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High-profile security breaches, data loss and the need for companies to safeguard themselves against attacks is driving salaries for IT security specialists through the roof as the demand is greater than the supply. Here are the 10 highest-paying security roles.
Lead software security engineer
Lead Software Security Engineers are tasked with doing everything from maintaining and deploying employee training programs to developing security-related aspects of application programs. Lead software security engineers should have at least a BS in computer science or a similar field with relevant security certifications. Soft skills, like communications and collaboration skills also are critical.
Average Salary: $233,333
Chief security officer
Chief Security Officers prepare organizations to counter existing and emerging threats. These C-suite professionals are responsible for establishing and communicating best practices for maintaining data security, as well as monitoring the effectiveness of security operations. This role often requires certifications in addition to at least a BS degree in computer science or a similar field.
Average Salary: $225,000
Global information security director
This role involves the maintenance and execution of information security projects and coordinating the response to a breach or an attack if one occurs. The Global Information Security Director may be required to have a working knowledge of industry-specific rules and regulations — such as HIPAA in healthcare or FISMA in the finance industry — in addition to at least a BS in computer science and extensive security certifications.
Average Salary: $200,000
Security Consultants work with clients to develop strategies for effective cybersecurity across their entire organization. In addition to knowing best practices and recommended procedures, they must also possess solid communication, negotiation and project management skills. Organizations look for consultants with many years of experience, as well as a working knowledge of industry rules, regulations and broad and deep knowledge of enterprise security vendors and products.
Average Salary: $198,909
Chief information security officer
This role is similar to that of the Chief Security Officer, but focuses more intently on protecting an organization’s data and intellectual property — the information-related assets. CISO responsibilities typically include maintaining best practices and designing effective policies to handle breaches and other disasters.
Average Salary: $192,500
Director of security
Directors of Security can have varying roles and responsibilities based on their organization, with most of their energy centered on minimizing the risk of attack while guiding internal teams in maintaining proper security procedures. Since the Director of Security will need to interact with employees as well as external vendors and partners, good soft skills are a must.
Average Salary: $178,333
Cyber security lead
A Cybersecurity Lead has a particularly demanding and high-pressure job: evaluating the organization for potential vulnerabilities in conjunction with analysts and other security staff, detecting any attacks underway and informing management.
Average Salary: $175,000
Lead security engineers
Lead Security Engineers can be tasked with many responsibilities, depending on their organization: securing operating environments, telephony and video conference systems as well as software, hardware and information (both stored and while in transit). The job does, however, have some constants; typically these include reviewing code and procedures to detect security vulnerabilities, spreading awareness of those potential vulnerabilities to employees and implementing security tools to protect the organization.
Average Salary: $174,375
Cybersecurity Engineers typically are experienced in penetration testing and other cybersecurity tools, and use them to keep an organization secure against both internal and external threats. Many jobs require certifications in addition to at least a BS in a technical field, along with some actual on-the-job experience.
Average Salary: $170,000
Application security manager
Application Security Managers are in charge of ensuring that any applications produced or used by their organization meet minimum standards for security and privacy. This role often reports to a Director of Security or similar management position.
Average Salary: $165,000