Security Consultant Kaitohutohu Whakamarumaru
Security consultants identify security weakness in information technology (IT), advise on IT security, and design IT security systems.
Security consultants may choose to become certified or chartered through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.
Security consultants may do some or all of the following:
- take the lead in identifying cyber security gaps
- create risk assessment policies
- monitor network security and report on issues
- research, cost, design and implement new or improved network systems and platforms
- manage responses to cyber attacks and ensure damage to the security of information is kept to a minimum
- supervise other staff and oversee any changes to network security
- keep up to date with the latest cyber security threats and solutions.
Security consultants spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
Useful experience for security consultants includes:
- work in entry-level IT jobs such as information technology helpdesk/support technician
- on-the-job training through IT internships and graduate recruitment programmes
- hacking experience gained through study or hacking conferences
- working on individual IT projects such as setting up your own penetration testing lab or assembling computers.
Security consultants need to be:
- creative and imaginative, as they need to design new security systems
- analytical thinkers and problem solvers
- detail-oriented and curious
- good at seeing the big picture, to examine solutions and problems from all sides
- skilled communicators
- skilled leaders and negotiators.
Security consultants need to have knowledge of:
- current IT security standards, practices and methods
- internet threats and hacking tools
- security software and penetration tools such as Metasploit and AppScan
- computer and network systems, software and devices and operating systems such as Windows Client and Linux
- manual and automated security tests
- coding languages such as Java or C++.
- usually work full time and may also work evenings and weekends, and be on call
- work in their own or clients' offices
- work in conditions that may be stressful, because they work to strict deadlines while responding to security threats
- may travel locally or overseas to meet clients.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include digital technologies, maths, physics and English.
For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.
Security consultants may progress into roles such as:
- security architect
- security manager
- IT project manager
- security director
- chief information and security officer (CISO).
Years Of Training2-3 years of training usually required.
There are no specific requirements to become a security consultant. However, you usually need one or more of:
- a diploma or degree, preferably in an IT-related subject such as network engineering, computer science or cyber security
- a relevant industry-based certification, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
In addition, security consultants usually need three to seven years’ experience in intermediate-level security roles such as security analyst, or a related role such as network administrator.
Common ways of gaining IT-related knowledge include learning through online courses and tutorials, and working on your own projects.