IT Security Specialist Jobs
What is an IT security specialist?
IT security specialist is a broad title which often covers the responsibilities of a number of other jobs. You may be required to undertake tasks relating to designing, testing, implementing and monitoring an organisation’s cyber security frameworks. This role may also require you to have experience with anything from threat and intrusion detection to firewalls and other network security processes.
Ultimately, the exact nature of this role will depend on the job description detailed by the recruiting company.
What does an IT security specialist do?
As this role is a broad title, you will likely need to have an understanding or experience in a variety of fields within cyber security. These can include threat detection, virus, spyware and malware detection, incident response or development and design experience.
Some example skills you may be required to evidence for the role include:
- Testing and monitoring
This will include testing new systems or software and troubleshooting to ensure that everything works correctly and can be used straightforwardly by relevant members of the business. You will also then need to monitor these systems regularly for vulnerabilities or issues.
- Threat assessment
Similar to monitoring, you will need to conduct threat assessments on the company’s computers, networks and other related equipment to identify any potential threats and then work with the rest of the cyber security team to identify solutions that work for the business.
- Involvement in the process from design to implementation
The business may require you to be involved in the process of building new cyber security solutions including research, development, design, implementation and testing, depending on the size, range and ability of the rest of the team.
- Audit/compliance experience
This role may also involve contributing to auditing or compliance procedures. Conducting security and compliance audits includes reviewing the systems and practices of the business, identifying any issues or weaknesses and creating reports which detail your findings. These reports, as well as recommendations, may then need to be conveyed to senior members of the business.
How much money do security specialists make?
Salary researcher Payscale (https://www.payscale.com/) provide interesting results for IT security specialist earnings. In the UK, payscale reports the average salary of an ‘Information Security Specialist’ as £44,000 but the average salary of a ‘Computer Security Specialist’ as £40,000. This clearly shows how, although many businesses use interchangeable or indeterminate titles, higher worth can be placed on certain keywords than others.
In the US, the average ‘Information Security Specialist’ can expect a salary of $75,000, while the average ‘Computer Security Specialist’ pulls in $72,000, a slimmer gap than in the UK but still a notable presence.
What qualifications do I need to be a computer security specialist?
Although most employers will expect a degree in computer science or a relevant field, those with evidence of related experience should also have a strong chance of securing a job.
Some of the most common professional cyber security qualifications include:
- CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- SSCP – Systems Security Certified Practitioner
- CPP – Certified Protection Professional
- OSCP – Offensive Security Certified Professional
How do you become an IT security specialist?
When starting your job search as a security specialist, it’s best to narrow your search by level of experience and expected salary. Because the title encompasses such a broad range of opportunities, this will help save you time in finding the right fit for where you are in your career progression.
Ways to build your experience if you’re just starting out can include boot camps and internships, group projects outside of study or working towards professional qualifications.