Nearly everything we do is becoming more digitally driven and because of this, there is a significant demand for information security professionals. If you are interested in becoming an information security professional, now is the time to consider a cyber security career.
Information security professionals, also often known as cyber security professionals, work to ensure that data shared online or amongst and within companies is safe from malicious attempts to uncover it. Because of this demand, information security professionals have high earning potential, and could quickly earn an annual salary in the six figures. Read on to learn more about the types of information security jobs.
What Is Information Security?
Information security, also referred to as InfoSec, protects information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, or destruction. It involves implementing security measures that detect and prevent intrusion, security breaches, cyber threats and safeguard sensitive and commercial data.
Information security is a part of risk management. It focuses on protecting confidentiality, integrity, and availability. These key components of information security management are also known as the CIA triad. Information security refers to the protection of data in cyberspace and beyond, whereas the cyber security field is focused on protecting information from malicious hacker attacks in cyberspace.
What Do Information Security Professionals Do?
Information security professionals oversee their company’s computer security systems, maintain data security, and prevent cyber attacks. Companies hire these individuals to assess current systems, ensure application security, study ever-evolving threats, make recommendations and implement changes to prevent security concerns and breaches. Listed below are some of the key responsibilities of information and cyber security specialists.
- Protect information systems. Information security professionals erect barriers using software to prevent outsiders from accessing their company’s information systems.
- Identify vulnerabilities. These professionals look for unusual activities in the information systems to identify potential security vulnerabilities and weaknesses that may result in information security breaches and cyber attacks.
- Assess information systems. They constantly conduct audits to examine the present state of information systems and network security.
- Implement improvements. After conducting audits, information security professionals implement necessary improvements to ensure further information systems’ security and keep users informed by submitting performance reports.
- Prevent information security breaches. They analyze previous security breaches, research security risks, implement improvements, and update the company’s recovery and security plans to prevent security threats in the future.
- Verify third-party software. Information security professionals are also responsible for the verification of all third-party software security to make sure it meets the company’s security standards and is safe to use.
How Much Do Information Security Professionals Make?
This job role is in high demand across a wide range of businesses, including aerospace engineering, finance, manufacturing, entertainment, and the government. This means that professionals in this field are capable of earning high salaries with the potential to grow while demand continues to rise.
Information Security Average Salaries
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an information security professional earns a median annual wage of $103,590. As employees learn more specialized technical skills in risk management, security information, event management, cyber security and security testing, and auditing, their income prospects rise.
What Is the Job Growth for Information Security?
From 2020 to 2030, BLS forecasts job growth for information security occupations to rise by 33 percent. By that time, approximately 667,600 new jobs, including cyber security jobs, are expected to be created in the tech field in the United States.
The Highest-Paying Types of Information Security Jobs in 2022
- Chief Information Security Officer | $166,940
- Security Director | $151,966
- IT Security Architect | $126,019
- IT Security Manager | $115,200
- Security Engineer | $95,402
- Malware Analyst | $92,880
- Penetration Tester | $88,040
- IT Security Consultant | $85,865
- Information Security Specialist | $76,727
- Forensic Computer Analyst | $75,120
Job titles for a typical entry-level job in information security include security administrator, security specialist, security analyst, security auditor, security engineer, and security software developer. However, experienced information security professionals may build a career as a security architect, security consultant, or even security director.
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
- Average Salary: $166,940
The primary job of a chief information security officer (CISO) is to oversee the overall operations of an organization’s IT security department and other relevant staff. The security of the company is the CISO’s top priority. CISO candidates typically must have a graduate degree in a relevant field and extensive experience in cyber security, IT strategy, and security architecture.
- Average Salary: $151,966
A security director is a senior-level professional. Their typical job duties include overseeing the implementation of all IT security measures within a company. Security directors are in charge of designing, managing, and allocating resources to various security programs within an organization’s security department, as well as creating user awareness and security compliance education campaigns.
IT Security Architect
- Average Salary: $126,019
An IT security architect is a senior-level person in charge of constructing and managing an organization’s computer and network security infrastructure. IT security architects must first establish a thorough image of an organization’s technological and information requirements, which they may then utilize to develop and test security architectures.
