New cyber security job seekers and experienced IT professionals benefit immensely from obtaining certifications that display and prove their knowledge to potential employers. There are many types of these certifications out there right now, but the CISM, CISA, and CISSP certifications have a global reputation that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge of information assurance better than the rest.
Many government and organizational entities require proof of certification due to mandates and regulations. The CISM, CISA, and CISSP credentials increase marketability, enhance personal knowledge, and meet or exceed certification requirements for cyber security jobs.
CISSP Certification, which stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional, is one of the highest regarded credentials in the field of cyber security. It is proof of an individual’s vast knowledge of network security protocol on every level. This certification guarantees knowledge in access control, telecommunications and network security, information security governance and risk management, software development security, cryptography, security architecture and design, operations security, business continuity and disaster recovery, computer crime laws and regulations, and physical security. A job seeker with a CISSP certification is qualified to work in virtually any information security position, as they are able to delineate the architecture and design, as well as manage information security plans.
Job seekers with a CISSP certification are qualified to fill a vast array of positions relating to information security including as a Security Consultant, Security Manager, IT Director, Security Architect, Security Analyst, and much more. A Security Consultant can expect to earn upwards of $83,000. These individuals are primarily responsible for the overall creation of a business’ security program and policy. Security Consultants often take on a mentoring role within a company, aiding less experienced IT professionals in becoming better equipped to maintain and improve a network. IT Directors report having exceptionally high job satisfaction, and easily make over $100,000 annually. IT Directors are responsible for prepping an organization for IT security audits and investigations. They manage networks and systems, consistently reviewing them to determine operating costs and upgrade requirements. They are responsible for the people side of information technology by building strong relationships with outside vendors and service providers to ensure the best products for a fair price. CISSP credential holders often fill the position of Security Architect, making a median wage of $112,000 per year. These professionals specialize in the early stages of the security life cycle. They research, plan, and design security infrastructure and policy. They implement a security plan based on the needs of an organization, and then test the system for any glitches or weaknesses. A career as a Security Architect is especially suited for the creative minded IT professional.
CISSP Career Path
The CISSP certification is ideal for the seasoned IT expert who has proven excellent technical and managerial knowledge, and is looking for a career and salary boost. While you may already have years of technical knowledge, the CISSP certification validates your experience to potential employers looking to hire for director or architect positions. With a CISSP credential, employers will be confident that you have the expertise to design and protect their networks from cyber threats and attacks. Additionally, the CISSP is perfect for experienced individuals whose goal is to stay up-to-date with the current best practices and continue their professional education.
IT professionals interested in general assessment and auditing of systems will find exceptional opportunity with a CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification. This certification provides a specialization in the monitoring of business networks, and is perfect for someone who enjoys overseeing a network to ensure it is functioning correctly and according to protocol. CISA certified job seekers are attractive to employers for their ability to accurately assess network vulnerabilities and correct errors through consistent auditing techniques. CISA certification is considered a more focused specialization, with the vast majority of CISA certification holders seeking employment as an IT Auditor. Through the CISA certification process, you will learn an array of auditing methodologies and techniques, as well as the effective compilation of reports for analysis purposes.
There are several job titles attached to those holding a CISA certification, with the most common job being an IT Auditor. IT Auditors can expect to make an average salary of $72,000 annually, and work in many settings ranging from banks to state or federal agencies. CISA certification opens doors as a Compliance Programs Manager, bringing in a median salary of $53,000. Compliance Programs managers are responsible for conducting internal inspections of networks to make certain that security policies are in place and being followed. These individuals often act as consultants, recommending enhancements based on their audit findings. Compliance Programs Managers also have a managerial element to their job, as they are often responsible for training and overseeing other IT workers during audits.
