Information systems security involves the analysis of computer systems - including networks, databases and applications - in order to assess their ability to protect against breach and disruption. This process involves vulnerability testing and auditing to identify points of risk and includes developing and implementing plans to mitigate this risk. It also involves communicating security concerns and policies to an organization's stakeholders.
Bachelor's degree programs in information systems security, offered in both online and on-campus formats, offer in-class and hands on training for individuals wanting to work in the field. Admission into these degree programs requires a high school diploma, GED or prior degree.
Instruction examines disaster recovery and business continuity, as well as the ethical and legal aspects of information security. Programs generally prepare graduates to sit for industry certification examinations. Programs examine theories in programming, operating systems, systems architecture and database security. Information security students may encounter courses like:
- Systems analysis and design
- Risk management
- Access control systems
- Network security
- Security controls
Popular Career Options
Graduates are equipped with the skills to identify policy changes in information security and manage security procedures in several types of businesses and government sectors. Possible careers include:
- Data security administrator
- Network security specialist
- Information security risk analyst
- Application security tester
- Compliance specialist
Salary and Job Outlook
According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for data security administrators as of January 2016 was $59,992. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that as of May of 2015, the median yearly wage for information security analysts was $90,120, while network administrators earned a median amount of $77,810 per year. Between 2014 and 2024, the BLS projected a faster-than-average employment increase of 18% for information security analysts and an about-average employment increase of 8% for network and computer systems administrators.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates may pursue professional certification specific to the field of information systems security. Among these are the CompTIA Security+ certification offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) certification offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. (ISC)2. Graduates may continue their formal education by pursuing an advanced degree, such as the master's degree in information systems security.
Students interested in a career in information systems security may seek enrollment in a bachelor's degree program in information systems security. These programs can prepare students for professional certification and careers as data security administrators, information security analysts and network systems administrators.