There is no straightforward, one size fits all answer to the question of what qualifications, technologies and sectors IT security professionals should be looking at to help increase job security and further their careers, writes John Colley, managing director, EMEA, at (ISC)2.
First, it depends on the level of knowledge and experience the individual already has. If they have less than five years' experience, they should be working towards some sort of professional qualification. With more than five years' experience, one would expect the individual already to have some sort of professional qualification.
Currently there is a huge interest in cloud computing and all that involves. It is certain that businesses will want to take up this business model and that security professionals who understand the threats and vulnerabilities and have looked at ways of using this technology securely will be in demand. Another area that is always relevant to the security professional is that of emerging technologies and also the emerging threats that these give rise to.
There are a number of events that are available to the security professional. Some of these are either free to attend or are free to members of the organisation that is sponsoring the event. The professional needs to examine their own skills and knowledge base and attend events that supplement this.
In recent times the traditional security area of the financial sector has lost some of its lustre and job security and career progression is not so good in this sector as it has been in the past. Clearly this situation may change.
Recent salary surveys indicate that some of the growing sectors are outsourcing organisation, consultancies and the retail sector. As with all information of this sort, it is good at the time it is produced but circumstances do change and individuals need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry and understand what is relevant at any point in time.