It’s sad to say that our massive and fast advancements in technology come with a downside. Cybercriminals are advancing their tactics equally as fast and we are seeing more and more sophisticated hacks, spam, and black hat practices. Today, the role of an IT security consultant or cybersecurity technician is more important than ever. Public and private organizations require such a specialist in order to prevent security breaches.
What Are the Responsibilities of an IT Security Consultant?
Their main role includes assessing software, hardware, and networks for any areas of weakness that could allow for an attack. They then need to design and implement a system that will provide the best security solutions for an organization. They get to play a role close to the dark side by performing ethical hacking, trying to hack a system to pinpoint an organization’s vulnerabilities. It is not unusual for IT security consultants to be former hackers.
How Important Is the Role of the IT Security Consultant?
Extremely! Regardless of whether it is a personal computer or even an entire government system, a cyberattack can cost significant amounts of time and money. It takes just minutes for a cybercriminal to hack into a system, copy credit card details, and cause millions of dollars of loss. And it’s not just money. If a cybercriminal were to hack the military, they would be able to get their hands on sensitive data that could do irreversible damage in the wrong hands. When a client’s data is not secure, they quickly lose faith in the institution, big or small.
IT Security Consultants have advanced knowledge of database, networks, hardware, firewalls, and encryption. This highly specialized skill enables them to clearly assess the current infrastructure in place and create a security plan to eliminate the vulnerabilities and prevent attacks. Solutions may include the prevention of unauthorized access, data modification, and data loss. As well as preventing the loss of personal information, an IT security consultant must be able to prevent the loss of financial details and block hackers while making sure the entire system remains functional.
Part of their assessment will be to look at network vulnerabilities, perform technical tests such as AV or penetration testing, and malware analysis. With their collected information, they will be able to provide the most suitable recommendations for hardware and software upgrades.
When an organization begins work on a new project, the IT security consultant will also be able to advise on the best security solutions for each stage of the development life cycle. Recommendations to organizations can range from the optimal antivirus and firewalls, cryptography, and SIEM, to name a few. They will need to be familiar with a range of industries so that the security solutions for the individual client will eliminate potential weaknesses and enhance the overall security of the system.
The Working Environment of an IT Security Consultant
It is possible for an IT security consultant to work for a consulting firm, a single organization if the need is there, or to be self-employed contractors. As they may have to work with a number of clients, they will have to be confident with various programming languages as well as a huge range of software and hardware systems. Depending n the requirements of an organization, they might need to protect computer systems and/or information capital.