With digital marketing and an online presence come risks. Companies rely on risk managers to identify risks and lay out a foundation to avoid these risks. That’s the job of an information assurance manager – to identify risks associated with each network component and create documentation to reduce risk factors. These applicants must have strong knowledge of network security for both hardware and software. They are the first defense for businesses that place a high value on sensitive information from their customers and internal resources.
Job Description: What Does an Information Assurance Manager Do?
Risk assessment is just one responsibility for an information assurance manager. They also work with disaster recovery plans. Risk assessment and disaster recovery plans are not the same, but they work hand-in-hand to protect a company’s digital assets. Risk assessment helps companies avoid damage from hackers or failed hardware. Disaster recovery plans are the steps needed to get the business running again after a disaster whether it’s from a flood or fire or damage from malware. Information assurance managers take on several responsibilities to find vulnerabilities and create plans to avoid and recover from them.
Information Assurance Manager Job Responsibilities and Duties
Risk assessment takes a detailed individual who audits current system components and identifies associated risks. For instance, an old router with outdated firmware could be a security risk. A server that doesn’t have the latest patches is another risk. If the network has thousands of components, it takes several hours to audit and assess risk. Disaster recovery plans also require the ability to know current backup and digital maintenance technology and the ability to move quickly. Information assurance managers also identify risks during technology projects for hardware or software upgrades.
Job responsibilities include:
- Establish guidelines and policies surrounding risk and security
- Audit current and future systems and implement the right security strategy
- Define backup policies and monitor backups for completion and viability
- Supervise IT projects and bring the right security implementation for smooth project management
- Monitor hardware and software for any suspicious behavior or traffic
- Document best practices for security and information assurance based on business and user requirements
Information Assurance Manager Soft Skills
Soft skills are necessary for any IT manager. Some applicants mistake IT positions as purely technical, but information assurance managers need a higher level of soft skills to communicate ideas. These soft skills help managers with communication in meetings, planning, documentation, emails, and other forms of communication. They must be able to convey ideas clearly even if the topic is technical.
Information Assurance Manager Degree and Education Requirements
High end IT job positions usually require a college degree. Most companies want to feel like they have a professional on their team. It’s not always necessary, however. Some companies prefer several years of experience over a college degree. Information assurance managers can increase their competitiveness in the market by having a master’s degree in either computer science or information systems. These higher education degrees are valued in some IT fields such as security.
Information Assurance Manager Work Experience
Most IT applicants in a managerial role no longer use the hard skills in day to day tasks. This doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary. These hard skills are still useful in assessing risk and auditing IT systems. Most information assurance managers provide documentation and communication for security ideas and changes. These ideas stem from previous hard skills acquired during their IT tenure.
Hard skills include:
- Understanding security standards and implementing best practices across the entire network
- Protocols such as TCP/IP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, and DNS
- Penetration and testing tools including IDS and IPS software
- Packet sniffers and analyzers such as Wireshark
- Configuring routers and firewalls for security
- Networking concepts such as switching and routing
- Architecture for security systems such as implementing the right hardware and software for full internal protection
- Using third-party security tools and testing platforms