Monday, July 2, 2012

You Can't Teach Analytical Skills

From time to time, I get asked to teach people how to be analysts.  What I've found over the years is that there are those who are naturally analytical and can become solid, experienced analysts.  There are also those who are not naturally analytical.  Teach someone how to use a tool or tools to ask incisive questions of the data?  Sure.  Teach someone what makes one network traffic sample legitimate and another network traffic sample malicious?  Sure.  Teach someone how an attack pattern/intrusion vector works?  Sure.  Teach someone how to be an analyst?  Nope.  Can't be done.  They either have analytical skills or they don't.  My job is to lay the foundation and share my experience.  If a person is analytically inclined, he or she will take off running.  If not?  Then, unfortunately, no amount of training will be able to make an analyst of the person.

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