Malicious offshore hackers and hacktivist groups, destructive viruses, data breaches for the purpose of corporate espionage of proprietary information and theft of intellectual property – These are all among the threats that computer systems used in business, banking and government must be protected against every day.
The growing prevalence of these issues – highlighted by the 2010 “Anonymous” DDoS attacks that succeeded in temporarily overwhelming some of the most secure systems used by the world’s biggest credit card companies – has changed the computer information systems security (CISS) game forever. As a result, businesses and organizations large and small, in both the public and private sector, have been forced to take a long and serious look at their network and systems security protocols.
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Expected Growth in Computer Information Systems Security Jobs
The unique skills of CISS professionals have always been needed to help protect valuable and sensitive information and keep networks firing on all cylinders, but the importance of these professionals in maintaining stability and continuity in business operations and daily commerce has come more clearly into focus in recent years.
Nationally, 22 percent growth in the number of computer information systems security jobs is projected for the current decade ending 2020, according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011 Occupational Handbook. The Robert Half Technology 2012 Salary Guide has also highlighted security as one of the IT specialty areas with a shortage of skilled candidates to fill the abundance of open positions.
Career Paths in Computer Information Systems Security
The computer information systems security sector includes professionals whose careers involve planing, coordinating and directing any number of computer-related activities to create, implement, assess and develop an organization’s security system. In addition to designing security system procedures, computer information systems security professionals ensure that the security in place is in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and standards.
Due to the wide breadth of this industry, career opportunities are vast. Just a few of the professional titles found within the computer information systems security sector include:
- Database administrator
- Network systems administrator
- Information technology strategic planner
- Disaster recovery analyst
- Information systems auditor
- Information systems security officer
- Information technology security manager
- Computer systems analyst
- Information systems security analyst
- Management information systems director
Education and its Impact on CISS Careers
Unlike some industries where management and executive positions are often dependent upon experience, the computer information systems security sector, much like the information technology sector, demands highly qualified individuals with graduate degrees in computer-related fields, including computer science, information technology, information security management, information systems security, and computer security management.
Graduate coursework in this field is often focused on business law, database design and management, technology, computer security systems, information technology security, information technology, network security, and business ethics.