Information systems security could be the field of choice for professionals looking for daily challenges, job stability and high income potential. IS security careers have become lucrative in the face of new and continual cyber-security threats against businesses and government agencies.
Protecting information security systems today takes advanced training; candidates for sought-after positions must possess up-to date knowledge and sharp skills. In addition, many employers and all Department of Defense jobs require information security credentials, such as the CompTIA® (Computing Technology Industry Association) Security + ™, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) or Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP®) certifications through International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2®.
High-paying IS security jobs can be found in companies of all sizes, in nearly every industry and in government agencies. With experience, relevant training and industry certification, you can attain such roles as IS Security Engineer, IS Security Consultant and IS Security Manager. Additional experience and training can lead to executive security careers like Director of Information Technology, Chief IT Officer, IS Security Director, Senior IS Security Analyst and Chief IS Security Officer.
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from May 2015, computer and information systems managers earned average salaries of $131,600. Those in the lowest 10% earned approximately $80,160 per year, while the top 10% earned upwards of $188,000 annually.
Many companies place an IT director or executive in charge of an entire IT department, including information systems security. Larger corporations sometimes appoint information systems security directors with overseeing security within the information technology department. These IT and IS security professionals are typically eligible for an annual bonus and generous benefits, and their base salary is typically more than $100,000 per year. The most recent salary statistics show that IT and IS security managers, directors and executives had an annual base income in the following ranges:
|IS Security Position||Median Annual Salary|
|IS Security Manager||$105,060|
|IT Security Director||$154,000|
|Information Security Director||$157,490|
|Information Technology Director||$174,579|
|Chief Information Security Officer||$193,105|
Information systems security professionals can perform a variety of job duties. They are primarily responsible for ensuring that a company’s proprietary and confidential data, software systems, and infrastructure are protected. A key IS security job duty is designing, developing and recommending integrated security system solutions.
A typical work day in a higher-level IS security career could include performing security audits, risk analysis, application-level vulnerability testing and security code-reviews on a wide variety of systems and products. IS security professionals may also work closely with software engineers and developers to enhance application security.
Job titles and employers affect levels of responsibility. IS Security Engineers and IS Security Managers typically develop and generate reports, product specifications, plans, schedules and other written correspondence, and may perform code audits, black box testing and security design reviews. Higher-level executives such as IS Security Directors, Chief Information officers and chief technology officers take on more strategic planning and supervising roles, helping shape an organization’s information systems security department or an entire information technology department.
Depending on the industry and employer, IS security managers, consultants and analysts may work with clients in strategic design processes to incorporate custom security solutions into technical designs. They maintain knowledge of encryption and authentication technologies as they apply to security issues, develop internal security procedures and documentation and define and implement best practices guidelines for addressing security concerns.
Top-level IS security professionals are experts in analyzing software designs and implementations from a security perspective and can discover subtle security issues that appear under unexpected threat scenarios. They typically are highly knowledgeable regarding security regulations for the industry in which they work, such as financial institutions or government agencies.
Like all IS security jobs, management-level IS security careers involve implementing new defenses against the constant threat from cyber attacks. Staying up-to-date on new security issues and possessing skills to develop the means to fight them is vital to success in an IS security career.
IS professionals interface with a number of work groups, from reporting to upper management, to reviewing security designs with software engineers. They are typically required to effectively communicate design approaches and security concepts in meetings, written communications and one-on-one with superiors and peers. They may consult and confer with development staff and other personnel to guide the focus of analysis and development regarding security issues. Depending on the employer, they may interact with clients or external advisors consultants regarding security issues.
If you are a business or IT professional who is analytical, self-motivated, flexible and team-oriented, you may thrive in IS security management. Villanova’s Master Certificate in IS Security programs deliver the skills and knowledge required by today’s top tech, finance, online retail and healthcare companies, as they combat potential threats and attacks that endanger their service delivery and profitability. Take your career to the next level by acquiring the industry certification employers are looking for and you’ll be ready to compete for today’s best information systems security jobs.