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Information Security Manager: Responsibilities, Certification & Skills

Learn all about the job duties and certification and skill requirements for information security managers. Also, find out median salary details, education requirements and employment projections.

What Is an Information Security Manager?

Information security managers are responsible for securing a business' computer networks and digital information. Managers identify, observe and analyze potential information security risks and develop strategies for preventing threats and quickly addressing breaches. They are tasked with creating guidelines and procedures for security management and ensuring all employees, managers and top leaders within an organization are prepared to utilize best practices for protecting their data.

Managers must stay abreast of the latest trends in information security and be prepared to create or utilize the newest, most reliable and cost-effective technology to protect the business' data and networks. If an investigation is required, they generally assume a supervisory role and provide reports to organizational leaders. Information security managers are often responsible for overseeing daily tasks of other IT professionals, including information security analysts.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree is common; master's degree is sometimes preferred
Job Skills Technical, analytical, leadership, decision-making and communication skills
Median Salary (2019)* $110,756
Job Outlook (2016 - 2026)** 12% (for all computer and information systems managers)

Source: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

The computer and information systems manager, under which the information security manager is often categorized, commonly possesses a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field like computer science or information science, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Depending on the type of work required, a graduate degree like a Master of Business Administration (MBA) might be preferred.

Information security analysts, who can work their way into computer and information systems manager positions like information security manager, often secure general Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certificates or more specific systems auditing or penetration testing certificates. Several years of experience in the field of information security could improve the potential of being hired as an information security manager; however, it's good to note that smaller or younger businesses are likely to accept fewer years of experience than bigger or older businesses.

Required Skills

Computer and information systems managers should have a well-rounded understanding of security programs and protocol and technical knowledge of computer systems and data protection. Analytical and decision-making skills can help managers pinpoint the best technologies for their organizations and determine which strategies can prevent or resolve security breaches.

Leadership and communication skills are necessary in motivating and relegating responsibilities to workers as well as explaining ideas and strategies to chief executives.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, employment opportunities for computer and information systems managers were expected to increase by 12% between 2016 and 2026, which was faster than average when compared to all occupations. A growing number of organizations were expected to become more reliant on information technology and, as a result, would need managers to help secure sensitive data.

In March 2019, information security managers earned a median annual salary of $110,756, according to Payscale.com. The BLS noted that computer and information systems managers earned a median annual wage of $139,220 in May 2017.

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