Are You Where You Want to Be in Your Security Career?

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Created by the Security Executive Council

There are some days that just make us doubt whether we made the correct choice in careers. It might be management we report to, it could be co-workers, maybe unrealistic assumptions about the career in the first place. But hopefully any dissatisfaction is only a temporary condition.

Although security and risk management can be rewarding, it makes for a tough career. So, in this 2018 Security Barometer quick poll, we wanted to examine whether security practitioners are generally satisfied with the roles they are playing within their organizations.

chart showing responses to question are you satisfied with your current career level

Surprisingly, pretty much everyone who participated in the quick poll was satisfied with their current career level (5% of respondents were currently unemployed). An interesting aside is that in the follow-up question on whether career options are increasing or decreasing, the survey participants who were satisfied with their career levels were more likely to agree that career options were either increasing or staying the same instead of decreasing.

chart showing responses to question are career options increasing or decreasing

There were many interesting and thoughtful comments that participants made regarding their answers. We selected a few to share (edited for clarity and to preserve privacy).
Options Are Increasing:
  • “The nature and complexity of the threat environment has certainly placed extra demands on the security professional, meaning that in some cases, companies are opening up extra positions within the organization for security management. Cyber security awareness within industries is certainly a main driver for corporate security positions, and the increased globalization of company operations has also created the need for Corporate and Regional Security Managers.”
  • “It seems that more and more executives are understanding that security is a value adding function in the corporate world. This is especially true when it comes to protecting the intangible assets, like a company’s reputation.”
  • “Emergence of cyber security as a career and also the implications of cyber security on physical security cohesiveness.”
  • “Board and Senior management of international companies are more aware of the important role corporate security plays to protect global assets and enable business.”
Options Are Neither Increasing nor Decreasing:
  • “Investor emphasis on results have blocked security career movement opportunities.”
  • “Security positions in companies are not changing much at this point due to exhaustion of budgets, over-hype from services and vendor solution providers, and saturation of news with information that often does not help make decisions and is more marketing than news.”
  • “Security is still seen in a very segregated way. On one hand, Information Security and IT System Security is booming, therefore career options are booming. On other hand, physical security has been stagnating for years. One reason might be that many fields within the security area are underestimated, e.g. Anti-Counterfeit.”
  • “I believe that corporate security is placing a greater focus on IT/Cyber Security, and the physical side of the house is not being viewed at a level that will address many of their risks. I believe many are losing sight of the fact that information is at risk NOT ONLY in the cyber world.”
Options are Decreasing:
  • “Focus towards cyber security and less on physical security, as well as a lack of understanding (or willingness of acceptance) of how the two intersect.”
  • “There are plenty of lower-level corporate security positions, such as Security Adviser, Security Analyst, etc. However, I am not finding many senior management positions (e.g. CSO, Director of Global Security, Head of Security, etc.).”
  • “Multiple positions with different responsibilities are being consolidated, leaving fewer positions open.”
  • “Many security jobs are strictly focused on InfoSec or system integration, and the world of physical security is often overlooked or undervalued.”
Next Steps
Whether you are investigating career options or just making your career as productive as possible, the Security Executive Council has resources to assist.

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