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Cybersecurity Technical Writer: To Hire, or Not to Hire? 2

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

What Qualities Are Unique to a Cybersecurity Technical Writer?

One of the main differences between content writers and cybersecurity technical writers is that cybersecurity technical writers have a number of qualities and skills that make them especially qualified to writer cybersecurity documentation.  These include:

  • 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. The writer’s built-in knowledge reduces the time that would be spent researching a topic. Thus, this increases the time and resources available to complete more complex writing assignments.
  • Value Input: Not only are cybersecurity technical writers skilled in documentation style and formatting, but they have also 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. Often, this is through updating and improving product design as well as building a FAQ database for customers.
  • Reduced Errors and Omissions: With a cybersecurity technical writer, your business’s exposure to potentially devastating inaccuracies and vulnerabilities caused by a less specialized technical writer declines. This will drastically decrease processing times and minimize edits and revisions.

Why Do I Need a Cybersecurity Writer if I Already Have a Staff Content Writer?

The most common difference between content writers and cybersecurity technical writers 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. On the other hand, 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, as well as content such as company blogs. They develop original content, draft proposals, reports, and white papers, and can work in any industry from fashion to healthcare. Both types of writers are advantageous in different settings. In this case, a cybersecurity technical writer is the best choice to complete the job.

Can’t I Just Have My Engineers Write the Documentation?

 While one might think that they could have engineers write cybersecurity documents, there are pitfalls to this line of thought. A cybersecurity engineer or designer writing these documents could result in:

  • 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.  Additionally, the overtime required to complete multiple writing projects could result in an overworked disgruntled employee, plus excessive labor costs.
  • Poorly Written Documentation:  It takes years to hone the cybersecurity technical writing skillset. To do the job efficiently, one must master multiple skills. These often include numerous documentation styles, developing visuals and graphics to accompany the written content, and determining the best organization of such technical reports. Documents written by someone without such skills could frustrate consumers, leading to revenue loss and ruining a company’s credibility and reputation.

For some start-ups and businesses, it may not be financially feasible to hire a cybersecurity technical writer or a staff content writer. In that case, the most reasonable alternative is to choose a documentation services firm like Essential Data. At EDC, we guarantee the quality of our work in handling your documentation needs. 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 sales@edc.us

Written by Latrice M. Sillers