What is an IT Security Consultant?

Along with our rapid advancement in technology comes the increased risk of hacking attacks, spamming, and black hat practices. The role of the cybersecurity or IT security consultant is very crucial to every organization, whether government or private, for helping to prevent these security threats.

Some IT security consultants are former hackers who have decided to enter the profession after seeing firsthand how vulnerable companies are to security threats.

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What does an IT Security Consultant do?

Cyber attacks cause huge losses of time and money each year, whether they are aimed at government databases, financial institution networks, or personal computers.

Millions of dollars can be lost in a matter of minutes when hackers infiltrate credit card firms’ networks. Sensitive military information can become extremely dangerous when in the wrong hands. Even the smallest of businesses need to protect their brands by keeping their customers’ data secure.

Three IT security consultants conversing in the office.

IT security consultants assess software, computer systems, and networks for vulnerabilities, then design and implement the best security solutions for an organization’s needs. They play the role of both the attacker and the victim and are asked to locate and potentially exploit vulnerabilities.

Through their expertise and knowledge of databases, networks, hardware, firewalls and encryption, IT security consultants assess the existing infrastructures and systems for weaknesses, and then develop and put in place security solutions to prevent unauthorized access, data modification, or data loss. They prevent the theft of financial and personal information, keep computer systems running smoothly, and block hackers from accessing and divulging proprietary data.

IT security consultants make recommendations for hardware and software upgrades. They perform technical tests like AV or penetration tests and malware analysis, and evaluate all the points in the technology environment where information is at risk.

On new projects, IT security consultants give recommendations based on security best practices, and advise on the best way to ensure security throughout the software development life cycle. When a client wants to choose the best security solution for their organization, IT security consultants will come in and advise them on anything from an antivirus to firewalls, cryptography, SIEM etc. They also recommend practical security fixes and enhancements that make sense for each individual client.

Are you suited to be an IT security consultant?

IT security consultants have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

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What is the workplace of an IT Security Consultant like?

Security consultants can work:

  • Within a company's own security department
  • As part a of a security agency, helping to secure the assets of small to medium sized businesses
  • As self-employed contractors and consultants

IT Security Consultants are also known as:
Cyber Security Consultant Independent Security Consultant Security Consultant Computer Security Consultant Information Security Consultant Cybersecurity Consultant Network Security Consultant