Are You in the Right Cyber Security Team? (Technical Edition)

Alexis Lingad
4 min readApr 29, 2024


Hacker Team Image from EM360

These things I will tell here is based on my experience on managing technical people in my previous cyber security company and by communicating with a lot of my cyber security students regarding their careers in the technical side of the cyber security field.
Wondering why you feel you’re not growing in your job when it comes to cyber security? Or maybe you seem out of place in your team? Or some of your friends is growing faster in their career but yours is very stagnant? Well, let’s discuss those things here since maybe, you are not in the right team and it’s time to move forward.

Here are some red flags that I collected for some new cyber security professionals that is thinking if they’re in the right technical team or not:

  1. Fake Technical Team
    - I had a student who joined a cyber security team for a technical position but end up doing a lot of management tasks instead of technical tasks.
    - There is nothing wrong with learning communication, reporting and documentation but if that is what you’re doing most of the time then think again.
    - You might grow as a manager, but you will not grow that much as a technical person (analyst/specialist/engineer) in this kind of team. If you’re goal is to become good at your craft, then you must surround yourself with like minded people and in this case, technical people.
    - A lot of people can self-study though but a lot of people grow so much faster because they can self-study and practice in real environment at the same time.
  2. Zero Experience Technical Lead
    - I also had a student who has a technical lead with zero experience. Although you can learn cyber security from scratch, leading and mentoring a highly technical cyber security professionals requires a lot of cyber security experience. This student of mine quit on that job and that’s the best decision ever that he made.
    - A lot of highly technical individual needs a mentor for them to grow more but if the mentor does not have much of an experience, how credible the advise they can give? Instead of shortcut, a lot of things might get worse.
    - When technical people in a cyber security team achieve something great, usually it will not be appreciated since the inexperienced lead does not know the relevance of it.
    - When technical people suggests some improvement, the inexperienced lead will have to research about it for days or weeks if he/she is persistent but usually its just forgotten so instead of moving forward, most of the time, you will be put in a never ending loop.
    - There are some people that is okay with this as long as they have a stable income and peaceful life but most of those people did not advance to their technical growth already and I have nothing against those people, I totally respect it.
  3. Technically Out of Place
    - So you noticed that a lot of them does not know what you’re talking about technically in cyber security space but you know that you’re still average compare to the other professionals outside. In this case, be ready for the consequences of being in the team.
    - There will be a lot of times that instead of moving forward towards improvement, you need to defend and multiple discussions before those improvements can be implemented. This might be the frequent case if your team does not know what the heck are you talking about and if it is new to them.
    - If you are the kind of person who wants to have a legacy within the company by training the people and implanting all of your improvements in there then congratulations, you found your team.
    - However, if you want to grow faster, it will be effective to surround yourself with smarter people and most of my students who went to this path is already striving on their careers already.

There are a lot more things I want to discuss here but let’s save it on the Part 2. These ideas might not be applicable to everyone but I just put some real talk in here based on how many professionals are telling me their agony within their team and those things created a pattern in my head. Fortunately, I have time to share those things today and I hope you can choose wisely what kind of team you want to be in while avoiding some traps in the process.



Alexis Lingad

CRTO | OSWP | eCPPT | eCDFP | eWPT | CEH | Author of Cyber Defender | Creator of Hackuna Anti-Hack | WTH Hacker Games Champion 2015&2017 |