Does getting a Six Sigma Green Belt certification make sense for a career in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity represents the front line in protecting the nation’s digital infrastructure.  It is a critical resource for federal and state government agencies, large corporations, and small businesses throughout the US.  A search for jobs in cybersecurity shows over 19,000 open positions, with new career opportunities being created all the time.

The use of Six Sigma in cybersecurity is both widespread and growing.  This is due to the nature of IT infrastructure and its rapidly changing environment.  Any industry that experiences rapid change needs a mechanism for managing process improvement.  Certified Six Sigma professionals help meet this need by constantly analyzing and improving processes.

Green Belts are uniquely positioned to assist with process improvement.  They have a strong command of statistics and know how to use tools like 5S, TIMWOOD, Kanban, and others.  They have been trained to identify waste and processes that are out of alignment, then act to rectify the issues with little intervention.  This is a critical skill for cybersecurity professionals since they must act quickly when stopping potential cyber threats.

security typed on computer screen

If we look at a job posting for a cybersecurity professional, we can clearly see the requirements all revolve around quality processes.  See the image below.

cybersecurity job posting infographic

As you can see, security managers must be able to analyze, review, evaluate, and control policies and procedures.  If that sounds familiar, it’s because it closely mirrors the DMAIC method that Green Belts are already trained to use.  It also mentions using gap analysis and overseeing ongoing security projects.

Ways Six Sigma helps with cybersecurity:

  1. Streamlines communication – Every problem in corporate America can be traced back to a single issue, lack of communication. Six Sigma introduces strict communication protocols so that all project stakeholders are aware of what is happening.  Strong communication within a team limits the chances of mistakes in a fast-paced work environment.
  2. Perfect processes – You can’t protect from cyber threats if your own systems have weaknesses. Applying process improvement principles and total quality management ensures passwords are strong and all your systems use advanced multi-factor authentication.
  3. Automates system audits – What vulnerabilities do your own systems conceal? Six Sigma Green belts can design systems that check and re-check existing processes to that vulnerabilities aren’t accidentally added.
  4. Establish protocols with clients & suppliers – If your company works for a government agency, you’ll be required to have at least one certified Green Belt on your team.  That’s because most federal contracts now insist on having one person in charge of process-waste mitigation.  Green Belts will establish these protocols with federal and state agencies, as well as your partners and suppliers.

If you’re considering a career in cybersecurity, it’s strongly recommended that you consider getting a process improvement certification.  Hiring managers and HR professionals look for people with diverse skills and the Lean Green Belt will certainly help you stand out.  Here’s why.

Top three reasons to get a Six Sigma Green belt if you work in cybersecurity:

  • You’ll gain a unique skill – Very few cybersecurity professionals have process improvement experience. Even fewer have an actual certification.  By getting your certification, you’ll immediately stand out with employers when you submit your employment application.  When you interview, be prepared to discuss how your Six Sigma knowledge will help your department identify and improve threat detection and general performance.
  • You’ll find problems faster – If you’re trained to constantly improve processes, you’ll naturally start to find problems. If fact, Green Belts will often find small issues before they have a chance to expand.  This inevitably saves your organization both time and money, as well as possibly the reputation of the team.
  • You’ll get paid more – Six Sigma certified professionals typically earn 20% more than their counterparts, even if they aren’t working directly on a project. This is because they have a larger skill base to pull from and are more adaptable to fast-changing issues that arise.