CISA Career Path
Entry-level job seekers with a CISA certification simply start out as an Entry Level Auditor at a small to mid-sized organization, making about $50,000 annually. An Entry Level Auditor usually assists in the auditing process, and rarely includes a management component to their job. As the CISA certification holder gains experience, he or she will eventually move into the position of Senior IT Auditor. A Senior Auditor is expected to evaluate an organization’s network in detail and make recommendations based on the findings. Managing an audit team is a large part of this position, and is therefore often found in government, university, or large company settings. This individual is expected to lead the development and implementation of the overall IT audit plan of an entity and is considered the technical advisor of a company. A Senior IT Auditor makes an average salary of $79,000 per year. CISA certification is specifically geared toward those who want a career in auditing and compliance. While it is not as flexible as the CISM certification, it is an excellent add-on choice or a principal certification for those who have a passion for network examination and improvement.
With ever-increasing market demand for information security, CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certification provides unprecedented value and competition to the career changer or the established IT professional. CISM certification equips the job seeker with the tools needed to design a customized security program that reflects a business’ overall goals and objectives. CISM certified individuals are highly sought after by many different types of companies and small businesses, guaranteeing job security and a high potential for career growth. CISM certified individuals can expect to qualify for a wide array of jobs due to the wealth of security management information covered, including InfoSec governance, risk management and compliance, program development, and incident management. Jobs in the field of information security governance deal primarily with the framework of the security network and the processes involved in the overall strategy, while making certain that the security protocol is aligned with company goals. Jobs in the field of information risk management are responsible largely for identifying and correcting risk in an efficient and professional manner. Jobs within the program development and management arena establish the overall security program of an organization, and ensure that the management of the implemented program aligns with overall company policy and procedure. Lastly, jobs in the field of incident management are responsible for identifying and recovering from security breaches, while ensuring that similar incidents will not occur in the future through careful strategic planning.
An Information Security Manager is a primary job available to those who hold CISM certification. These managers are responsible for maintaining security protocols for an organization. They are not only responsible for establishing strategies to increase network security, but they also manage a team of IT experts to make sure information is easily accessible and secure. Information Security Managers are expected to review security policy and procedure and make adjustments accordingly. They are also in charge of hardware maintenance checks to ensure that all of the network components are running efficiently and securely. Information Security Managers can expect to earn an average yearly salary around $100,000. CISM certified individuals are prime candidates for a career as a Cyber Security Analyst. Cyber Security Analysts are responsible for ensuring the protection of networks and websites from cyber threats such as viruses. They are expected to prevent attacks to sensitive information through risk assessment and the use of firewalls and encryption. Cyber Security Analysts are often hired within government agencies to aid in preventing hackers from accessing sensitive data. They are also found in private companies, businesses, and hospitals to protect sensitive financial or personal information. As cyber threats and attacks continue to increase, Cyber Security Analysts can easily make $90,000 per year. Within the banking sector, CISM certification leads to a job as a Fraud Risk Analyst with an average base salary of around $43,000 annually. These analysts are specifically responsible for minimizing financial losses to the bank and its customers through the identification of actual or potential fraud through the review of reports and transactions. The most common fraud identified by Fraud Risk Analysts is check, deposit, and ACH fraud, but many other types are possible. Once identified, these analysts are expected to quickly and efficiently alleviate risk. Experienced Senior Fraud Risk Analysts or Managers can make upwards of $95,000 per year. Compare CISM vs CISA vs CISSP salaries here!
CISM Career Path
Many first time job seekers with a CISM certification start out as an entry level Information Security Engineer. This position assists in the assessment of potential security threats, while researching and investigating network topologies to locate and eliminate any potential cyber attacks. This individual will work with a team of other IT professionals to create new methods of ensuring information security throughout an entire network. With additional experience, the Information Security Engineer can easily move from an associate position to a management position for upward mobility in salary. CISM certification provides many opportunities in virtually every sector, including but not limited to, government, health, corporate, and financial sectors. In almost every CISM career path, you will be expected to effectively identify security issues and customize security actions to the infrastructure of a specific organization. CISM certification equips employees to view information systems according to organizational success to create optimal security processes and procedures. One of the most notable traits of the CISM certification is that it incorporates management skills, allowing for increased income potential, as you are required to oversee other IT professionals in addition to your other duties. The future employment outlook of CISM certified job seekers is extremely favorable as the use of technology continues to skyrocket in the work place.