#BeAnAwesome: Network Security Specialist

Do not be afraid to venture into this emerging and specialised field of computing. Looking at how technology is rapidly evolving, security is an area one cannot overlook. A network security specialist is in high demand, particularly in businesses dealing with sensitive information.
Dr Yap Kian Meng
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Networked Systems at Sunway University

What will I do?

A network security specialist is a specialised computer/network administrator who protects a company’s network, particularly its data as well as other information. Possible responsibilities include preparing the infrastructure (ie firewall and anti-virus software on servers), and monitoring the network (ie forensics, intrusion detection/prevention and detect breaches in security).

Large organisations with transaction of sensitive data, eg government agencies, large accounting firms, insurance companies, etc will need outstanding network security specialists. The network security field will continue to grow, particularly with the increase of networked devices in and beyond the workplace.

Is it for me?

If you’ve been intrigued by scenes in NCIS or CSI where the geek experts know threats and hidden information in a network like the back of their hands, this is the perfect career to explore.

A network security specialist also plans ahead - they have to think of possible attacks that may jeopardise a company’s network and systems in order to protect them.

Analytical skills, logical thinking as well as being observant and creative are among the skills commonly observed in this line of work.

How much will I earn?

Fresh graduates can earn around RM2,500 while senior executives would get between RM3,500 and RM6,000.

Who will employ me?

Financial companies as well as banks, hospitals, government agencies, and companies such as EY, F-SECURE, Hewlett Packard, Dell, CyberSecurity Malaysia and more.

Specialisations

Apart from applying pure networking and security theoretical as well as practical knowledge, one can specialise in the following areas: computer security; prevention and investigation on issues related to computer hacking; flaws and vulnerability detection; cryptography. Specialisations are applied in a wide range of industries, from technology-based companies to the financial sectors.