisions based on available information and past experience. 

In addition to the hard and soft skills a cybersecurity expert should have, you can also prioritize the candidates with cybersecurity certifications. The most popular ones are Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). 

Decide on the engagement model

After you get a clear idea of the cybersecurity specialist you have to hire and their must-have skill set, it’s time to define an engagement model that will make your collaboration with a cybersecurity expert mutually winning. Below are three main options that may suit you depending on the core cybersecurity task you have to solve and your business goals. 

  • Hire a security consultant for a one-time job. If you are struggling with identifying the loopholes in your IT ecosystem security and would like to get a piece of advice on cybersecurity strategy development, hiring a security consultant for this one-time job can be an option. Nevertheless, next, you will have to follow the data protection practices suggested by them, and most likely, face the necessity to hire an in-house cybersecurity specialist later on. 
  • Hire a cybersecurity engineer in-house. Companies prioritizing security and aiming at developing and implementing a cybersecurity strategy can consider hiring a cybersecurity engineer in-house. This is also an option for companies dealing with sensitive data, like fintech and healthcare businesses. 
  • Hire a contractor. This is an option for companies that have an in-house cybersecurity department, but face the need to solve a specific challenge, for example, pentest their recently created software to make sure it is immune against external and internal threats.

Outsource the cybersecurity hiring process to staffing experts

Regardless of the engagement model you choose to hire cybersecurity professionals, it is still better to outsource the hiring process to a talent-sourcing vendor, especially if you have no in-house HR department or your company lacks internal cybersecurity expertise. Below are more reasons why hiring cybersecurity experts with the help of a talent-sourcing partner is safer than doing it on your own. 

  • Cybersecurity specialists are in high demand, but in short supply. The tech talent gap becomes bigger when it comes to hiring cybersecurity specialists. 57% of organizations reported a cybersecurity talent lack in 2021, while it is projected that by 2025, there will be 3,5 million job openings for cybersecurity professionals. These trends make finding the right specialist more difficult, but an experienced talent-sourcing agency can help you bridge this talent gap.  
  • Cybersecurity professionals are also one of the highest-paid specialists. The average salary of a cybersecurity engineer is nearly $100,000 per year in the USA. Given the trends above, hiring them on your own can also be costly, while the talent sourcing company can help you find candidates whose salary expectations meet your budget. For example, an agency can help you cut costs by hiring cybersecurity specialists offshore and ensure their qualifications meet your job requirements. 
  • A talent sourcing agency has the necessary tools and practices to hire rare specialists quickly and efficiently. Reputable sourcing agencies can help you find exactly who you’re looking for, mostly thanks to their extensive network of partners, resources, and software tools that allows them to fill positions with top-notch cybersecurity candidates faster. At Bridge, for example, we would be glad to help you hire a cybersecurity specialist, leveraging our innovative and data-driven approach to tech talent sourcing.

How much cybersecurity experts make 

As we’ve mentioned before, cybersecurity engineer salary is not low, so you should navigate the salary trends and efficiently plan your company budget. The salary expectations also differ depending on the seniority level, education, certification, location, and more. For example, a Senior cybersecurity engineer salary in the US is on average around $147,000 per year, but it may range between $134,00 and $164,000. At the same time, a Junior cybersecurity engineer salary is around $82,000.

However, the price tag might be lower when hiring globally. Let’s compare how much cybersecurity engineers earn in different countries.

CountryAverage annual salary 
Mexico~ $36,436 (621,820MXN)
Romania~ $32,350 (146,897RON)
Brazil~ $42,650 (206,475BRL)
Portugal~ $54,515 (50,059EUR)
Czech Republic~ $54,685 (1,193,395CZK)

These statistics prove that not only tech giants can afford to hire a skilled cybersecurity engineer. With Bridge, you get access to the talent across the globe while cutting recruitment costs and salary expenses. 

Hire cybersecurity professionals with Bridge

At Bridge, we clearly see the rising demand for cybersecurity professionals and know the challenges the companies face on the way to hiring them firsthand. If you also aim at developing a stronger cybersecurity strategy, consider hiring cybersecurity professionals with our support. 

Whether you’re looking for a cybersecurity expert in Palo Alto, California, or Romania, we can help. Our team of sourcers is trained to source candidates matching your specific job requisition and taking into account the desired location, knowledge, and experience, as well as salary expectations. 

Every day, we find the best technical talent with the help of our proprietary data talent sourcing engine, personalizing the search process in such a way that only those candidates who are truly interested in your position will get in touch with you. And once they’ve been vetted by our sourcers and found to be a good fit culturally, we’ll pass them over to you so that you can conduct an interview.

Our sourcing-as-a-service saves you time ‒ and money ‒ by streamlining the entire recruitment process for technical roles. With us, you can hire a cybersecurity expert 5 times faster and 60% cheaper.  

Write us a short request to get started now!

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