ISSO Jobs & Career Guide

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Position Company Location Posted
Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO 3) (Government)
AT&TSpringfield, Virginia, United States22/11/2022
Information System Security Officer ISSO III (Government)
AT&TChantilly, Virginia, United States22/11/2022
Cyber Information Assurance Specialist (Early/Mid-Career)
Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States24/11/2022
Information System Security Officer, II (Government)
AT&TChantilly, Virginia, United States22/11/2022
Information System Security Officer, I (Government)
AT&TSpringfield, Virginia, United States22/11/2022
Information Assurance Specialist (Mid-Career/Experienced)
Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States11/11/2022
Cyber Information Assurance Specialist (Experienced)
Sandia National LaboratoriesLivermore, California, United States24/11/2022
Information Systems Security Officer, II (Government)
AT&TSpringfield, Virginia, United States22/11/2022
Information Systems Security Officer - Entry to Senior (Maryland)
National Security AgencyFort Meade, Maryland, United States19/11/2022
Information System Security Officer, I (Government)
AT&TChantilly, Virginia, United States22/11/2022
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What is An Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO)

An information systems security officer (ISSO) is in charge of the digital records in a company or organization. Their responsibilities include:

  • Instituting security protocols
  • Running diagnostics
  • Fending off attacks
  • Monitoring networks
  • Creating a risk management plan for the firm.

A day in an ISSO’s life may entail performing security updates, risk assessments, and building a firewall. They may also organize and perform penetration tests to detect any weaknesses in an organization’s systems and, if necessary, implement new security protocols and measures.

In some firms, ISSOs are responsible for training employees on security practices. The organization may involve them in hiring, staffing, and training new employees in the IT department.

How to Qualify as an Information Systems Security Officer

If you’re interested in becoming an ISSO, the first consideration is your education. How much of it is necessary?

A bachelor’s degree in programming, computer science, or any related field is compulsory, although you may also require advanced training in security protocols. Some officers pursue higher education, obtaining a master’s degree.

While most Information Systems Security Officers have a college degree, it\s possible to qualify for ISSO jobs with a high school degree or GED is sufficient.

As with many other fields, experience in other jobs comes in handy to become an Information Systems Security Officer. In fact, most ISSO jobs require experience in roles such as:

  • Auditor
  • System administrator/manager
  • Network Administrator
  • Information Technology Specialist

Qualifying for Certification

To be a recognized Information Systems Security Officer, you need certification–MILE2’S C)ISSO. It ensures that you have a broad knowledge base covering several INFOSEC areas. That way, you can run an INFOSEC team effectively, establishing a cybersecurity culture.

The C)ISSO course covers a broad range of topics, including interconnections, risk management, and threat & risk analysis. These prepare you for various roles inside the INFOSEC community.

Those who qualify to study and subsequently acquire certification include:

  • IS Security Officers
  • IS Managers
  • Risk Managers
  • Auditors
  • Information Systems Owners
  • IS Control Assessors
  • System Managers
  • Government Employees

Time to Study

You can attend a live training, take the course as a self-study + exam, or take an exam without studying.

If you choose the self-study option, you’ll receive a workbook, instructor-led videos for guidance through the workbook, exam preparation guide, multiple practice exams, and the certification exam.

Alternatively, you can attend live classes where you interact with the instructors face to face. The live courses, taught in English, run for five days.

Still, you can sit for the exam without necessarily taking the course. That’s the case for people who feel they have the knowledge needed to pass the exam.

It’s worth mentioning that after you purchase your preferred option, the guide materials are available for 12 months before you can sit for the ISSO certification exam.

The Exam and Certification

To get the certification, you need to sit for an ISSO exam that covers five categories:

  • Technology- 22%
  • Communications- 18%
  • Critical Thinking- 40%
  • Observations- 10%
  • Workplace- 10%

Upon certification, you become an Information Systems Security Officer who can implement and maintain cost-effective security controls that align closely with industry standards. Taking the C)ISSO certification is essential in increasing your skills, knowledge, and expertise. You’ll apply what you learn directly in the exam and out there while working.

To become a holder of the C)ISSO certification and badge, you must sit for and pass the associated exam with a score of 70% and above. The exam covers key areas that your role as an ISSO entails, including but not limited to knowledge, skills, and abilities.

What Jobs Can You Get with the ISSO Certification?

You can land SSO jobs in various settings, including financial corporations, IT companies, and scientific research organizations.

There are several opportunities and options in the government sector, especially the Department of Homeland Security and the Defense. It’s an ideal career path to choose if you want to protect your country from external threats and terrorists.

Some of the skills necessary in these positions include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Evaluation/Analytical skills
  • Creativity

Information Systems Security Officer Career Paths

Once you start your career as an ISSO, you won’t stagnate in one position. On the contrary, you’ll start taking on more responsibilities as you move along your career. You may even realize a leadership role.

As an ISSO, you can determine your career goals through career progression. For instance, you can start as a Systems Administrator, then progress to another title such as Information Technology Manager, before eventually becoming an Information Technology Operations Manager.

Here’s another example of a career path the C)ISSO certification can offer you:

  • Start as a Security Administrator, System or ISSO Administrator, or Network Administrator after certification.
  • Build up your interpersonal and technical skills in jobs like Engineer, Security Specialist, Consultant, Analyst, or Auditor.
  • Take the next step and become a Security Manager, Security Architect, Security Director, or IT Project Manager.
  • After working in the above senior positions, you can now reach the highest level and become the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Information Systems Security Officer

One of the benefits of becoming an ISSO is the salary you take home.

An Information Systems Security Officer earns an average annual salary of $92,662. Some ISSO jobs have the potential to earn you up to $145,000 per year. This is one of the most significant payouts in the IT world. It’s why most young people are attracted to this career path.

Chances of growth in the Information Systems Security Officer field are immense. The career paths above can attest to this.

Delaware is one state where Information Systems Security Officers make the most, with an average salary of $108,500. Other top-payers for this position include Virginia, with an average salary of $106,091, and California, at $105 196. New York is not too bad either. Here, you can take home an average annual pay of $103 763.