Computer security is a career within the IT industry that encompass various skills and subjects concerning computers and the networks they run on. For example, Computer Security Specialist, Computer Security Coordinator and other are all considered Computer security and they all have one thing in common; they keep a computer and its network secure.
Most computer security jobs require a degree in computer security or a related field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
The trained person working in computer security handles all of the implementation of software and networking issues within a business. The role of the computer security specialist is to keep the data within the company’s’ computers safe from hackers and other outside influences, not to mention from the possibility of an internal attack on the network.
Computer Security Job Responsibilities
The computer security specialist will not only handle the entire network of computers within a business, but he will also keep all the employees up to date with various security policies and certifications as needed. Additionally, the computer security specialist will also install and support all anti-virus and other relevant company software programs, implement and troubleshoot any security policies regarding internal computers, networks and the data that travels on them.
The computer security role encompasses all aspects of the access of and modifications to any computers and sensitive information that may be kept on them. Keeping hackers out and the data in is what a computer security specialist does best in addition to reporting any suspicious activity on the network or any individual computer. Monitoring the access and control points of sensitive data within the computers in order to keep a company’s data safe is the most important job in addition to training the other employees within a company to do the same.
Computer Security Training and Education Requirements
To become a computer security specialist, the candidate must attain at least a high school diploma or a General education Diploma first. After the completion of general education studies, the candidate should attain at least an associate’s degree in computer networking, computer information technologies or computer science. Most course work for a computer security career will encompass the basics in information technology such as how to network a computer, how to set up and network a router or modem, how to install and configure anti-virus software, how to operate all operating systems in a proficient manner and so on.
Most associate’s degrees in any of the computer fields will teach the fundamentals of computers and their security. The more specialized courses will include studies such as server maintenance, software installations and maintenance, ethics and law concerning the Internet and “cyber crime,” computer forensics, database and network infrastructure and architecture and more.
Computer Security Salary and Wages
The outlook for the computer security specialist’s wages and salary possibilities vary depending on the level of experience and certification he has. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the mean yearly wage for a computer security specialist (all other computer IT jobs) is about $78,010 and has an hourly wage of about $37.50. However, this is the median salary and wage and the upper and lower limits for this career path include $20.04 and hour at $41,680 a year and upwards of $55.31 hourly and $115,050 a year, depending on the level of experience, education and where the job is located. Additionally, other averages based on certifications and level of education include, for example, an entry-level security specialist that can earn from $60,000 to $80,000 thousand a year while a higher-level computer security specialist with at least four years experience, a degree in computer science and other certifications can earn from $120,000 to $150,000 a year, according to Payscale.com.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Computer Security Certifications
While no specific degree or certification is required by law to work in the field of computer security, it is helpful to have at least an associate’s degree and hands on experience in addition to certifications from vocational training courses in the field of information technology, computer science or network security.
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional certificate is one which is endorsed and governed by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. This certificate was the first to be formally accredited by the ANSI ISO/IEC Standards, which are approved by the Department of Defense and the NSA. While this certification, as are many others, is not required to work in any area of computer security, the passing of its examinations and attaining the certification is a pre-requisite for many job openings in the computer security or information security field.
Additional certifications include those from Cisco and Microsoft, among numerous others, of which cover specialized areas of computer and information security. For example, Microsoft offers the MCSA, which offers system administrators the chance at professional level education and certification of which cannot only help that person achieve higher salary levels, but also advance his career.
Computer Security Professional Associations
Professional Associations for those in the computer security business include the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, of which certifies many information security personnel worldwide. As of 2010, they boast 67,744 members with active certifications. The Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA)are a not-for-profit association of security professionals who work towards the goal of communication and understanding computer and network security. The American Society of industrial Security (ASIS) International is a network of security professionals with the goal of educating other security professionals.
Other professional associations exist and a full list can be found at the national Institute of Standards and technology website.