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Top 5 Highest Paying Cyber Security Jobs

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November 4, 2015

Cyber security jobs offer lucrative financial rewards for protecting the nation’s computer networks and data from attack or unauthorized use. These top five highest paying positions command six-figure salaries:1. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)Complex challenges to a CISO include the development and delivery of an Information Technology (IT) risk management strategy that is aligned with business security. The primary responsibility is the general supervision of an organization’s security functions. Performing varied duties of security development, continuity planning, disaster recovery, risk management, communication and strategy, a CISO needs a strong background in IT security architecture.Soft skills that contribute to success in the position include strong communication skills and an ability to relate to others. Creating and managing a team of experts successfully often depends on generating an atmosphere of respect. Working as a C-level management executive, the CISO consults with other executives or with federal agencies to accomplish goals.The median salary for the position is $131,322, according to estimates for 2015 by PayScale. Large organizations may pay as much as $240,000 per year while some on the low end pay about $81,000.2. Security ArchitectResponsible for establishing and maintaining an organization’s network and computer security infrastructure, a security architect holds a position as a senior level employee. Setting up countermeasures against unauthorized attempts to gain entry to protected data requires comprehensive knowledge of an organization’s computer system.The position requires extensive knowledge of technical skills that includes operating systems, risk assessment and perimeter security measures. Adherence to ISO 27001/27002 as well as ITIL and COBIT frameworks is essential. A security architect must assess an organization's information technology needs and develop a grasp of its weak points. The ability to recommend improvements and updates to a computer system is essential.The median salary for a security architect is $109,794, according to PayScale. The highest paid professionals earn approximately $160,000, but the salary range reaches a low point at about $84,000.3. Director of SecurityReporting directly to an organization’s CISO, a director of security needs to possess a similar background. At a senior level, the position requires an ability to design and manage essential security programs while allocating resources efficiently. Maintaining responsibility for an organization’s security department requires establishing compliance education campaigns and creating user awareness for all employees.A security director has in-depth knowledge of enterprise architecture and IT strategy as well as a broad range of security-related concepts. Small organizations may employ a security director in place of a CISO. When incidents occur that may involve breaches of a system’s integrity, a security director represents the organization by providing assistance to law enforcement for investigation and resolution of such matters.The median salary for a security director may range from $104,775 to $116,245, according to PayScale’s estimates for 2015. The salary ranges from $66,000 to $180,000.4. Security ManagerSoft skills characterize the successful security manager, making leadership, communication and interpersonal relationships essential. Technical knowledge of programming, IT strategy and enterprise architecture are valued abilities in the position as well, but deep familiarity is not usually a requirement.The position is appropriate for a mid-level employee who reports to a CISO or a security director. Having the ability to develop and execute security strategies from the input of higher level officials is essential. Testing and implementing recommendations allows a security manager to perform essential services for an organization. Functions may also include leading security awareness campaigns, setting up staff schedules and administering department budgets.An average salary for a security manager is $100,215, according to PayScale, but some may earn up to $143,374 in large organizations. Most security managers receive compensation of at least $71,433.5. Security EngineerEnsuring the security aspects of an organization’s networking systems is the responsibility of a security engineer. Working as a mid-level employee and reporting to a security manager, a security engineer builds and maintains security solutions. Configuring firewalls, investigating intrusion incidents, maintaining awareness of security options and testing new solutions are essential components of the position. An organization looks to a security engineer for concepts and tools that can troubleshoot problems in its security systems.A strong background in technical fields such as application and encryption technologies, network and web-related protocols, vulnerability testing and virtualization security contributes to success. A security engineer needs to combine the hard skills of programming and maintaining an organization’s IT security solutions with an ability to communicate with co-workers.The median salary for a security engineer is $86,996, according to PayScale. Estimates for 2015 indicate that an entry-level position may provide a salary of at least $57,000, but some security engineers may receive $128,000 a year.
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