If a business isn’t thinking about their security, they’re not doing their utmost to protect themselves and their information. The security risk management sector is only growing as corporations invest more in strategic protection options, and there’s never been a better time to dive into a career in the industry. If you’re an analytical thinker with a knack for determining the best practices for a business’s security needs, and can see yourself consulting businesses on these needs, this field may be a fit for you. Here are some things to know if you’re considering a career in security risk management.
Basics of security risk management
If “security risk management” sounds like a fairly straightforward descriptor, that’s because it is. It encompasses all the precautions a company might take to protect their information, assets, and proprietary developments, be it through independent consultants or enterprise solutions for larger entities.
Consultants in the industry work to assess all the potential risks and threats to a business and all the people, places, and things it encompasses. They then prioritize these risks and work to evaluate their solutions or minimize the possibility of their occurrence. This process typically follows the five primary steps of “identify, analyze, evaluate, treat, and review”. If a consultant is able to develop a contingency plan around a potential risk, they’re effectively eliminating the impact it might have on a business.
For most positions in security risk management, you’re looking at a combination of education and certification if you want to be seen as a qualified candidate. Whether you’re interested in more traditional guard roles or you’re more intrigued by applying surveillance techniques, taking a course or pursuing a certification program will help you to stand out amongst your fellow applicants (and also increase the likelihood of securing higher rates).
One of the best ways to receive a certification is through the wide variety of available online programs. These are self-paced and often more affordable than programs through traditional universities, so it’s much easier to acquire a certification on your own terms and on your own time. There are a variety of certifications available, especially for the more technical roles, so do your research and make sure you’re pursuing the correct ones. .
If you’re still in a post-secondary education program, your college may offer their own courses as well. While many universities don’t offer a traditional degree path for an undergraduate degree in security risk management, you should still pursue a degree related to IT or technology. There are also numerous security risk management master’s programs available globally and many of the higher paying positions will require an MBA or MSc. Depending on your trajectory within the industry, you may plateau unless you pursue one of these degrees, so keep continued education on your radar.
The applications of security risk management are seemingly endless. There’s no shortage of roles in the industry, from onsite security detail to consulting, advising, and auditing. There’s also plenty of room for growth within each of these branching paths, from supervisory opportunities to department risk leads. Depending on where you want to take your career and your educational background, your biggest limit will be your imagination and the value you’re able to offer to a business.
There’s a growing need for dedicated professionals within the industry. It’s all about positioning yourself ahead of a business’s needs and forecasting potential risks. For the motivated, analytical thinker, security risk management is a great career path. While it’s not for everyone, those who are able to handle the occasional job stresses and long hours often report incredibly high levels of job satisfaction.