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Cyber Security Managers

Why this may be the path for you....

The internet is sometimes described as the modern equivalent of the Wild West. Every town can use a good sheriff – and that’s one reason cyber security is a growing field. The role of a cyber security professional has sometimes been compared to that of an old time sheriff. There’s an infrastructure to set up, but sometimes there’s forensic work to be done as well.

cyber key

Cyber security management is about setting up and maintaining safe systems: protecting websites, data, and even governmental secrets. The field is closely related to data assurance. Cyber security professionals also respond to threats and breaches when they do occur. Sometimes this has far reaching implications. Cyber space may seem far removed from acts of physical terrorism, but data is a part of the problem and a part of the solution.

Cyber security management is about setting up and maintaining safe systems: protecting websites, data, and even governmental secrets.

If you go into cyber security management, you'll be expected to have a solid grasp of technical concepts, for example, networks, databases, programming and scripting language. To progress to the level of manager, you'll need both technical skills and people skills.

Cyber security professionals may be hired by financial institutions, corporations and governmental agencies. As a manager, you might be hired by a company to develop a cyber security plan. This could include researching, writing, and educating others. You can expect a big role in developing the company’s security architecture.

You might also be responsible for making sure that your organization is in compliance with regulations. In a high level position, this could mean supervising and coordinating the efforts of a team of professionals: auditors, and engineers, and test professionals.

Becoming a Cyber Security Manager

People enter cyber security through software engineering, auditing, and various other computer engineering and IT fields. If you know it's what you want to do at the onset, you can take steps to make yourself competitive for high level management positions. You might opt for a master's or postmaster's certificate in cyber security. This will broaden and deepen your knowledge. You may get a good deal of coursework in theory, policy, and legalities to supplemental the technical stuff (like cryptography and biometrics, network security, and data assurance). Expect courses in leadership and project management.

At the managerial level, communications skills – both oral and written -- are key. You may want to look for programs that develop these. You will need to decide if you want a thesis or culminating project in your master’s program or if you will be satisfied with coursework only.

Cyber Security Management Certifications

You can also choose to earn certifications related to cyber security. Some require you to take specific courses. Others certify the knowledge and experience you already have.

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification is highly regarded in the field. If it's your goal to move through the ranks as security manager, you may go on to achieve recognition as an Information Systems Security Management Professional (CISSP-ISSMP). This requires knowledge of security compliance management, systems development security, business continuity and disaster recovery planning, forensics, and ethics.

It takes some experience even to get the basic CISSP credential. If you've got the knowledge, you can get a head start by passing the exam and becoming an associate.

You may also choose to pursue Certified Information Security Manager credentialing. CISM Certification requires you to pass an exam and meet ethical standards. You also will need some experience in the industry. How much experience will depend on things like post-graduate education. You'll receive the Candidate's Guide to the CISM Exam to help you prepare.

Some positions will require you to have governmental certification. You may also need to have security clearance yourself.

syracuse msce
Syracuse MSCS

Cyber Security Fun Facts

  • NASA Reported Being Hacked 13 Times in 2011
  • A Ponemon Research survey of 583 companies in the United States found that 90% had been hacked at least once between 2010 and 2011.
  • APWG reports that there were at least 83,083 phishing attacks in the second half of 2011.

Cyber Security Professional Certifications

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