Data Security Management: What Are the Career Options?

Data security management is the act of protecting data, networks and devices from unauthorized users. It involves several rewarding career options, each with a slightly different focus.

Difference Between Cybersecurity and Information Security

A cybersecurity analyst, also known as a cyber security analyst, keeps an organization’s data secure by preventing online attacks. The primary focus is on electronic devices and the ways a hacker could access them, including hardware, software, networks or even social media. 

An information security analyst, also called a data security analyst, focuses on the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of data. It's one element of cybersecurity, and it can involve data in both its physical and electronic forms. In fact, this data security management role existed decades ago, when most information was stored in a filing cabinet instead of in the cloud. 

Despite these differences, the titles cybersecurity analyst and information security analyst are sometimes used interchangeably and job responsibilities often overlap. In some companies, the roles are combined. 

As cybersecurity and data security threats have grown, different areas of expertise have emerged, creating even more career opportunities. Areas include network security, internet security, application security, operational security, information security and disaster recovery. The size of the company generally determines if or how these tasks are divvied up.

Data security management personnel are needed in many businesses, financial institutions and government agencies. As a result, job growth in this field is increasing much faster than it is in most industries. 

$ 64,200 - $ 165,500
$ 108,200
16,000+
data security management skills include the ability to evaluate a computer network’s ability to protect sensitive information
Data security management personnel evaluate the health of computer networks and assess the system’s resistance to hackers, who can steal critical information or cause problems with computer networks. (Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock)

Job Responsibilities

  • Assess the value of a company's data and the specific risks that data creates
  • Secure systems and perform security audits
  • Monitor access to the network
  • Find and patch vulnerabilities
  • Verify the security of third-party vendors
  • Install software to protect the company’s data
  • Analyze security breaches
  • Create and maintain a disaster recovery plan
  • Develop best practices for the organization and train users
  • Stay up-to-date on threat tactics and computer viruses

FAQs about Data Security Management Careers

What kind of training is required for an entry-level data security management job?

Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information security or cybersecurity, but that is changing as more people reach the data analyst level through training and certification. Employers may consider experience in a related field, such as network and computer systems administrator roles. Information security analysis and cybersecurity are specialized degrees that may provide more job opportunities early on in your career. 

Courses may cover many areas of security, including physical security, software security (firewalls) and network security. Programs dig into data evaluation, privacy laws, security infrastructure, incidence response and risk management. 

Certifications can validate general expertise — such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) — or they can increase specialization and expertise. Areas of specialization include systems auditing, computer forensics, application security as well as governance, risk and compliance.

How long does it take to become a cybersecurity or information technology analyst?

It depends on the path you take to get there. A bachelor’s degree takes four years, but as mentioned, some people earn an associate degree and/or work their way up to this role through certifications and training. The timetable for that approach varies by company and individual. For example, a person who has experience as an IT support specialist or a network and computer systems administrator would have a good foundation to build on. 

Are data security management skills in demand?

Yes. Jobs are projected to grow 32% from 2022 to 2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's not surprising considering the increase in cybersecurity threats. Businesses of all sizes need to endure data security.

What qualities would make someone a good fit to become a data security analyst?

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Excellent listening and communication skills
  • A knack for finding innovative solutions
  • Detail-oriented
  • Embraces continuous learning of technology and legal requirements
  • Excels in a complex work environment
The bottom line:

If you work well under pressure and you want to be on the cutting edge of technology, consider becoming a cybersecurity analyst, information security analyst or taking on a related data security management role. There’s no lack of opportunity and there’s the promise of a healthy salary. Though it's not as common, you can reach this level by learning as you go — and without earning a four-year degree. To learn more, look below for nearby training opportunities.

Data Security Management Training in Your Area

Coordinates

Secure Systems Administration and Engineering, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (MO)
Kansas City (149.7 Miles)

Secure Systems Administration and Engineering Certificate

Metropolitan Community College (MO)
Kansas City (149.7 Miles)

Cybersecurity Certificate

Metropolitan Community College (MO)
Kansas City (149.7 Miles)
School logo for Manhattan Area Technical College in Manhattan KS

Information and Network Technology, A.A.S.

Manhattan Area Technical College
Manhattan (153.6 Miles)

Computer Information Technology, A.A.S.

Southeast Community College Area
Lincoln (261.7 Miles)

Computers: Cybersecurity Technology Diploma

Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs (289.0 Miles)

Computers: Cybersecurity Technology, A.A.S

Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs (289.0 Miles)

Information Technology - Data Center Technician Certificate of Achievement

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)

Information Technology - Cyber Security, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)

Cisco Certified Network Associate Career Certificate

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)

Information Technology - Cisco Networking Technician, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)

Information Technology - Data Center Operations, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)