Professional development

Average chief security officer salary [updated 2021]

January 4, 2021 by Infosec

The role of a chief security officer is one that combines management with a deep understanding of information technology and data protection. A chief security officer usually has years of experience in the field, and he can manage standards that dictate how data is secured, transformed, stored, and transferred. All of these skills translate into good compensation and long-term job opportunities.

Prerequisite: what do I need for a security officer position?

The chief security officer oversees all of the standards for hardware, data and overall company information. Hackers continuously try to penetrate company systems, so the chief security officer must be knowledgeable in protecting the internal corporate systems as well as any cloud services.  Most CSOs have some type of management experience, because they have several managers from different departments who report to the CSO.

If you have the prerequisites and feel like you need a leg up on the competition, you should consider earning the CISSP certification. It’s a golobaly recognized certification and is a great way to set yourself apart. Fill out the form below for a course syllabus and pricing information on our CISSP training options:

What does a chief security officer do?

If you’ve ever worked in IT, you know that each IT department has its own rules and standards for the way changes are made to the system. These changes and standards are created (usually in collaboration with others) by the CSO who signs off on any standards and manages any risk management that comes along with security.

The CSO usually reports to the CEO or the CIO. It depends on how the company is structured, but the CSO has high visibility when it comes to management company data.

The CSO also must be up-to-date with knowledge in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is one of the regulations used to control and protect the way companies use customer data.

How much does a chief security officer make?

Chief Security Officers are on a much higher pay scale than most other positions. The reason is for the responsibilities and management that the CSO must handle. Of  course, the amount of money you make depends on the area in which you live. Take a look at the graph below to get a good idea of how much earning potential is out there for a CSO.

CSO Salary

A chief information security officer (very similar to a CSO) makes about $120,000 each year, and this is just to start. You can potentially make over $200,000 each year in a long-term CSO role.  A chief information officer, which is usually used in exchange with CSO titles, makes a starting salary of about $150,000 each year. A chief technology officer makes about $130,000 each year. All of these positions are similar, but the CSO is more concerned with security rather than the overall system and how it performs. Of course, performance is always an issue, but the CSO is mainly security and data protection.

As you can see, a chief security officer makes a large salary but it takes years of experience to get to the CSO level.

Posted: January 4, 2021
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