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Become A Security Specialist

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Working As A Security Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $94,163

    Average Salary

What Does A Security Specialist Do

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.

Duties

Information security analysts typically do the following:

  • Monitor their organization’s networks for security breaches and investigate a violation when one occurs
  • Install and use software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to protect sensitive information
  • Prepare reports that document security breaches and the extent of the damage caused by the breaches
  • Conduct penetration testing, which is when analysts simulate attacks to look for vulnerabilities in their systems before they can be exploited
  • Research the latest information technology (IT) security trends
  • Help plan and carry out an organization’s way of handling security
  • Develop security standards and best practices for their organization
  • Recommend security enhancements to management or senior IT staff
  • Help computer users when they need to install or learn about new security products and procedures

Information security analysts must continually adapt to stay a step ahead of cyberattackers. They must stay up to date on the latest methods attackers are using to infiltrate computer systems and on IT security. Analysts need to research new security technology to decide what will most effectively protect their organization. This may involve attending cybersecurity conferences to hear firsthand accounts of other professionals who have experienced new types of attacks.

IT security analysts are heavily involved with creating their organization’s disaster recovery plan, a procedure that IT employees follow in case of emergency. These plans allow for the continued operation of an organization’s IT department. It includes preventive measures such as regularly copying and transferring data to an offsite location. It also involves plans to restore proper IT functioning after a disaster. Analysts continually test the steps in their recovery plans.

Because information security is important, these workers usually report directly to upper management. Many information security analysts work with an organization’s computer and information systems manager or chief technology officer (CTO) to design security or disaster recovery systems.

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How To Become A Security Specialist

Most information security analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Employers usually prefer analysts to have experience in a related occupation.

Education

Information security analysts usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field. As information security continues to develop as a career field, many schools are responding with information security programs for prospective job seekers. These programs may become a common path for entry into the occupation. Currently, a well-rounded computer education is preferred.

Employers of information security analysts sometimes prefer applicants who have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. Programs offering the MBA in information systems generally require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Information security analysts generally need to have previous experience in a related occupation. Many analysts have experience in an information technology department, often as a network or systems administrator. Some employers look for people who have already worked in fields related to the one in which they are hiring. For example, if the job opening is in database security, they may look for a database administrator. If they are hiring in systems security, a computer systems analyst may be an ideal candidate.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There are a number of information security certifications available, and many employers prefer job candidates to have one. Certification validates the knowledge and best practices required from information security analysts. Some are general information security certificates, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and others have a narrow focus, such as penetration testing or systems auditing.

Advancement

Information security analysts can advance to become chief security officers or another type of computer and information systems manager.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Information security analysts must carefully study computer systems and networks and assess risks to determine how security policies and protocols can be improved.

Detail oriented. Because cyberattacks can be difficult to detect, information security analysts pay careful attention to their computer systems and watch for minor changes in performance.

Ingenuity. Information security analysts anticipate information security risks and implement new ways to protect their organizations’ computer systems and networks.

Problem-solving skills. Information security analysts respond to security alerts and uncover and fix flaws in computer systems and networks.

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Security Specialist Career Paths

Security Specialist
Operations Specialist Correction Officer Security Supervisor
Assistant Security Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Operations Specialist Police Officer Security Manager
Chief Of Security
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Deputy Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Securities Analyst Information Security Analyst Information Security Officer
Chief Security Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Facility Security Officer Security Manager
Corporate Security Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Site Supervisor Safety Officer Executive Officer
Deputy Director Of Operations
9 Yearsyrs
Security Manager Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Deputy Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Security Officer Security Supervisor Security Manager
Director, Corporate Security
11 Yearsyrs
Security Manager Loss Prevention Manager
Director-Loss Prevention
9 Yearsyrs
General Manager Security Officer Security Supervisor
Fire Safety Director
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Program Coordinator Program Officer
Information Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Property Manager Security Officer
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Security Officer
Loss Prevention Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Security Supervisor Security Manager
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Security Supervisor Public Safety Officer Police Officer
Security Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Securities Consultant Security Officer Security Supervisor
Security Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Operations Director Chief Of Operations
Senior Officer
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Security Manager 3.5 years
Security Assistant 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Security Specialist
Cashier 4.1%
Supervisor 3.9%
Internship 3.5%
Sergeant 3.5%
Manager 3.2%
Specialist 2.3%
Top Careers After Security Specialist
Manager 4.1%
Supervisor 4.1%
Specialist 3.0%
Technician 3.0%
Owner 2.5%
Instructor 2.5%

Do you work as a Security Specialist?

