Every time a new computer technology is created, a new avenue for cyber criminals and pranksters to potentially infiltrate a computer simply to wreak havoc or to steal personal information, intellectual property or customer data, increases.
The business of securing computers, networks and the companies that use them is alive and well. Opportunities for information security professionals exist in corporate environments, security product vendor environments, government, military, educational institutions and professional services firms.
Opportunities are broad in that some require Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering education combined with certifications and the competency to perform highly technical work. Other opportunities in the information security realm are more business-oriented, requiring advanced verbal and written communication skills, project management skills, negotiation and influencing skills, the ability to lead others and the ability understand business.
The proliferation of regulatory compliance initiatives levied against publicly traded companies, health care organizations, energy industry companies and more is creating substantial opportunities for those who learn to understand the regulatory environment.
Security professionals on the inside of a corporation work to close vulnerability gaps so their companies can pass regulatory audits. Auditors on the outside of a corporation evaluate the corporate environment against regulatory compliance initiatives that apply to that particular company so that company can understand where their gaps lie relative to regulatory compliance pressures.
Former programmers are finding lucrative opportunities in application security and secure software development consulting. Database administrators who learn to properly secure databases are in high demand. Network administrators who earn the right certifications frequently progress to security engineer and security architect titles. Those who can train others often have the interpersonal skills necessary to become security awareness trainers once they learn the security subject matter.
The list of opportunities available to information security skilled professionals is long and growing.
Whether an individuals skills are highly technical or they lean more toward people and business understanding, there are opportunities in the information security realm that continue to grow and expand. While there is no profession that is entirely recession-proof, talented information security professionals have options.