Cybersecurity Technical Writer: To Hire, or Not to Hire?

A laptop connected to power displaying a black screen with red text "Cyber Security" located in a cubicle office

To hire or not to hire a cybersecurity technical writer, that is the question, if Shakespeare were to ask it. However, many start-ups, businesses, and high-tech firms are asking the question. How should a company decide whether to hire someone as specialized as a cybersecurity technical writer, or as well-rounded as a content writer? Is there a difference? Continue reading to learn more!

What qualities are unique to cybersecurity technical writers?

  • Specialized Expertise: Cybersecurity technical writers have spent their entire careers dedicated to the cybersecurity space.  Their knowledge areas of focus will already include cybersecurity documentation, cloud security, blue team operations, digital forensics, industrial control systems, incident management plans, disaster recovery, and business continuity plans. This built-in knowledge that the writer has reduces time that would otherwise be spent researching a topic, further increasing time and resources available to complete more complex writing assignments.
  • Value Input: Not only are cybersecurity technical writers skilled in documentation style and formatting, they have mastered the art of working alongside cybersecurity subject matter experts (SMEs), engineers, product designers, and software developers in the field. The cybersecurity technical writer’s unique vantage point can improve user experience and usability to update and improve product design as well as building a FAQ database for customers.
  • Reduced Errors and Omissions: By choosing a cybersecurity technical writer, you reduce your business’ exposure to potentially devastating inaccuracies and vulnerabilities caused by a less specialized technical writer. This will drastically decrease processing times and minimize edits and revisions.

Why do I need a cybersecurity technical writer if I already have a staff content writer?

The most common difference is the technical aspect itself. Technical writing is specific to the technology industry and encompasses the benefits listed above, as well as being responsible for risk management procedures to protect the business from malicious attacks online. In contrast, content writers are more skilled at topics that can be well-researched and pitched to the consumer through creative writing, attention grabbing headlines, and marketing. Staff content writers are also well suited for company blogs, developing original content, drafting proposals, reports, and white papers, and can work in any industry from fashion to healthcare. Both types of writers are advantageous in different settings, but a cybersecurity technical writer is your best choice to get the job done.

Can’t I just have my cybersecurity employees write the documentation?

 There are pitfalls to this line of thought.

  • Divided Attention: A cybersecurity engineer or designer may seem like a great choice initially, but they will not have the time to devote to formatting, editing or standardizing the content for different audiences.  In addition, the overtime required to complete multiple writing projects could result in an overworked disgruntled employee, plus excessive labor costs.
  • Poorly Written Documentation: Technical writing is a skillset that takes years to hone. To do the job credibly, one must master numerous documentation styles, create visuals and graphics to accompany the written content and determine the best organization of such technical reports. Choosing someone without such skills to create the communications could frustrate consumers, leading to revenue loss and ruin a company’s credibility and reputation.

For some start-ups and businesses, it may not be in the budget to hire a cybersecurity technical writer nor a staff content writer. In that case, the most reasonable alternative is to choose a documentation services firm like Essential Data Services to handle your documentation needs, where the quality of work is guaranteed. Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data  will lead the project from start to finish. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or

Written by Latrice M. Sillers


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