Security Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

70.8%

Female

27.4%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.6%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.1%

French

7.9%

German

5.0%

Arabic

4.3%

Portuguese

3.3%

Korean

3.0%

Russian

3.0%

Italian

2.6%

Hindi

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

Mandarin

1.7%

Thai

1.7%

Japanese

1.7%

Carrier

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Dari

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Kurdish

0.7%

Hausa

0.3%
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Security Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.6%

Community College of the Air Force

12.3%

American University

6.8%

University of Maryland - University College

5.8%

Strayer University

5.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.4%

Ashford University

5.1%

The Academy

5.0%

Liberty University

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.2%

American InterContinental University

3.4%

Webster University

3.3%

Central Texas College

3.1%

Bellevue University

3.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.7%

George Mason University

2.7%

Columbia Southern University

2.5%

Troy University

2.5%

Colorado Technical University

2.2%

Grand Canyon University

2.1%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

31.0%

Business

21.5%

Management

4.1%

Psychology

3.7%

General Studies

3.7%

Finance

3.6%

Computer Science

3.5%

Information Technology

3.3%

Homeland Security

2.8%

Law Enforcement

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.7%

Accounting

2.4%

Communication

2.3%

Education

2.2%

Political Science

2.2%

Human Resources Management

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Electrical Engineering

1.5%

Sociology

1.5%

Computer Networking

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.3%

Other

27.5%

Associate

14.4%

Masters

13.7%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.3%
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Security Specialist Videos

Careers in Cybersecurity- Expert Advice From BlackHat & DEFCON

A day in the life of IT security

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Security Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Info Security Specialist Inovant LLC Foster City, CA Sep 23, 2015 $150,800 -
$170,000
Application Security Specialist NYSE Market, Inc. New York, NY Jul 03, 2012 $135,000
Director, Security Specialist/Cybercrime UBS AG Stamford, CT May 04, 2016 $131,000 -
$158,000
Director, Security Specialist/Cybercrime UBS Services LLC Stamford, CT Jan 04, 2016 $130,500 -
$163,000
Info Security Specialist Inovant, LLC Foster City, CA Sep 01, 2014 $125,146 -
$168,300
Application/Data Security Specialist Synerzy Software Solutions Inc. Iselin, NJ Mar 30, 2016 $125,000
Application Security Specialist Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services Inc. Chicago, IL Apr 21, 2016 $124,900
Application Security Specialist Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services Inc. Chicago, IL Apr 21, 2016 $120,500
Application Security Specialist A Aspect Security Inc. Columbia, MD Dec 21, 2015 $120,203
SAP Security Specialist Edison Mission Energy Santa Ana, CA Oct 20, 2014 $115,523 -
$131,496
Software Security Specialist Accuvant, Inc. Miami, FL May 05, 2014 $115,000
Application Security Specialist Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services, Inc. Chicago, IL Apr 21, 2013 $114,700
SAP Applications Security Specialist Ingram Micro Santa Ana, CA Oct 02, 2011 $114,400
Application Security Specialist Electronic Arts, Inc. Redwood City, CA Aug 25, 2016 $110,000
Director, Security Specialist UBS AG Weehawken, NJ Feb 02, 2012 $101,171 -
$175,000
Director, Security Specialist UBS AG Jersey City, NJ Jan 02, 2012 $101,171 -
$175,000
Security Specialist Saviynt, LLC Los Angeles, CA Mar 25, 2011 $100,000
Security Specialist Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Feb 11, 2011 $96,200 -
$127,300
Security Specialist Emagine It, Inc. Alexandria, VA Aug 18, 2016 $95,000 -
$104,000
Application Security Specialist Medtech Staffing & Solutions, Inc. New York, NY Mar 11, 2016 $93,915
Application Security Specialist Medtech Staffing & Solutions, Inc. New York, NY Nov 03, 2014 $91,828
Security Specialist Web Developer Analysts International Corporation Chicago, IL Sep 14, 2012 $90,667 -
$102,000
Application Security Specialist Medtech Staffing & Solutions, Inc. New York, NY Nov 03, 2014 $74,193
Security Specialist National Abortion Federation Washington, DC Sep 19, 2013 $71,219
Security Specialist. Jewish Community Center of San Francisco San Francisco, CA Dec 17, 2009 $67,288 -
$77,000
Security Specialist Saviynt Los Angeles, CA Mar 07, 2011 $66,664 -
$100,000
Application Security Specialist Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 09, 2016 $66,000
Application Security Specialist GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 09, 2016 $66,000
Security Specialist Applied Computer Techniques Monroeville, PA Jul 09, 2016 $65,000
Airline Security Specialist Avianca Inc. Miami, FL Sep 30, 2016 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Security Specialist

  1. Security Personnel
  2. Network Security
  3. Security Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide integrated security personnel and security-related technology solutions.
  • Monitored network security logs for Human Resources and IT and generated weekly reports for security analysis.
  • Performed duties in the development and implementation of counterintelligence security procedures and operating policies as applied to a Special Access Program.
  • Cloud State University: Supervised the daily operations of the Patrol/Communications Division of the Public Safety Department.
  • Monitored classified information, conducted security assessments, provided overall facility security, and served as force protection specialist.

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Top 10 Best States for Security Specialists

  1. New Jersey
  2. Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. New Mexico
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Maryland
  7. North Carolina
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Delaware
  10. Connecticut
  • (1,077 jobs)
  • (1,904 jobs)
  • (441 jobs)
  • (256 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (847 jobs)
  • (1,112 jobs)
  • (1,326 jobs)
  • (109 jobs)
  • (408 jobs)

Top Security Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Security Specialist Employers

Security Specialist Videos

Careers in Cybersecurity- Expert Advice From BlackHat & DEFCON

A day in the life of IT security

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