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An introduction to Information Security Career Advisor

Lee Kushner and Mike Murray, Contributors
Information security is increasingly becoming a popular career choice among information technology (IT) professionals. Due to the variety of skill sets that encompass our profession, people with many different backgrounds have been attracted to the field. What used to be a cottage industry has now become mainstream.

With this increased popularity, information security leadership positions have become more desirable, and competition for roles like chief information security officer (CISO) and director of information security have risen dramatically. Career management, career development and career planning are becoming ever more important in determining future success.

It used to be that education and certifications were enough to convey an infosec expert's skills and capabilities. Today, these professional investments have become merely the foundations of a successful career. Since many infosec pros have a combination of professional experience, education and industry-recognized certifications, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate one's self from the crowd, who in many cases are also competition for coveted jobs. To have a successful information security career, one must have the skills of a technologist but be able to think like a business leader; understanding how security benefits the organization's business goals and knowing how to network and make connections beyond just IT.

In our experience, we've found most information security professionals

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are passionate about the profession, and desire to achieve career excellence. However, few realize the importance of proper career advice and guidance in order to make sound strategic decisions, understand market conditions and effectively develop a personal brand. This information could prove to be essential in the proper formulation and execution of your personal career plan, and attaining your long-term career goals and aspirations.

The purpose of our new monthly Information Security Career Advisor column will be to provide regular guidance on career-related initiatives that are specifically geared to the information security profession. This column will address timely topics that will be able to assist you, the information security professional, in addressing career-related issues. The columns will offer both knowledge and perspective on managing your career and achieving your desired successes. We hope that the articles will be interactive; that you (the readers) will submit topics and questions that are important to your personal career development and the information security profession as a whole.

If you have a question or topic related to information security careers that you'd like us to discuss, send us an email and we'll do our best to cover it in a future column.

We look forward to helping you on your journey toward career success!

About the authors:
The columnists, Lee Kushner and Mike Murray, bring with them different perspectives on career related topics. Together Lee and Mike have advised many information security professionals in various stages of their career development and are regular speakers at industry conferences on information security career-related topics. Their blog can be found at www.infosecleaders.com.

Lee Kushner is the President of LJ Kushner and Associates, an executive search firm that has been dedicated to the information security profession since 1999.

Mike Murray is an information security professional and career coach. Mike has held leadership positions in environments that include professional services, security product vendors, and corporate environments.

This was first published in July 2009

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