What does an information security specialist do?
Information security specialists are responsible for the information security of the infrastructure of the entire company. In the area of responsibility of such a team lies the whole range of measures to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive information.
It is important to understand here that these measures may imply not only the search for a specific technical solution, but also the building of certain processes at the level of all divisions of the company. Information security specialists often work with ordinary employees of the company, train them and monitor the work.
I want to become an information security specialist. What do I need to know?
First of all, you need to decide what kind of information security specialist you want to be. Looking at the entire information security industry, there are 4 main categories:
Specialists in organizational and legal protection of information… They are also often called “paper security guards” – these are the people who provide the legal aspect of information security. Such specialists work at the intersection of jurisprudence and IT. Most often in companies, this role is performed by lawyers, who sometimes turn to the information security team for help. By the way, most universities train just such security officers. If you want to work in this area, you need to know well the Russian legislation in the field of information security.
The next category is pentesters (from English penetration testing – software penetration testing). A very popular direction now. They are ethical hackers who think like hackers but work for the good of the company. Their main task is to find system vulnerabilities before intruders. It is interesting that earlier “hackers” were called those specialists who had deep knowledge of the system, were very immersed in all the details and processes. And a swindler who hacked into software for his own selfish purposes was called a “cracker”.
Application Security Specialists ensure the security of the application or service itself, which the company develops. They do their best to ensure that the service is not only high performance, but also secure.
The last category we will talk about is infrastructure specialists… They deal with the infrastructure, are responsible for security at the network and OS levels. In terms of their tasks and competencies, such employees are very close to system administrators.
As you can see from the brief description of each category, the knowledge and technology stack for each information security specialist is very different. If you want to develop in information security, it is important to clearly understand which direction you are interested in, and on the basis of this already build your learning strategy.
Must-have knowledge for an information security specialist
Now there are a large number of online courses that promise to make you an information security specialist in six months or a year. But often in such schools a base is not given, and an information security specialist must have a very broad outlook and a deep understanding of what is happening under the hood of the entire system.
Note that penetration testers and AppSec specialists, for example, need to know programming languages and understand patterns and design patterns. To implement secure applications, you need to understand how to develop those applications. And beyond that, of course, it’s important to know secure application design patterns.
For all information security specialists, practice and observation are necessary. Where can you get them if you are just starting your career in the profession?
Try taking part in CTF competitions – these are events for ethical hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. Thanks to such events, you will gain experience and gain an excellent outlook.
The second opportunity to gain experience is the Bug Bounty platform. Look for vulnerabilities on the websites and services of various companies, compile reports and get rewards and, of course, invaluable experience. Also, a great way to gain practical knowledge is to read other people’s reports on the vulnerabilities found.
Are information security specialists in demand now?
Of course they are in demand and will be in demand for a long time. No organization can do without specialists who ensure the safety of its data.
And here’s the proof:
- on hh.ru we found more than 2,500 vacancies with the request “Information Security Specialist”;
- on indeed more than 1500 vacancies were published.
, the salary of information security specialists starts from 55,000 rubles, reaches 215,000 and is not limited to this amount.
Pros and cons of the profession
There are a large number of advantages in this profession: the level of salary, a strong and professional community, the relevance and importance of the field, the ability to constantly develop your skills and gain new knowledge. Of the minuses, perhaps, one can name responsibility. You will be responsible for everything that happens with the information and services of the company. It is not simple! Moreover, scammers are finding new ways to beat you and your defense, so you have to constantly learn.
However, great responsibility can be considered a plus of this profession. You will play an important role in the company in such an important and serious matter.
Watch the new episode of the “Friday Release” podcast from Team Timeweb with Roma Tkach, Cybersecurity Team Leader. And, if you still have questions, ask them in the comments below the video.