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IT security coordinator Information security analyst

IT security coordinators protect their clients' data from unauthorised access, theft and misuse.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £25,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: per week

1. Entry requirements

You can get into this work by training on the job, or with a relevant degree like:

  • network security
  • computer science (with security options)
  • forensic computing
  • business information systems

If you're already working in IT, you could use your experience to move into cyber security work in areas like systems analysis, database management or network engineering.

You could get into this job through a software engineering, cyber security or networking degree apprenticeship.

It will help if you have an understanding of:

  • firewalls and anti-virus software
  • security information and event management (SIEM)
  • authentication (passwords, digital certificates and, biometrics)
  • penetration testing and vulnerability scanning
  • encryption techniques like Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

You should also be familiar with common security standards and regulations, including:

  • information security standard ISO/IEC 27001
  • the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts

The Tech Partnership and The Chartered Institute for IT have more information on careers in information security.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • problem solving skills
  • project management skills
  • the ability to interpret and assess data accurately
  • the ability to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • decision-making ability

3. What you'll do

You may be dealing with:

  • illegal hacking
  • viruses, worms, spyware and Trojans
  • denial of service (DoS) attacks – overloading systems with useless data
  • 'phishing' – luring users into leaving confidential details on spoof websites
  • 'pharming' – redirecting users to fake websites by hijacking genuine website addresses
  • abuse of permissions by authorised system users

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • assessing risks to systems, and developing plans to minimise potential threats
  • designing new security systems or upgrading existing ones
  • testing and evaluating security products
  • planning for disaster recovery in the event of security breaches
  • simulating security breaches (penetration testing)
  • using ethical hacking methods to find security flaws
  • investigating breaches and carrying out corrective action
  • making sure procedures meet network security standards
  • preparing reports and technical documentation for managers and users

4. Salary

Starter: £25,000 to £28,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £60,000

You’ll usually negotiate your rate of pay and contract.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, although you may be on a call-out rota to deal with problems outside of office hours.

You’ll be mainly office based, but if you work for a consultancy or are self-employed you may have to travel to visit clients.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could move into network management, IT project management or security consultancy. 

You could work for the police, security services or specialist law firms, carrying out forensic investigation of computer-based crimes.

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Last updated: 06 June 2017