Before You Take the Plunge

Once an isolated planet, information security has now become a universe in itself! Today, security is acknowledged as an integral component for corporate success leading to the increase in demand for highly-skilled security professionals. A recent study conducted by IDC for the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)2, projected that the number of information security professionals worldwide will be 2.1 million in 2008, up from 1.3 million currently. This states the urgency and significant importance to develop a new approach and curriculum in assuring information, not only based on security but also considering integrity, relevance, and other aspects involved in creating a whole new culture of security.

Few questions which dawn on us before taking a plunge in information security-

1. What is happening today in the field of Information security? 2. Where is the industry heading? 3. What is the greatest challenge facing a security professional? 4. What is the pro message to new professionals embarking on an information security career?

Today, the information security field is not just about technology, it is about people and protecting information wherever it is while still being able to share that information with clients, partners and customers. Simply securing IT infrastructure to safely conduct business and align information security initiatives that support business objectives is not enough in today's complex world of security breaches, identity theft, business disruptions, updated compliance objectives and new security challenges.

What is happening today?

Malicious intent, Malware is happening. Hackers and viruses are also making headlines. It is also worth noting that information theft and insider threats are on the rise. Lack of security awareness and lack of security policies are also high on publicity today. Also, compliance objectives are priorities that need to be met by companies and is a major focus area within information security.

With this in mind, the greatest challenge a security professional will face is keeping one step ahead of the attacker. Today's security practitioner needs to ensure that their tools and applications are protected; they need to strangely know everything! Another common challenge is creating a solid business case for security recommendations, and getting organizations to involve security from the beginning by placing significant importance to the role it plays. Challenge also lies in ensuring that companies and institutions are complying with new regulations and security programs.

Distinguish Yourself in the Marketplace - Having a background in Information Technology (IT) or information security is not considered to be sufficient to face challenges of business today. Employers' are looking for individuals who are certified in specific areas like network security or compliance regulations. Earning a reputable certification and getting qualified by continuous training and education, joining a local security group, attending security seminars, and subscribing to targeted newsletters and forums is a good start towards this amazing journey!

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