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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Career in Information Security

Network Policing


The opportunities in information security

   With an increasing number of internet users and web-based transactions, our virtual world is prone to real threats, which include a number of cyber crimes. 


   As we are in the phase of digitising all our information to create a paperless environment, safety of our mailbox, passwords, ATM pin and credit cards, among others, are a major concern. In fact, the turnover of internet hacking in the US surpassed drug trafficking last year. And this has become an organised crime, which spare none. And therein lies the next big career option of securing digitised information. 


Wherever IT is present there will be a need for security, as in the case for any sector now. According to a Nasscom prediction, in 2008 India would require 1.88 lakh professionals to secure our networks. According to another report, information security industry in the non-product segment is $45,000. 


In the telecom sector --- BPO, banking and finance, among others, there are positions open from information security administrator, security auditors to information security managers, security compliance officers. The entry-level information security administrator or security auditors conduct penetration testing to find security flaws in the organisation. Information security managers would manage auditors and implement projects. Security compliance officer ensures that compliance is maintained on people process technology. Head of security operations is responsible for the entire operations. 


   Information security companies also hire security auditors and security consultants at the entrylevel. In the senior-level, they offer opportunities to security managers and project managers. There are special positions too like forensic or cyber crime investigators. Their job is to figure out how, why and who are responsible for hacking and cyber crimes. They also work with law enforcing agencies in solving cyber crimes. 


At the entry-level, recruiters look for certified networking professionals. However, fresh graduates of electronics,computers and information technology engineering, MCA and BSc in IT are also eligible. They undergo in-house training in networking. At the senior-level, CISCO, Microsoft and Appin network certified professionals are offered positions as information security managers and security consultants. For senior positions like security managers, four years of experience is required. Candidates with MBA in IT are given preference. And for cyber crime investigators, aspirants need to have completed a Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator course. 


   Some specific qualities a recruiter would look for are good communication skills, ability to implement and deliver and strong project management skills. Compensation security is a niche area in the IT sector and enjoys a higher pay scale. 


   And if we move out of India the pay package increases. Important markets for security sector are India, China, US, UK, Australia and Middle East. 


   At the entry-level, a network auditor would start with Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month. And for information security managers, it ranges from Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per month and may go higher depending on the company. A security compliance officer can earn anything between Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 per month.



Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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