What does a computer security specialist do?
Computer security specialists are responsible for the information security systems of a company or organization. They help organizations maintain and supervise access to their computer networks and protect important information and data that is stored within their network systems. They install and maintain security software, monitor networks for security concerns, and respond to security breaches and cyber attacks. They also employ application access controls to restrict unauthorized users from accessing certain programs and networks. Computer security specialists take important steps to set up programs to detect hackers and deny them access to systems. They also provide education to users about computer security. Some computer security specialists obtain information and evidence to be used in investigating computer criminal activity.
What kind of training does a computer security specialist need?
Computer security specialists typically need at least a bachelor degree in computer science or related field. They must be familiar with many different networking technologies and computer programming. Prospective computer security specialists typically complete courses in information systems, computer programming, risk management, security procedures, and Internet operations. Many employers provide on the job training to enable new computer security specialists to learn the policies and procedures of the company. Many computer security specialists gain professional certification such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional that is offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. Computer security specialists must complete regular continuing education and additional training to maintain their certifications, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast on the current advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a computer security specialist?
Employment of computer security specialists is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 18% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Technological advances and increased concern for Internet security will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be good especially for computer security specialists with advanced education and extensive experience.
How much do computer security specialists make?
As of December 2009, computer security specialists with less than 1 year experience e earn average annual salaries between $34,706 and $46,192. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $44,451 and $70,418 (2).
A career as a computer security specialist is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in performing a variety of computer security activities for companies and organizations. Computer security specialists must have a solid understanding of computer networks and security procedures. Strong computer skills, analytical thinking, good problem solving, and detail orientation are necessary characteristics. Computer security specialists must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of computer users, personnel, and other professionals.