An information security specialist is a person who is responsible for protecting the information systems of an organization.
Nowadays, organizations need to be vigilant in fighting off attackers and protecting the information assets they have in their possession in the face of rapidly escalating threats and sophisticated cyber warfare. The role of IT security experts is to ensure secure computer systems through leveraging an in-depth understanding of cyber security threats, technologies, and countermeasures. A lot of times this involves a number of tasks including installing and configuring security software in order to protect your network from hacker attacks, educating your employees about data security, monitoring and protecting your network against network breaches, and responding to any cyber attacks through the appropriate countermeasures.
All vertical industries, such as corporate, educational, medical, and government agencies, have a high demand for computer security specialists, regardless of the industry. In the future, based on the statistics provided by the United States Statistical Bureau, IT security specialists are expected to be in demand by 33% between 2020 and 2030, a much faster rate than the 8% average for all occupations. Therefore, this is regarded as one of the fastest growing career paths in the country.
A variety of accredited colleges and universities offer a variety of information security tools and technologies, along with college degrees, courses, and certificates. The following are some of the top-rated IT security training programs in the U.S. and online that you can choose from.
IT Security Specialist Skills & Responsibilities
Information security specialists typically perform the following duties and develop the following marketable skills. Specialists in the field of information security include the following:
- Create a plan to protect computer files from unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure by creating a plan to protect computer files.
- Anti-virus and malware protection systems for computers should be chosen, implemented, monitored, and upgraded on a regular basis.
- Data transmissions should be encrypted, and firewalls should be created to ensure that confidential information is hidden during transmission.
- Protect sensitive data files from unauthorized access by implementing password authentication as a security measure.
- Incorporate new software or correct errors in security files, along with changes in the status of user access, by altering the security files.
- Assessments and tests of security measures and risk assessment of running data processing activities should be carried out.
- Security awareness and security protocols should be promoted to workers as part of computer security education.
- The company’s shared network should be backed up regularly with accurate and current backups of all critical data.
- Professionals specializing in computer forensics work on cyber crimes to gather the necessary evidence to prosecute those violating the law.
- In addition to setting up and operating an investigator’s lab, computer forensics specialists are also able to process computer crime scenes in their labs.
Budget-friendly cybersecurity job resources
- A global education platform such as Udemy provides teachers with the ability to connect with students easily by allowing them to connect with subject matter experts and teachers. There is a wide range of quality and detail in the content available through Udemy and the courses are delivered in video formats. Cybersecurity-related content can be found on hundreds of sources online in the form of video. These courses range from basic cybersecurity introductions to specific topics such as training for certification examinations and how to prepare for them. There seems to be an endless supply of affordable options available for students to choose from, even though they have to pay to access the courses.
- There is a learning platform called StackSkills.com that packages courses into topic areas that are suited to the skills required by digital media in specific domains such as marketing, finance, and IT security.
- There are a number of subscription-based services out there, but one of the most popular is Lynda.com, a LinkedIn company that provides thousands of hours of training across a number of skills that are in demand in the labor market right now. The website Lynda.com offers more than 1,000 cybersecurity-specific courses, ranging from beginner level courses to expert-level courses, which can all be found in Lynda.com.
- A similar online learning platform to Coursera, mentioned above, is edX.org, which offers the opportunity to take online courses from universities around the world including some of the top ones in the world. A number of different courses are offered along with the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a variety of fields, as well as industry certifications, and are arranged under a variety of different programs. Click here to explore what edX has to offer when it comes to cybersecurity courses.
- It is not easy to find jobs in cybersecurity for entry-level candidates
- There are some jobs in the cybersecurity field that require a graduate degree in computer science, such as ones in information security or computer forensics, but it is still possible to find entry-level jobs within this field. Professionals who are just starting their career in security can expect to handle lower-level security issues such as monitoring log files, managing backups, and managing updates as part of their responsibilities.
In the present day, there is such a great demand for workers with cybersecurity expertise, that many of the professors who instruct degrees in cybersecurity associate’s programs report that many of their students already have jobs waiting for them when they graduate from their programs.
In recent years, cybersecurity boot camps as well as graduate certification programs are becoming an increasingly popular way to get into the cybersecurity field, especially for people with a background in a related field like computer science or information technology.
The purpose of cyber security boot camps is to provide intensive training experiences through a series of training classes over a period of several weeks or months. A private boot camp company or a training company can provide the training and coursework associated with boot camp, including boot camp training. In an effort to help close the cybersecurity skills gap, boot camps are also becoming increasingly popular and are being offered by some of the most prestigious universities in the country as a means of training professionals.
In addition to offering graduate certificates in cybersecurity, top universities with established programs offer graduate diplomas in the subject as well. Students wishing to gain a deeper understanding of a specific cybersecurity topic area are welcome to enroll in one of these programs, which are designed to suit advanced students. A cybersecurity graduate certificate program usually consists of a number of courses, which can indicate to employers that an applicant is highly competitive for the job or prepare a candidate for more advanced roles within the profession in the future.
As an entry-level job, an analyst of information security is an option that may be of interest to you. In order to obtain an entry-level job as an information security analyst, a professional usually needs a bachelor’s degree as dictated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information security analysts made a median annual salary of $98,350 in 2018 with the lowest ten percent earning less than $56,000 as their annual salary.