Information security experts protect organizations against malware, hackers, employee mistakes and natural disasters. Many companies are now hiring outside computer security, rather than employing in-house staff. While the companies often save money, this also creates opportunities for IT experts to start successful consulting businesses. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for computer security professionals will grow by 22 percent in the next decade, far above the national average. Breaking into this field requires you to possess hands-on experience, extensive training and management prowess. This article will tell you how to become a computer security consultant.
1. Complete an information technology degree.
Most computer security experts are now pursuing a bachelor’s degree, although an associate’s degree with many years of experience can be substituted. Focus on choosing a high-quality program with the most up-to-date information on computer programming, networking, information systems, penetration testing and systems analysis.
2. Seek a computer security internship while still in school.
You should begin building your work experience as soon as possible. Most IT schools will have connections to internship programs, or you can find them via online search.
3. Seek professional certifications Microsoft (MCSE), Cisco (CCIE) and other companies provide training and certification programs.
Any consultant should be able to show a high level of certified training and it will improve your chances of getting contracts. Other useful certifications include: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), ITIL, Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), SANS GIAC, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP).
4. Conduct your own research on new security threats and methods.
Study IT forensics, software safety, virus protection, firewall management and other topics whenever possible to prove you are an expert that can deal with a wide-variety of problems.
5. Apply for an entry-level IT job.
A well-trained graduate should be able to break into the field fairly easily. Joining an IT department for approximately 2 to 5 years will give you excellent knowledge about threats and business structure. You do not need to gain a job in IT security right away. Other jobs, like network administrator are excellent stepping stones for a computer security career.
6. Seek promotions and different roles as you get your work experience.
Learning about database repair client support, networking protocols, programming and computer maintenance will allow you to take more contracts when you become a consultant.
7. Vet your IT jobs well.
Like most computer-based fields, there are a number of fraudulent or short-lived companies. Make sure you do your research to avoid these companies, which could mar your resume to prospective clients.
8. Join a professional computer security organization.
Chapters of the Information Systems Security Association can help you join study groups, forums and conferences. They can help enhance a resume and your expertise.
9. Launch a computer security consulting firm.
Write a business plan that will detail the number of employees you will need and the services you will offer. Make sure to spend time setting prices based on your expertise and competitors.
10. File your business documents with the Secretary of State.
You will need to file a business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.), fictitious name certificate and employer identification number for tax purposes. You will also need business licenses to start an office in your county/city. Call your Secretary of State and County Clerk to inquire about the necessary documents in your area.
11. Market your company to businesses and professionals.
Start to build up a list of clients. Although this may take some time, you will start to get business based on the relationships you build with companies.
Taken from Hack Insight Facebook’s Note