Jobs in cyber security generally reside in information technology departments and involve planning, designing, implementing and testing security measures to protect data and technology equipment from Internet-based attacks. Job titles range from security analysts to chief security officers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for security professionals are expected to remain in high demand, with a 37 percent increase in jobs projected between 2012 and 2022.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts install firewalls and security programs, such as those used to encrypt data before it's transmitted over the network. These analysts also implement control measures and monitor information systems for vulnerabilities and security breaches. Additional responsibilities can include developing security procedures and training users in practices to keep their data secure. Most companies expect security analysts to have a bachelor's degree in computer science.
IT auditors assess companies' information systems for compliance and security risks. These auditors develop and implement audit plans to evaluate system controls and operations. Some auditors also test systems by using hacking techniques. Auditors issue formal reports to management describing problems that require action as well as recommendations for improvement. A bachelor's degree in computer science is typically required, and hiring companies often expect certifications, such as certified information systems auditor or certified information systems manager.
A cyber security manager leads a team of analysts, auditors and others, such as system engineers and architects. This manager uses hardware and software tools designed to monitor and respond to cyber security threats. Other duties often include process development, providing for employee security awareness training and issuing corporate communications on security issues. General managerial responsibilities also apply, such as budget and staffing forecasts, employee development and addressing performance issues. Typical requirements include a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science and experience leading technical teams, developing security reports and delivering updates to management.
Chief Security Officer
A chief security officer is part of a company's executive team. This officer leads managers or directors and holds ultimate responsibility for security policies and operations for systems that span an entire enterprise. Duties include developing long-term strategies to address data security and privacy, ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting the company's intellectual property in the form of data. Chief security officers often hold a master's degree in information systems or computer science. Extensive experience in information technology is a must, with at least 10 years focusing on security.
- University of Maryland University College: In-Demand Careers in Cyber Security
- George Washington University: Cybersecurity Roles and Job Titles
- Florida Tech University: Cybersecurity Manager Career Guide
- Robert Half: Robert Half Technology 2014 Salary Guide
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Information Security Analysts
- Photo Credit Huntstock/DisabilityImages/Getty Images
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