Cybersecurity Specialists Fight High-Tech Crime
Learn about career paths fighting computer fraud as a cybersecurity specialist.
With Complexity, a Bigger Threat
From combating cybercrime to conducting important computer forensics investigations, cybersecurity specialists are central to the safety of our nation's data and telecommunications systems, as well as to the security of every citizen who chooses to use the Internet.
What Is Cybercrime?
Threats to personal computers (such as viruses and malware), large-scale attacks on our technological infrastructure—face it, high-tech crime is a persistent problem in the modern world. As our communication systems grow increasingly complex, it becomes even more important to defend them against intentional and unintentional attacks.
Fighting cybercrime is the domain of cybersecurity specialists. These professionals have high-tech skills in areas such as data recovery, network and systems engineering, risk assessment and strategic analysis. Cybersecurity training may also cover emergency response—securing data systems and addressing problems in the wake of a catastrophe.
Careers for Cybersecurity Specialists
Cybersecurity specialists can work in either the public or the private sector:
- Many people with cybersecurity training are employed by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Agency, and other federal, state and local government agencies.
- Private businesses and non-profit organizations also need skilled information security professionals to safeguard company data, internal networks and e-commerce platforms.
- Many information security specialists maintain network security, protect the confidentiality of employee and customer information, and guard against breaches in communication networks.
- Cybersecurity specialists also help guard against glitches in information networks in an attempt to keep information on our virtual systems as secure as possible.
If you're thinking of a career in cybersecurity, keep an eye out for job titles like these:
- Business continuity professional
- Computer forensics analyst
- Cybersecurity analyst
- Cybersecurity specialist
- Ethical hacker
- Information assurance expert
- Information security manager
- Network security specialist
- Software security engineer
Although many cybersecurity specialists hold a degree in computer science, increasingly programs specialize in cybersecurity training or computer forensics. If you attend an institution that is part of the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service program, you may even be eligible for grants and scholarships to pursue a degree in information security.
There are also many specific technical certifications in the field of cybersecurity. These certifications are granted by industry organizations, such as the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium and the American Society for Industrial Security.
Earn a Great Salary
Start researching cybersecurity training and degree programs to earn top salaries like these:
|Cybersecurity Career||Median Annual Salary*|
|Information Security Director||$141,532|
|Information Technology Manager||$107,321|
|Applications Systems Analyst||$67,091|
|Disaster Recovery Analyst||$75,825|
|Data Security Analyst||$72,719|
|Information Technology Auditor||$68,019|
Sources: Salary.com's May 2012 Survey; Information Security Director; Information Technology Manager; Applications Systems Analyst II; Disaster Recovery Analyst; Data Security Analyst; Network Administrator II; Information Technology Auditor II; National Security Agency, EC Council (eccouncil.org/).
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
- Homeland Security
- Cybersecurity Specialist
- Certified Fraud Examiner
- Emergency Management
- Criminal Justice Administration
- Public Administration Careers
- Administration Jobs in the Public Sector
More Law Enforcement Careers
- Police Training and Careers
- Federal Law Enforcement
- Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Investigation and Security
Did You Know?
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for network, systems and database administrators will grow 28 percent—faster than average—through 2020.
- An ethical hacker uses the same tools and knowledge as a malicious hacker, but puts them to work to identify system vulnerabilities and prevent cybercrime attacks.