Want to be a Cyber Security Unicorn? Master Diverse Skills

Adam Goss
8 min readMay 26
Cyber Security Unicorn Dog Image

This job looks awesome, but they are asking for a candidate who knows everything under the sun?

If you have thought this about a cyber security role, you are not alone. I have seen Security Operations Center (SOC) roles requiring expertise in cloud technology, junior penetration testing roles requiring five years of experience working in a SOC, and even a malware analyst role needing someone from a compliance background. Human resource (HR) requirements on job descriptions can be outright ludicrous.

Very few, if any, candidates tick every box on a job description, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t strive to tick as many boxes as you can, especially as you progress in your career. The cyber security industry is always seeking out unicorns: people who combine knowledge of many technical things with their main area of expertise.

If you can become a cyber security unicorn, you will become invaluable. I have been chasing this goal for a while now. Let me share what I’ve found out.

What is a Cyber Security Unicorn?

Cyber security unicorns are the rare individuals who can come into a company and transform it almost overnight.

There is a famous rule in economics called the 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle). This rule states that 80% of results will come from just 20% of actions and it applies to many disciplines. In other words, the success of a cyber security program ultimately comes down to 20% of the actions taken (or 20% of the employees). The cyber security unicorns, the 100x developers, and the genius marketers are that 20%. They can transform, refine, and scale businesses and, because of this, are highly sought-after individuals.

These unicorns work at a level beyond the rest of us. They can provide unique insight, solve complex problems, and create efficient business processes that save countless person-hours. Businesses know this. They know a single unicorn can account for the output of two, five, or even ten employees!

This is why you see job descriptions littered with ludicrous requirements. They are bate looking to snag a unicorn who is looking for their next…

Adam Goss

Cyber Security Professional | Red Teamer | Adversary Emulator | Malware Analysis | Threat Hunter | Threat Intelligence