Making a career as information security specialists is probably the best choice you have right now. The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)2 is a non-profit organization that specializes in training in education and career in Information Security. According to (ISC)2 , there are more than 2.25 million information security professionals in the world and by 2015, the world will require the double that figure in order to fill in the rising job demand. Point proved? Let us now examine the various ways one can go about making a career as information security specialist.
How to get started?
There are a number of cool job titles that a candidate looking for a career in information security would absolutely love to hold. Information Security Crime Investigator, Forensic Analyst, Computer Crime Investigator, Intrusion Analyst, and Ethical Hacker are some of the titles that look like coming straight from a science fiction novel, but they do really exist. For those who have made their mind early about making a career as a security pro are always at advantage than people who make last-minute modifications. It wouldnât take an Einstein-like brain to figure out that for becoming a security professional, you need to be into computers, networks, programming, coding and similar stuff.
That actually means that your undergraduate degree should be either in computers or data networks. However, a well rounded education is always better than one that solely focuses on the technical aspects. Studying an extra optional discipline such as arts, or statistics or business will equip a candidate with valuable soft skills. As a matter of fact, did you know that genius programmer and an inspiring entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg had psychology as one of his majors at the Harvard?
These subjects contribute to holistic learning and increase the realm of your imagination. Moreover social engineering is one of the important aspects of training yourself to find significant security glitches. By studying patterns of human behavior you can make modifications to your software accordingly and strengthen it, as there are many malwares that rely on basic human nature to do the damage. A security professional that is able to achieve the perfect balance of technical, communication and cognitive abilities is the one most sought after amongst all.
Certifications are good for your career
Those who havenât had the opportunity to study about computers or information security in their undergrads do not need to despair. Certifications were built for this day itself and are available dozen a dime. However, with too much choice also comes chaos, which you must avoid. There are a number of certifications available out there, but pursuing those which are recognized by the industry is the key. CompTIA-Security+ is one certification, accepted and recognized globally. (ISC)2 , the not for profit organization responsible for maintaining best industry practices also offers different levels of certification, Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), Information Systems Security Management Professional (CISSP-ISSMP), and Information System Security Engineering Professional (CISSP-ISSEP), are others credentials that are for the professionals who want to attain exceptional mastery over system security engineering.
Besides these, one can also tread the path of ethical hacking, whose role is to find loopholes, glitches, and vulnerabilities in software, systems for the benefit of companies who build them. These are also basically an information security professional, albeit in a different disguise. For the same, one can pursue a course in ethical hacking, and obtain credentials such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). The CEH course is provided by EC-Council, a global IT body that has its headquarters in New Mexico.
The career advancement path and salary
CISO,CSO=$150,000 or more
Information Security Administrator=$75,000
Continuous education: The key to success
In the world of information security, continuing education, updating yourself constantly with the latest industry trends is the key to success. Pursuing advanced level of certifications is one way of doing it, while the other could be going through various free online tutorials and web commentaries such as these.
Cybercrime is becoming a menace that has consequences far reaching than other criminal activities. Cybercriminals target financial institutions, government offices, business corporations and even a common cyber citizen for their own benefit or just for the sake of it. These cybercriminals have the power to inflict irreparable damage through interruption of service, intellectual property thefts and other forms of intimidation. To fight these cybercriminals the world needs an army of information security specialists who can use their expertise for the benefit of the mankind and technology. Of course, these security professionals are handsomely paid for their services, provided one has ample amount of experience and certification to validate his knowledge. An Information Security Manager would easily earn over and above $100,000 annually. (source: (ISC)2)
Saurabh Tyagi took to writing stuff for various online blogs and article sites in 2008. Five years hence, he has evolved as an expert on topics on related to management education, career and social media marketing tips.