IT Security Manager
- Average Salary: $115,200
An IT security manager is a mid-level employee. Their typical job duties include controlling an organization’s IT security policy. They must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills to be effective in their role. IT security managers develop and implement security strategies, lead security awareness initiatives, and manage department budgets under the supervision of the security director and the CISO.
- Average Salary: $95,402
A security engineer is a mid-level employee responsible for developing and maintaining an organization’s IT security solutions, configuring firewalls, and investigating intrusion occurrences. They must have extensive technical knowledge in the cyber security field, such as vulnerability and penetration testing, virtualization security, application, and encryption technologies, as well as network and web-related protocols.
- Average Salary: $92,880
A malware analyst’s job is to help a company understand the ransomware, worms, bots, Trojans, malicious code, and other dangerous software that constantly threaten its network.
Malware analysts frequently collaborate with forensic computer analysts and security incident responders to uncover malicious software programs that have invaded a company’s computer systems.
- Average Salary: $88,040
A penetration tester’s typical job duties are to explore applications, systems, and networks for vulnerabilities. Penetration testers must be able to perform physical security inspections of important IT assets, build and develop new penetration tools, and provide feedback on their information security findings.
IT Security Consultant
- Average Salary: $85,865
An IT security consultant is an independent professional who assists a company or a government agency in implementing the finest security solutions for their needs. IT security consultants need additional training and knowledge in a variety of security trends and standards, systems, and authentication processes and have a comprehensive understanding of the security capabilities of the organization for which they work.
Information Security Specialist
- Average Salary: $76,727
An information security specialist is an entry-level to mid-level employee whose job responsibilities include enhancing an organization’s information security. Information security specialists’ typical job duties include assessing a system’s security requirements, installing and configuring security solutions, conducting vulnerability testing, and assisting in the security awareness training of coworkers.
Forensic Computer Analyst
- Average Salary: $75,120
A forensic computer analyst examines computers, networks, and other data storage devices for evidence. Forensics experts frequently collaborate with law enforcement government agencies to gather evidence for legal matters, prepare technical reports, testify as expert witnesses in court, and teach officers various computer evidence procedures.
Information Security Career Path
Information and cyber security professionals need to have a comprehensive grasp of computer and network technologies to recognize potential vulnerabilities. They must then quickly apply solutions to any security breaches that may occur. Below you will find information on the different steps required to launch a career in information security.
- Attend a college degree program or a bootcamp. A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or information security degree are typically educational requirements for a job in information security. Coding bootcamps are also an alternative to a four-year degree program. Bootcamps provide intensive training on focused topics and would prepare a professional for a career in information security.
- Develop your information security skills. Information security professionals need to hone not only their technical skills but also their soft skills to thrive in the information security role. Information security bootcamps can help develop both.
- Gain experience in information security. Many employers expect previous experience in information security in a professional capacity or a similar subject when hiring information security professionals. Luckily, there are many information security apprenticeships and internships offered to aspiring professionals.
- Get certified. Earning a professional certification can help you stand out and negotiate a higher wage or find better job opportunities. Industry certifications like the Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) certification and the CompTIA Security+ are two common information security certifications.
- Start the job search. Kick-off your job search by building a resume and cover letter. Create an information security portfolio, look into relevant job postings and prepare for technical interviews. Professional connections made while studying or interning may help you to land a tech job faster.
Should You Become an Information Security Professional?
If you’d like to break into tech, you should consider pursuing a career in information security. The demand for information security professionals is enormous, and the industry is expected to increase further as we become more technologically reliant.
Types of Information Security Careers FAQ
To become an information security professional, you must attend an information security bootcamp or earn a degree in computer science. These educational paths allow you to gain the essential skills to land a job in information security. Additional training, apprenticeships, internships, and industry certifications may help you stand out in the job search.
The average annual salary for an information security professional is $103,590. Employees’ earning potential improves as they upskill, get additional training, acquire professional certifications, and enhance their professional experience.
The most common career paths in information and cyber security include security analyst, security administrator, security engineer, ethical hacker, and security software developer. Information security professionals with previous experience may pursue a career in senior-level positions such as security director or chief information security officer. They can also work in national security by working in a government department or with federal agencies.
Yes, information security is a good career. As we all become more digitally dependent and vulnerable to security issues, the demand for information security professionals is rising, and the job outlook in the industry projects growth of 33 percent over the next ten years. If you’re looking for a successful career in tech, becoming an information security professional offers many opportunities.
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