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Identity theft is becoming a common item in the news, and Computer Futures has seen a significant increase in the demand for individuals with skill sets in the area of information security. Here, Computer Futures outlines the Top 10 highest paid professionals in the sector.

Identity theft is something we’ve heard about for decades, but over the last few years there has been a significant uptick in this kind of fraud. We now hear about these stories almost daily. Given the consequences and possible long lasting implications of identity theft, consumers are on high alert.

Major corporations with allegedly secure infrastructure such as Target and EBay have found themselves at the center of major data breaches. As a result of these hackings, millions of customer’s personal and financial details have been compromised. Even governments around the world have fallen victim to this kind of cyber-crime.

So what does that mean in the technology world? Security professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 37 percent increase in Information Security Analyst positions alone between 2012 and 2022. That is a highly favorable increase in the demand of these types of workers, but what about the supply? As the need for security professionals is skyrocketing, the supply is actually quite low.

We might not be able to imagine our daily lives without the ability to quickly purchase something online, but it wasn’t that long ago that such capabilities didn’t exist. Remember we haven’t always had these magical devices attached to our bodies. A decade ago flip phones were still the height of cool. Now we can bank, shop, travel, date, and even control the temperatures of our homes remotely from multiple personal gadgets.

 We are perpetually wired; our financial and personal information is out there on countless platforms. Meanwhile cybersecurity is still in its infancy with a small base of experts. As the principles of supply and demand dictate, individuals with these coveted skillsets earn premium compensation. 

You might be asking yourself, what if I’m interested in technology security? Let’s have a look at the Top 10 highest paid professionals in the sector based on PayScale’s estimates from 2015:

1. CISO: C-level management executive whose primary task is to oversee the general operations of an organization’s IT security department and other related staff. The organization’s overall security is the foremost concern of the CISO. CISOs earn a median salary of $131,322

2. Security Architect: responsible for building and maintaining the computer and network security infrastructure for an organization. Security Architects make a median salary of $109,794.

3. Security Directors: responsible for designing, managing and allocating resources to various security programs within an organization’s security department; creating user awareness and security compliance education campaigns; interacting with non-management employees; and offering key assistance to law enforcement in the event of a security incident and subsequent investigation. A Security Director’s median salary is variable, ranging from $104,775 to $116,245.

4. Security Manager: responsible for managing an organization’s IT security policy. They must also test and implement new security tools, lead security awareness campaigns, and administer both department budgets and staff schedules. Security Managers make on average a salary of $100,215.

5. Security Engineer: responsible for building and maintaining the IT security solutions of an organization. Security Engineers make a median salary of $86,996.

6. Incident Responder: responsible for addressing security incidents, threats and vulnerabilities that arise in an organization. Incident Responders make a median salary between $70,000 and $90,000.

7. Security Consultant: an outside expert who helps an organization implement the best solutions according to their security needs. Security Consultants make a median salary of $81,220.

8. Computer Forensics Expert: responsible for analyzing evidence gathered from computers, networks and other data storage devices in an effort to investigate incidents of computer crime. Computer Forensics Experts make a median salary of $77,270.

9. Malware Analyst: responsible for helping an organization understand the viruses, worms, bots, Trojans and other malicious software that threaten its network on a daily basis. Malware Analysts make a median salary of $75,000.

10. Security Specialist: responsible for completing a variety of duties designed to strengthen the security of an organization. Security Specialists make a median salary of $73,853.

Those are some attractive dollar amounts, and as the need for these skillsets continues to rise, so will the figures on the offer letters. A report issued by Burning Glass Technologies reveals that job postings across the industry have grown 74 percent between 2007 and 2013 – twice the rate of all other IT jobs. Information security is booming, and the threats are evolving. It will be interesting to see what this space looks like in 10 years.

If you have any questions about salaries in the information security sector, feel free to reach out to the author, Brittany Alexander, on b.alexander@computerfutures.com