Keeping criminals out of computer systems requires network security specialists to monitor systems and upgrade security measures. Network security specialists have a wide range of job duties, depending on the security needs and protocols of the organizations where the work. These professionals must be ingenious enough to anticipate potential problems, and they must use analytical skills to fix problems and maintain system security at all times.
Network security specialists detect, prevent and resolve security threats to computer networks. They also play an important role in maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of a company’s data and information systems. Employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree and industry certification.
A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field
A professional industry certification; experience in networking systems, information technology, or network security is recommended
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)
18%* (information security analysts)
Median Annual Salary (2015)
$90, 120* (information security analysts)
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description of a Network Security Specialist
Network security specialists monitor computer networks for security threats or unauthorized users. They may identify compromised machines and report on security measures taken to address threats. Network security specialists also analyze security risks and develop response procedures. Additional duties may include developing and testing software deployment tools, firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
Some network security workers research, evaluate, recommend and implement other security devices as well. This may include installing computer security software, conducting regular security audits, preparing security status reports, educating users on computer security, creating security documentation for users, assisting in disaster recovery and gathering evidence regarding cybercrimes.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Network security specialists can also be called information security analysts, and the employment outlook in this profession is favorable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the field of information security analysts should see an 18% increase in demand, adding over 14, 800 jobs between 2014 and 2024. The average salary for information security analysts was $90, 120 in May of 2015.