The Role of an Information Security Officer


The role of an information security officer is to establish an environment of physical, data and resource security in an organization. The information security officer employs risk assessment tools and techniques to eliminate sensitive information from being compromised. The information security officer also develops contingency plans for the handling of information and resources during an emergency. Information security officers are also known as Chief Information Security Officers, which is an executive level position.

Security Policy Duties

  • An information security officer is responsible for establishing security standards and protocols pertaining to organizational strategies created by executive management. The security officer categorizes and develops a system that prioritizes types of information throughout an organization. The security officer constantly examines the characteristics of information and determines the security levels for those to review information and data.

Assigns Security Levels

  • In a corporate environment, an information security officer can assign levels of security to a document, a system or data. For example, a security officer decides what security level an employee will obtain according to their job duties and responsibilities. Those can include confidential, secret or top secret security clearances. Security officers are also responsible for conducting background checks of employees before a security level is given.

Information Systems Security

  • Information systems are the raw compilation of data through a computer system. An information security officer can assist or supervise a data security officer for establishment of security on computer systems. These systems can be mainframe, mid-range, networked or standalone systems. Information systems security ensures separation of duties that an individual does not have total control over an application without having a check and balance system established by user IDs and passwords. A security officer also has responsibility in the area of data facilities management.

Telecommunications Classification and Security

  • Because of the nature of business information, an information security officer can implement devices that ensure secure telecommunications. In the area of computers, the security officer suggests certain restrictions on software and recommends intrusion proof tools that can stop data from being corrupted and stolen through remote communications. The security officer can implement COMSEC (Communications Security) procedures when sending or receiving data. Most security officers design an alternative communication system for the relay of sensitive data.

Education and Salary

  • Tenure plays a big part in the salary of an information security officer. Most companies hire executives for the position or individuals with experience supervising data facilities, personnel and information resources. A master's or bachelor's degree in Information Systems Management can help an individual obtain a position as a data security officer leading to the position of information security officer. According to, an information security officer with 10 to 19 years of experience is capable of earning $99,548 to $166,368.

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