We design, build and manage IT systems for our clients – that must include securing the systems, and making sure they are as resilient to cybercrime as possible.
Information Security Officers perform this role, checking defences, patching vulnerabilities and fixing compromises when they do happen.
– What is it? Where can it take you? How do you become one? Should you become one?
What is it?
Cybercrime is a global problem, and experts predict the chances of an organisation being compromised as ‘inevitable’. Thus, IT security is a high priority for all companies.
Information Security Officers take responsibility for this: they protect an organisation’s IT programs from internal and external threats.
They do this by making sure their company adheres to – here comes a technical bit – ISO 27001:2013, a technical specification for an information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS is a framework of policies and procedures that includes legal, physical and technical controls involved in an organisation's IT risk management process.
- Monitoring IT system, looking for threats
- Establishing protocols for identifying and neutralising threats
- Designing security architecture
- Maintaining updated anti-virus and cybersecurity software
- Staying up-to-date with latest tech, threats and patches
- Setting computer usage protocols for their organisation
- Training users on minimising threats to the IT system
- Determining types of software the organisation should use
- Investigating, and fixing, where compromises have happened
Where can it take you?
Any organisation – including government agencies, banks, retail stores, schools and sports clubs – that has a computer system, must actively protect the data of its clients and employees.
This means, as an Information Security Officer, you can find work in any town in most corners of the globe, so you have a lot of flexibility in where you choose to live and work.
Information Security Officers get a good salary, and for many people this, together with the constantly evolving challenge of fortifying their company, is satisfying enough.
The next step on the career ladder would be to become a Chief Security Officer (CSO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO), where you would manage a team, control budgets and determine the IT strategy to help the business achieve its business goals.
How do you become one?
This is not an entry level role, and you would be expected to have experience working with network security and cybersecurity.
Most Information Security Officers have a bachelor's degree in a field like computer science, computer programming, or computer engineering, and some hold a graduate degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Information Systems.
To become an Information Security Officer, you must gain experience in relevant fields before applying for such a role.
Should you become one?
The Information Security Officer is an important role with a lot of responsibility: you must be prepared to fight fires when necessary and learn lessons when things go wrong.
For the analytical mind that likes problem solving and finding solutions for very technical challenges, the Information Security Officer role can be very rewarding.
The role is well paid, in demand, and becoming one will ensure a lifetime of employment.
And in the future?
The most advanced security software can now anticipate and fix compromises and bugs. This doesn’t negate the need for Information Security Officers however, as someone still needs to be the link between systems and users. We expect the strong demand for Information Security Officers to remain consistent in the future.
Getting a job with NSC isn't the only way to start a career in IT. However, it is a good way: learn while you earn, work with multinational clients, work alongside senior IT engineers and work in a growing company with many international opportunities. Take a look at our open positions on our jobs page.