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IT Security Specialists Defend an Organization’s Information Systems.
In today's era of rapidly escalating threats and sophisticated cyber warfare, organizations need to be vigilant in combating attackers and protecting information assets. IT security specialists leverage an in-depth understanding of cyber security threats, technologies, and countermeasures to design and implement secure computer systems.
IT security specialists install, configure and upgrade security software to prevent cyber-attacks, educate [technical and non-technical] employees on computer security, monitor networks for security breaches, and inevitably respond to successful attacks with the appropriate countermeasures. Some IT security professionals specialize in computer crime investigation; these highly trained security pros use cutting-edge forensics hardware and software to gather evidence for use in prosecuting cyber crimes.
Workforce demand for computer security specialists is high across all organizational structures and verticals, including corporations, schools, medical practices, as well as public enterprises and government agencies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT security specialist employment will explode by 37% from 2012 to 2022, over 3x faster than the 11% average for all occupations, placing it among the nation's fastest growing career paths.
Accredited universities and private computer schools offer college degrees, courses, and certificates in modern information security tools and technologies. Compare top-reviewed IT security training programs in the U.S., Canada and online.
a.k.a. IT Security Analyst | Information Security Professional | Cyber Security Analyst | Computer Security Specialist
Cyber Security Specialist Salaries
IT Security Pro Education Requirements
Cyber Security Training and Degrees
IT Security Specialist Certifications
IT Security Specialist Job Outlook
Job Openings in IT Security
IT Security Specialist Skills & Responsibilities
Typical day-to-day duties and marketable cyber security skill sets include the following. IT security specialists:
- Develop plans to safeguard computer files against unauthorized modification, destruction or disclosure.
- Choose, implement, monitor and upgrade computer anti-virus and malware protection systems.
- Encrypt data transmissions and erect firewalls to conceal confidential information during transmit.
- Implement password authentication to keep unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data files.
- Modify security files to incorporate new software, correct errors, and change user access status.
- Perform risk assessments and tests on running data processing activities and security measures.
- Educate workers about computer security and promote security awareness and security protocols.
- Keep accurate and current backup files of all important data on the shared corporate network.
- IT security pros who specialize in computer forensics gather evidence for prosecuting cyber crimes.
- Computer forensics specialists can set up & operate an investigator’s lab, and process computer crime scenes.
Read this post from information security curriculum designer, Jason Nufryk, for a deeper look at marketable cyber security skills.
IT Security Specialist Salary
- Average salary for Information Technology Security Specialist (USA): $87,000
Salaries for IT security specialists and related positions by job role, seniority and technological specialization:
- Firewall Administrator: $66,000
- Information Security Consultant: $80,000
- Information Security Analyst: $85,000
- IT Security Specialist salary: $87,000
- Computer Forensics Investigator: $88,000
- Certified Ethical Hacker: $89,000
- Vulnerability Analyst: $89,000
- IT Security Engineer: $92,000
- Network Security Engineer: $95,000
- Cyber Security Analyst: $98,000
- Cyber Intelligence Analyst: $98,000
- IT Security Manager: $102,000
- SAP Security Administrator: 115,000
- Lead Digital Forensics Examiner: $115,000
- Security Solutions Architect: $150,000
The hourly wage for IT security professionals in the U.S. and Canada ranges from $21 to $74 per hour, dependent upon employee location, job-role, certifications and experience level.
Deep dive comparison of information security analyst salaries.
Sources: Indeed.com • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
IT Security Specialist Education Requirements
Hiring managers for IT security specialist positions generally require at least an undergraduate degree (associate or bachelor) in information security, computer information systems, network security, computer science or a related field of study. IT job experience and security-centric certifications will aid candidates in securing IT security specialist positions.
Specific coursework and in-demand skill sets to look for in an IT security specialist education program include networking and network security, operating system administration, business continuity & disaster recovery, intrusion detection, hardware & software configuration, risk management and computer forensics. IT security specialists need strong communication skills, as they are responsible for educating technical and non-technical staffers on computer security protocols and raising information security awareness.
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IT Security Specialist Training, Certificates & Degrees
Browse the top-reviewed undergrad & graduate degrees, professional certificates, online courses and self-paced training programs matching the IT security specialist education requirements and career path.
IT Security Education Program
Course Highlights & Certifications
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IT Security Specialist Certifications
Highly desirable certifications for information security specialists:
- CompTIA - Security+
- (ISC)2 - Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- EC-Council - Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- ISACA - Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate - Security (CCNA Security)
- Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA)
- GIAC - Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)
IT Security Specialist Job Outlook
Employment of IT security specialists is expected to increase by at least 37% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Security will remain a top concern for IT hiring managers as the frequency, scope and complexity of cyber attacks continues to escalate.
Aggressive government mandates are helping to drive demand for IT security specialists, for instance the DoD 8570 initiative, which requires Department of Defense (DoD) employees, military personnel, homeland security officers, and private contractors with access to sensitive data to get trained and certified in information security topics relevant to their access and position.
"Security is the only area of certified IT skills that has never had a negative quarter throughout this recession," says David Foote, CEO and Chief Research Officer of leading research firm, Foote Partners. "We've never had a three-month period with a loss or decline in premiums for IT security specialists."
Sources: Foote Partners IT Labor Report, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook v2014-2015
IT Security Specialist Jobs
Your specialized IT security training, experience and certifications qualify you for a range of positions including:
- IT Security Specialist: Find IT security specialist jobs
- Network Security Jobs: Find network security jobs
- IT Security Consultant: Find IT security consultant jobs
- Ethical Hacker Jobs: Find ethical hacking job openings
- Penetration Tester: Find penetration testing jobs
- IT Auditor: Find information systems auditor jobs
- Computer Forensics Analyst: Find digital forensics jobs
- Security Engineer Jobs: Find IT security engineering jobs
- Homeland Security Jobs: Find jobs in homeland security
- Information Security Analyst: Find security analyst jobs
- Systems Analyst
- Network Administrator
- Database Administrator
- Software Engineer
- Help Desk Technician
- Health Information Technician