Careers in IT Security will Explode in 2016: Here are the Certifications Your Candidates MUST Have

Recent security breaches from large corporations, like Target and Sony, to technology companies, like Ashley Madison, have exposed important vulnerabilities in security systems that must be addressed as businesses become more dependent on technology to collect, store and process highly sensitive consumer information.


As a result, IT security experts are some of the most in-demand professionals in technology right now, but not all InfoSec professionals are created equal. Those who are serious about advancing their career in IT security will typically earn at least one or multiple certifications in the field.


Depending on the level of expertise you are looking for, the following IT security certifications should be on your radar when making hiring decisions.


Entry Level


The CompTIA Security+ certification is considered an entry point into the growing field of IT security. Requiring at least two years of work experience in the area of network security, it is a vendor-neutral certification that validates a candidate’s solid foundation in cryptography, identity management, security and organization systems, security risk mitigation, network access control and security infrastructure, among other important skills. The Security+ certification is approved by the U.S. Department of Defense and complies with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).


Intermediate Level


The CEH certification is an intermediate-level credential focusing on areas such as footprinting and reconnaissance, scanning networks, enumeration, system hacking, Trojans, worms and viruses, sniffers, denial of service attacks, hacking web servers, wireless networks and web applications, SQL injection, cryptography, penetration testing, evading IDS, firewalls and honeypots.


Certified Ethical Hackers – also known as “white hat hackers” – are savvy IT professionals adept at finding and exploiting network vulnerabilities, except that they work for the good guys. CEHs are trained to think and act like “black hat hackers” and expose potential flaws in a security network. The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) – the body that offers the CEH certification – even quips on their website that “to beat a hacker, you need to think like a hacker.”




At the higher levels of the IT security industry are the following two certifications: the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). Both of these require a minimum five years of work experience in the field and are considered by experts as prestigious and highly sought-after certifications that validate a professional’s ability to develop, oversee and manage security systems. Between the two, the CISM is seen as the top credential in the industry, targeting IT professionals responsible for enterprise-level security management and adhering to the highest quality standards for audit, control and security of information systems.


If you are seeking the best, fully vetted security experts in IT, contact Contemporary Staffing Solutions to speak with our expert recruiters.