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:
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.
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.
As an IT security coordinator, you should:
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.
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