The IT Certification Resource Center

Featured Deal

Get CompTIA, Cisco, or Microsoft training courses free for a week.
Learn More ❯

Five Top Cybersecurity Roles and the Certs to Get You There

3) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Average salary: $101,000 to $210,000 (PayScale)


Working on security in the server roomHigh-profile hacks and security breaches have revealed the destructive effect of cybercrime to organisations globally. As a result, CISOs have evolved from a relatively narrow security focus to become executive C-suite contributors who actively participate in strategic planning and risk assessment. With a technical mind and business awareness, CISOs are now businesses enablers at the bleeding edge of security.


“The role of CISO continues to evolve in that the expectation now is that the CISO not only be security savvy but also technically adept and business aware,” says security expert Becky Pinkard of Digital Shadows.


The CISO role is typically the most senior information security position at a given organization, and relevant certifications are equally high-level. It’s an incredibly hard job and CISOs will face the blame for any and all cyber security incidents.


Prepare yourself for the demanding CISO role with (ISC)²’s CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) credential. This certification one of the most widely recognised in information security, and it’s especially advantageous to anyone pursuing the role of CISO.


The CISSP is a vendor-neutral certification and ideal for expert cybersecurity professionals with a proven record of technical and managerial skills. As ((ISC)² states, “Not only is the CISSP an objective measure of excellence, but also a globally recognised standard of achievement.” This is the gold standard certification for IT Security professionals.


4) Security Manager

Average salary: $38,000 to $112,000 (PayScale)


Security managers design, build and manage the implementation of network and computer security for an organization. This is a senior-level role, so you’ll be responsible for creating complex security systems. There’s also a senior-level salary to match, with yearly pay of up to $112,000.


Employers will be looking for advanced security certifications from accredited bodies. One credential that attracts consistent interest across the industry is the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). Offered by ISACA, an independent nonprofit association, the CISM proves a security professional’s ability to develop and manage an enterprise information security program.


The CISM also boosts your understanding of the relationship between IT security programs and broader business goals and objectives. The CISM exam is only offered during the months of June, September and December, so take this into account if studying.


5) Network Administrator

Average salary: $40,000 to $77,000 (PayScale)


Network administrators are responsible for maintaining, repairing and upgrading an organisation’s computer network. Though this is not typically considered a cybersecurity role, given the rise in cybercrime, network administrators (and network engineers) must also possess security knowledge.


Security is now the responsibility of everyone in the organization. As such, businesses must have security-savvy pros who are focused on protecting, detecting and responding to threats on company networks. “While there will be more 1.5 million cybersecurity jobs unfilled by 2019, millions of IT and network administrators remain untrained on network defense techniques,” says Michael Brown, CEO of Symantec.


EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (CND) credential was launched in 2016 and is positioned parallel to the Certified Ethical Hacker certification. Get CND-certified and you’ll develop a detailed understanding of how to design a secure network in your organisation. You’ll also study the fundamentals of network defense, including how to detect and respond to network attacks.


As a result of the Certified Ethical Hacker’s success, EC-Council’s reputation as a certification vendor is already secure. If you’re considering expanding your network security knowledge, or upskilling your team, then this certification is definitely one to consider.


You can learn more out more about the CND by watching this offbeat video from EC-Council.



Alex Bennett of Firebrand TrainingAlex Bennett is a digital marketing assistant at Firebrand Training. Alex has worked in the IT training and certification industry since 2014. He writes regularly about Windows Server, Microsoft Azure and IT security.