IT Security Coordinator Careers

How to become IT Security Coordinator

What does a IT Security Coordinator do?

IT security coordinators, sometimes known as information security analysts, advise, plan, design and coordinate security measures to protect clients' information and data from unauthorised access, deliberate attack, theft and corruption. They also implement controls to allow secure transmission of files and data across computer networks, such as the internet.

Security threats to information are varied but include: hacking; denial of service attacks (overloading servers with useless data to bring systems to a standstill); viruses, worms, Trojans; certain types of spyware; and social engineering - phishing (luring users into passing confidential details to spoof websites) and pharming (secretly redirecting users to fake websites by hijacking the genuine website address). They also include abuse of privileges by authorised users.

Security coordinators use a range of software, hardware and procedures to combat threats and rectify breaches. Duties vary depending on the nature of the role and level of responsibility but include:
  • carrying out risk assessments of installations and applications and developing plans to minimise potential threats
  • designing new security systems or upgrading existing ones
  • testing and evaluating security products
  • contingency planning for disaster recovery in the event of security breaches
  • carrying out simulated breaches to test procedures (penetration testing)
  • investigating actual breaches and implementing remedial action
  • carrying out audits and reviews of security systems to test for weak points (vulnerability scanning)
  • ensuring procedures adhere to national and international standards covering network security
  • preparing reports and technical documentation
  • supervising and training staff
  • contributing to overall development of company security.

Security coordinators work for public service organisations, local authorities, government departments, financial institutions and software manufacturers. In larger organisations, this role may be distinct; in smaller companies, it is often combined with related duties, such as network engineering. Coordinators also work for specialist IT security consultancies.

Experienced coordinators are employed by the police, security services and specialist law firms to undertake forensic investigation of computer-based crimes.

What's the working environment like working as a IT Security Coordinator?

IT security coordinators normally work 35 to 40 hours a week but may be on a call-out rota to deal with immediate out-of-hours problems.

The work is office based and, if employed by a consultancy or self-employed, travel to clients' premises will be required, so a driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a IT Security Coordinator?

As an IT security coordinator, you should:

  • have an excellent knowledge of IT security systems, tools and procedures
  • have excellent communication skills
  • have strong analytical skills
  • be trustworthy
  • have project management skills
  • be able to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • be able to interpret and evaluate data accurately
  • keep up to date with current and emerging security threats, technologies, issues and trends
  • be aware of commercial pressures
  • be proactive and able to take responsibility
  • keep up to date with information security standards and legislation.

IT Security Coordinator Career Opportunities

Recent surveys of the IT industry suggest that information security is a top priority for IT directors and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Rapid changes in technology, such as the expansion of wireless networks (WiFi) and mobile technologies has seen a corresponding evolution in the nature of security threats. Therefore, opportunities for security professionals are excellent.

Career progression routes include network management, project management and security consultancy. Currently, there is demand for a range of skills including security auditing, risk assessment, CLAS consultancy, technical installation, internet and email security, security awareness training, sales and marketing. For more information about trends in the IT sector, see e-skills UK below.

There are opportunities to work overseas.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about IT Security Coordinator that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

e-skills UK

British Computer Society

Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

British Standards Institute (BSI)

Microsoft UK

The Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)

Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG)

Infosec Training Paths and Competencies (ITPC)

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