Security engineering and architecture could be a good fit if you enjoy tinkering with technology and like to take a big picture approach to cybersecurity. If you enjoy planning and building, you may choose to pursue security engineering and architecture. Maybe you enjoy the thrill of incident response, or perhaps you’d prefer to hone your hacking skills to stay one step ahead of bad actors. CISA is a national organization that seeks to understand, manage, and reduce risk to cyber and physical infrastructure.

how to become a security specialist

Security certification is often required for advancement, and can help candidates boost their resumes and stand out in the job market. With these credentials, security professionals validate and even improve their ability to implement best practices as security specialists, paving the way to more expertise and job opportunities. According to Payscale, major companies paying security specialists well above the national average include the Boeing Company, the Walt Disney Company, and American Express Co. Aspiring cybersecurity specialists may also find ample opportunities in companies like CACI International Inc, American Electric Power, and IBM. Additionally, cybersecurity specialists are often called on in times of crisis or emergency — or when there are issues with networks or data systems. With the necessary technical skills, you can apply for entry-level tech positions.

Required Certifications for Security Specialists

When looking at job opportunities in the cybersecurity industry, it’s a good idea to keep notes about what kinds of certifications employers are looking for. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a more advanced certification designed for cybersecurity professionals with at least five years of work experience. The certification covers topics such as architecture, engineering, and management.

Security specialists handle sensitive information, so most employers require experience and expertise. According to a Burning Glass Technologies report, 46% of cybersecurity jobs require 3-5 years of experience. These professionals also educate co-workers on best practices, as breaches may occur accidentally or deliberately by bad actors within their companies.

Work Experience

This role is critical because oftentimes data breaches come from inside the organization, either intentionally or accidentally. Discover whether the security specialist profession fits your strengths and interests by exploring daily tasks and responsibilities. According to, the average annual salary for this occupation is $50,380 in the United States.

  • Validate skills in various cybersecurity areas, including offensive operations, cyber defense, cloud security, industrial control systems and more.
  • Companies often hire security specialists to secure data networks, prevent security breaches, and make changes to improve security.
  • NICCS offers comprehensive information on cybersecurity education and careers.
  • Cybersecurity professionals tend to get paid well for their skills, even at the entry level.

As an incident responder, you’ll monitor your company’s network and work to fix vulnerabilities and minimize loss when breaches occur. Read our informational guide to learn about the degrees, certifications, and professional experiences needed to become a security specialist. NICCS offers comprehensive information on cybersecurity education and careers.

Explore Technology Topics

Consider some of the following professional organizations for cybersecurity workers. As a discipline within network engineering, this field covers protection against breaches for interconnected electronics rather than individual databases or devices. Network security professionals use firewalls, physical hardware and education efforts to safeguard against intrusions and retain lost data. employment search, companies like Prudential, Stearns Bank, The Walt Disney Company, Grant Thornton, and Farmers Insurance Group are all in need of IT security specialists. What’s more, multiple government agencies like the National Security Agency, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the U.S.

Security specialists, also known as cybersecurity specialists, develop and implement security measures that protect computer networks and systems. Companies often hire security specialists to secure data networks, prevent security breaches, and make changes to improve security. Due to the industry’s evolving nature, security specialists’ responsibilities are complex and ever-changing. Requirements to enter the field vary by job and employer, but cybersecurity professionals usually need extensive knowledge and certifications.

On the other hand, if you already have relevant experience working in a cyber security team, then you will stand a much better chance of getting hired as a security specialist. A security specialist is an excellent way to jump-start your career in cyber security. Major job requirements can widely vary among employers and you might miss the opportunity to how to become a security specialist build up your work experience and knowledge before making the leap toward a senior or management position. Whatever option you choose, a security specialist role may be a career that offers many opportunities. Second, the growing sophistication of cyberattacks means that organizations need more skilled cybersecurity professionals to protect themselves.

  • This specialty may focus on safeguarding sensitive items using structures like generators, security systems and locks.
  • While the role of a cybersecurity specialist may seem technically daunting, it can entail much more than programming.
  • Cybersecurity specialists need to be able to communicate well and be comfortable in team roles.