How to Become a Certified Network Security Expert: What to Know
If the idea of securing a network of computers interests you, then you can start thinking of becoming a certified network security expert. What to know more about this interesting profession? Then read on.
What is Network Security?
Network security has to do with taking software and often adopting physical protective measure to guarantee the safety and security of network infrastructures from unauthorized access, modification, misuse, and creating the enabling environment for linked computer systems to perform their functions in a secure environment.
Network security is bothered about a variety of computer systems; both private – within a company, and public -open to public use, systems used in everyday work environment, for conducting transactions, and communication amongst individuals, businesses, government, and other agencies.
A network security expert secures the network and is responsible for protecting and overseeing its operations.
These experts are usually exposed to working in an office environment, often having a broader job description to fulfill specific roles in the organization.
Depending on the size of the organization, they may be assigned to the IT department or any other related department that has to do with the security needs of an organization, and because of the nature of such departments, they usually run a full-time work schedule.
Educational Requirements and Training for Network Security Expert
A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to work as a network security expert.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science with a major in computer and information security; a Bachelor in Information technology with concentration in cyber security; or a Bachelor’s degree in Information technology management and cyber security will place you in a position to pick up a career in network security.
This will mean completing a 4 year program in an institution and computer-related vocational school where you will be exposed to courses in cryptology, UNIX and network security, database design and administration, and computer forensic and data forensics.
If you choose to acquire advanced education, you may decide to opt for a master’s degree in computer science, probably with a major in security.
Within these programs, you are likely to come across courses in implementing and managing Operating systems which will help you to prevent external attacks.
A couple of years work experience may be needed to land a better job as a network security expert, and so exploiting offers for internships while running a program may also be of immense benefit to your career future since not only are network security experts required to develop security solutions, but also to log information that will assist in finding out the perpetrators of threats.
Network Security Expert Certifications
A number of certifications exists for network security experts, they include CompTIA’s Security+ and its Network Security Administrator Credentials jointly offered by EC-Council and requires passing specific exams for the certification.
Other certifications that can prove useful to a network security expert includes:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP),
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH),
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Certified Protection Professional (CPP).
Institutions and Schools for Network Security Training
Some institutions and school that provide training for network security experts include Fortinet, which offers an 8-level certification self-paced and instructor-led program, ranging from developing an understanding of computer security concepts to detailed understanding of how to implement network security, as well as the ability to design, configure, and troubleshoot network solutions in a live environment.
Other institutions include Kaplan University Iowa, Ecpi University Virginia beach, Virginia, Western Governors University Salt Lake, Utah, and Colorado Technical University.
It is important to consult educational service providers in your environment for a full list of institutions that offer degrees and associate degrees in network security or related courses.
Roles, Duties, and Responsibilities of Network Security Expert
Basically, network security experts ensure the security of computers linked to a network. This may involve creating of login information as username and passwords, installing of software and designing hardware components to make certain that the security of a computer system is not compromised in anyway.
They also investigate and solve security breaches, and update computer systems.
Network Security Expert Skills
Ability to install and implement computer security networks, encrypting data transmission and creating firewalls, setting up and reviewing security protocols, and monitoring networks and logs for viral activities.
Analytical skills, technological savvy personality, problem-solving, and excellent communication skills will also be invaluable.
Certified Network Security Expert Career Opportunities
The network security occupation has a potential for more growth, therefore, prospective computer security experts can begin their career as network and systems administrators, or from any computer support positions.
Working as an administrator can enable you come across computer security needs in the organization.
You can also work as a network security expert in private organizations, large public companies, government and agencies that require the services of network security experts, as well as organizations that have a great deal of data stored electronically
Network Security Expert Salary
Because of the increase demand for increased security by organizations, the demand for network security experts therefore is expected to grow within the coming years with annual salary ranges between $49, 000 and $135, 000, with as much as $44 charged for an hour and even more in most cases.