Skills and Characteristics of Successful Cybersecurity Advocates


Julie Haney and Wayne Lutters, University of Maryland, Baltimore County


Cybersecurity advocates attempt to counter the tsunami of cyber attacks by promoting security best practices and encouraging security technology adoption. However, little is known about the skills necessary for successful advocacy. Our study explores the motivations, characteristics, and practices of cybersecurity advocates. Preliminary analysis of 19 interviews reveals that effective advocates must not only possess technical and soft skills, but also customer service orientation and context awareness. However, little cybersecurity training is available to develop these non-technical skills. Additionally, the cybersecurity profession neglects to frame the field as service-oriented, a theme identified repeatedly in our interviews. We discuss implications of these findings for recruitment and greater workforce diversity.

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@inproceedings {205823,
title = {Skills and Characteristics of Successful Cybersecurity Advocates},
booktitle = {Thirteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2017)},
year = {2017},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul