Cybersecurity is no longer a niche concern. Over half of all SMBs have been hit by at least one cyberattack over the past year, and experts believe that over 90 percent of business networks are vulnerable to infiltration by cybercriminals. The sooner you add security professionals to your IT team, the better.
But, what types of roles are necessary for ensuring cybersecurity across your organization? Here are a few of the most important security positions to understand and integrate into your workforce.
“Security analyst” tends to be the name for the typical security-focused IT worker. Analysts are tasked with monitoring and maintaining an organization’s security solutions and responding to threats and breaches if and when they occur. Analysts might also be responsible for investigating security breaches to better understand which vulnerabilities led to the successful attack, so businesses can adjust their security strategies and protocols to prevent another attack in the future. Because security analysts have more specialized knowledge and skill than other IT workers, they can usually demand a higher salary. Fortunately, if your organization is small, you might only need one or two analysts on staff.
In IT, the title “engineer” typically signals a professional who is capable of designing and building complex computer systems, and the same is true in this case. Security engineers have the knowledge and experience to create security solutions for organizations, working alongside cybersecurity leaders to develop security architectures and then working with security analysts to build and maintain those systems. Sometimes, security engineers will be tasked with testing new security processes and procedures before they are integrated into existing systems. For their more advanced skill in cybersecurity, security engineers typically earn low six-figure salaries.
While most cybersecurity staff will be employed by an organization and know its intimate details, security consultants are contingent workers hired on a temporary basis to asses a business’s security strategy and solutions. An outside eye can be invaluable in identifying vulnerabilities that current teams have consistently overlooked. Consultants can also run various scans and tests on existing security frameworks and work with security leaders to resolve any issues that arise as a result. Many security consultants will charge an hourly rate for their services, and the cost will depend on their region and their expertise. Since an organization should only need to hire a consultant annually or biannually, this expense can easily be built into the yearly security budget.
While security teams might have more specialized tasks and responsibilities than other teams in an organization, security professionals nonetheless require direction from management. Security directors administer and maintain cybersecurity policies, overseeing the daily tasks and projects of their security workforce while enforcing security strategies and reporting on progress to upper management. These professionals must be knowledgeable and skilled in cybersecurity, but they must also be adept at leadership and management to ensure that workers feel supported, engaged and motivated to peak performance. Because of their greater responsibility in the security field, security directors will take home salaries in the low six figures but enjoy management-level benefits and perks.
Security Officer (CSO/CISO)
Considering the volume of cyberattacks launched every day — indeed, every second — cybersecurity should be an essential component of business planning. Organizations need to add a security-focused executive to their C-suites, to ensure that business strategy is developed in line with security needs and practices. Chief security officers (CSOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs) are essentially the same role, though some organizations maintain minor distinctions. Officers like CSOs and CISOs are directly responsible for the function of IT security solutions designed to keep data, applications, employees and customers safe. A CSO or a CISO needs advanced security knowledge and skill to build and update security strategies. As executive officers, these workers will command high six-figure salaries as well as the best benefits in your organization.
Your organization needs a cybersecurity strategy, and to ensure the strategy is successful, it needs a team of cybersecurity professionals to create and uphold it. By integrating security staff into your IT department, you can protect your business from some of the most devastating cyberattacks and continue delivering value to your clients and customers.