Tips for employers interviewing industrial cybersecurity candidates

As we come down to the end of the semester here, my students are interviewing for internships and jobs.

AMTEC Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0

Based on student feedback, sometimes it seems that employers may not be attuned to the skill sets they need or know how to identify individuals who have the right competencies.

To aid employers in evaluating our students we encourage our students to maintain a portfolio of their projects, including photographs and final presentations from various courses, which they invite employers to review.

In addition to reviewing the portfolio and asking some questions about it, I’ve created the following short list of sample questions that help employers discern between an IT security person and an industrial cyber person capable of bridging the IT-OT divide:

  • Can you share your experience programming PLCs?
  • Will you tell me about how you protect technician lap tops?
  • How do you differentiate between a physical failure and a cyber attack?
  • What steps are involved in calibrating a temperature transmitter?
  • How does one segment an industrial network?
  • What challenges have you faced when creating an ICS asset inventory for security purposes?
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