Given a surge in digital threats like cryptominers, ransomware, and DDoS attacks, it is no surprise that the field of information security is booming. Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that there will be 1.5 million job openings across the industry in 2019 up from one million in 2016. At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 37 percent increase in Information Security Analyst positions alone between 2012 and 2022.
Such growth makes information security an exciting and lucrative career choice. At the same time, the industry’s expansiveness complicates the process of selecting a specific career path.
To make it easier for aspiring security professionals, here are 10 of the top highest-paying infosec jobs based on overall pay grade.
#10: Incident Responder
An Incident Responder is one who is responsible for addressing security incidents, threats and vulnerabilities that arise in an organization.
Individuals who aspire to become Incident Responders must be prepared to actively monitor organization networks for intrusions, perform security audits and penetration testing, conduct malware analysis and reverse engineering, and design measures that not only minimize the damage of a given incident but that also prevent a similar intrusion from ever happening again. Incident Responders are typically members of a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) and so report to a CSIRT Manager. They should be familiar with a wide range of skills, including web-based application security, eDiscovery tools and forensic software.
Incident Responders make a median salary between $70,217. Overall, they can expect to earn between $48,557 and $105,171, reveals PayScale.
#9: Security Specialist
A Security Specialist is an entry- to mid-level employee who is responsible for completing a variety of duties designed to strengthen the security of an organization.
Oftentimes, Security Specialists are required to analyze the security requirements of an organization’s systems, install and configure security solutions on corporate networks, perform vulnerability testing and help train fellow employees in security awareness. Individuals who are interested in becoming Security Specialists should have knowledge in ethical hacking, computer networking, programming and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM).
Security Specialists make a median salary of $73,601. According to PayScale’s most recent estimates, these individuals can expect to make at least $47,215 but can hope to take home as much as $115,201.
#8: Computer Forensics Expert
A Computer Forensics Expert is responsible for analyzing evidence gathered off of computers, networks and other data storage devices in an effort to investigate incidents of computer crime.
These individuals commonly work closely with law enforcement agencies to compile evidence for legal cases, draft technical reports or offer expert testimony in trial, and train law enforcement in computer evidence tactics. Those who wish to pursue this particular career path must be familiar with several programming languages and operating systems as well as with cryptography principles, eDiscovery tools and forensics software.
Computer Forensics Experts make a median salary of $82,231. They can expect to earn at least $57,037, according to PayScale. However, given the possibility of commissions, tips and overtime, they can make as much as $119,337.
#7: Security Consultant
A Security Consultant is an outside expert who helps an organization implement the best solutions according to their security needs.
Those who wish to become Security Consultants must be knowledgeable in a wide range of security standards, security systems and authentication protocols. In order to succeed, they must also be willing to develop an in-depth picture of the organization for which they are working, which includes interviewing management and other executives, as well as familiarizing themselves with the organization’s corporate policies. Security Consultants can then use this knowledge to implement a set of security tools they see fit depending on an organization’s needs.
Security Consultants make a median salary of $83,989, according to PayScale’s estimates. They can expect to bring home a total pay of at least $53,721, but they can earn as much as $131,432 a year.
#6: Malware Analyst
A Malware Analyst is responsible for helping an organization understand the viruses, worms, bots, Trojans and other malicious software that threaten its network on a daily basis.
In this capacity, Malware Analysts commonly work with Computer Forensics Experts and Incident Responders in the event of an intrusion and/or suspicious computer behavior to help identify malicious programs that may have infiltrated an organization’s computer systems. This involves conducting static and dynamic analysis of the suspicious code in order to establish signatures of the malware’s presence, as well as developing tools that can help protect the organization’s networks against future intrusions.
Malware Analysts make a median salary of $84,739, says PayScale. They can expect to earn at least $52,156, but some can take home as much as $123,291 a year.
Are you interested in learning about the top 5 jobs? Find out what makes the list with part 2 here.
Also, you can check out Tripwire’s job postings to see if there’s an opening for one of the jobs listed above.