Information security jobs are those that involve protecting information and information systems. In recent years, with the Internet playing a larger role, the need to secure information, especially online, has become much more important. Thus, there is now a greater need for professionals who are highly experienced in network security auditing and digital forensics, all of which are information security jobs.
There are many types of positions that are engaged in this particular task, and these different positions represent the many reasons why information needs to be protected. Information is protected against:
- Unauthorised use
- Unauthorised access
- Disclosure or data leaks
The main objective of information security careers is to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of information. The secondary goal is to keep information available when it is needed.
Due to the great importance of information, all types of organisations, including governments, financial institutions, private businesses, and even hospitals require information security. The information may involve their employees, products, processes, financial status, and customers, and should thus be protected. In business, it is a legal and an ethical requirement to protect confidential information. Ethically speaking, businesses and organisations are bound to protect the information that their customers share with them to ensure privacy and to prevent crimes such as identity theft.
The information security field has seen immense growth during the past few years. There are now several areas for specialisation. Those who wish to work in the information security sector can become an IT auditor or an IT specialist, or may enter the investigative field of forensic auditing.
Applying for IS Jobs: Certifications
If you wish to enter the field of information security, there are a lot of technical certifications that can help you gain an advantage over your competitors. These include:
- CISSP The Certified Information Systems Security Professional – As the basic certification for the field, the CISSP can be a great help in providing you with the advantage that always comes with being a certified professional; this attests that you know the basic aspects of information security.
- ISSAP Information Systems Security Architecture Professional – Also a CISSP certification but is focused on building information systems security
- ISSEP Information Systems Security Engineering Professional – Also a CISSP certification but is focused on the engineering side of implementing information security systems
- ISSMP Information Systems Security Management Professional – Also a CISSP certification with a focus on managing information systems security
- CSSLP Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional
- SSCP Systems Security Certified Practitioner
Other related certifications include:
Information security professionals may also become members of information security associations, such as:
- ISACA – ISACA is a global professional organization involved in governing information security professionals. They do so to maintain a high quality of service in the industry; they do this by settings standards that are followed worldwide. ISACA currently offers publications and conferences all catered to information security professionals and information security job seekers.
- (ISC)2 – The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium is a global non-profit leader involved in educating and certifying professionals who are engaged in the field of information security.
- ITIL – The Information Technology Infrastructure Library has released a set of techniques for properly managing information technology, from the infrastructure that can be used, the development of various techniques and systems, and the operations. The ITIL also issues several certifications managed by the ITIL Certification Management Board; this is composed of EXIN of Netherlands and ISEB of the UK, both of which are well-known examinations institutes.
Different Job Positions in Information Security
There are many job opportunities waiting for those who wish to focus in information security. These positions go by many different names, such as:
- Information security crime investigator
- Forensics expert or analyst
- System or network tester
- Incident responder
- Security architect
- Malware analyst
- Network security engineer
- Security analyst
- Computer crime investigator
- Director of security
- Penetration tester
- Technical director of information security
- Intrusion analyst
- Vulnerability researcher
- Exploit developer
- Security auditor
- Disaster recovery specialist
- Business continuity analyst
To become an information security professional, one must be prepared to provide all the necessary application credentials, such as the right educational background. Although a computer science course is not necessary, it can be helpful for those who plan to advance in this field. Nevertheless, any formal degree may do, as long as you have the necessary skills and certifications.
The employment outlook is looking pretty good for the information technology sector. In 2009, information security was rated as one of the 50 best jobs. The field also accounted for 17 different job positions that each filled up a spot in the ranking. Aside from the availability, information security job posts are also more accessible. The barriers to entry are low, since many of the skills required by the job are self-taught or self-developed and are not necessarily learned through formal education.
Aside from the positive employment outlook and high growth potential, information security experts also receive very lucrative paychecks for the work that they do.
To take advantage of the positive outlook faced by information security careers, it would be a good idea for those who wish to enter the market to establish his or her credentials first by working in an industry related to information technology.
Information security professionals or even IT auditors have the option to continue working with the same company or to create their own security consulting firm.