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Computer Security Specialist
|Overview:||Computer security specialists plan and implement safeguard measures to protect computer information systems. Their goal is to control access to information and prevent unauthorized tampering or disclosure of information. This field is rapidly expanding with emerging needs related to increased use of the Internet by businesses and new concerns regarding information terrorism.|
|Duties:||Computer security specialists plan, coordinate and implement security measures for information systems. To do this they work with company or government personnel to understand the current security system and the security needs that need to be addressed. They test data processing systems to ensure proper functioning and security and modify computer security files to incorporate new software to correct errors or change access status to information. They develop plans to safeguard computer files from accidental or unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information. They also develop plans to meet emergency data processing needs.
Computer security specialists install protective software or make changes to existing software. They may coordinate implementation of the computer system security plan with personnel and outside vendors. They provide consultation and expert advice to establishment personnel to discuss implementation of security measures for computer systems and may be involved in employee security awareness and training programs. They may build firewalls to keep unauthorized people from accessing information. They write rules and procedures for employees to follow. Written reports are made to document the findings of tests and the changes they implement. Computer security specialists monitor data logs that report all the activity on the system and look for any unusual activity.
Computer security specialists may focus on such security issues as fraud, eavesdropping, hacking, viruses, cryptography, intrusion detection, wireless and biometrics security and Internet protocol security.
|Degree(s):||A.A.S. Computer Information Systems: Computer Programming Track
A.S. Mathematics and Science
A.A.S. Computer Information Systems: Microcomputer Applications Software Track
|Job Outlook:||Employment of computer security specialists is expected to grow much faster than average through 2018. Increasing concern for the growing number of cyber attacks and security breaches will drive demand.|
|Salary Range (National Average):||$49,000 to $56,000|
|Education Level:||Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.|
|Additional Training/Education:||Employers prefer to hire computer security specialists with a bachelor's or a master's degree in computer science plus several years of related experience. Some employers prefer specialists who are certified. Experience working with specific types of computers or computer languages is also very important. Employers often hire the candidate who knows the technology the company is using. Employers look for specialists who can work both independently and on a team. New technology and security stategies are constantly evolving requiring computer security specialists to keep their skills and knowledge up to date by reading, attending seminars and training programs. Voluntary certification can be obtained from hardware and software manufacturers who offer certification on their products.|
Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services Advisor to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.