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Five Steps to Climbing the IT Security Ladder

The phrase “climbing the IT security ladder” may seem overused.  Most of the tips you find to climbing said ladder, if they were put in practice in real life with a real ladder, would involve jumping over rungs, sliding down the side, and probably flipping it over and dumping yourself off the ladder a few times.  However, Philip Lieberman has compiled 5 steps that are actually useful when dealing with IT security:

  • There’s no I in team-but there should be
  • Step up to the plate
  • Take the bull by the horns
  • Think, and act, strategically
  • It’s not what you do; it’s the way that you do it

Lieberman notes that getting ahead in the world of IT security means getting a job and also maintaining it.  You need to have the competitive edge that others do not.  This means more than maintaining a decent job performance.  You must get your head in the game if you hope to succeed.

The first step, according to Lieberman, is to realize that there is no I in team, but their probably should be.  Being timid about your involvement in IT security will not get you anywhere.  Lieberman suggests making yourself more well-known:

Next time you speak at an external seminar, tell people.  Build your profile outside of the organization by using LinkedIn and other social media tools.  Present at the next sales conference of the dangers or [sic]remote working and how to protect yourself, host regular security summits about innovative introductions, perhaps host a ‘latest scam’ column in the corporate newsletter.  Whatever it is, make sure you are seen to be proactive at keeping the organisation secure.

After you establish yourself as a hard-working individual, Lieberman’s next step is for you to step up to the plate.  You want to keep your company out of the news because, as recent trends have shown, companies are very rarely in the news for doing something right.  It is your job as someone in IT security to make sure the security you have in place is comprehensive.  Also, you must share threats as they become apparent so everyone in your organization will be an additional security feature.   You must take the bull by the horns, as Lieberman suggests, and make sure that your company is dealing with the security risks instead of simply being aware of them.

Since you are likely to be working around a budget and other constraints, it is important that you think, and act, strategically.  If you are able to show that IT security is an important asset to your company, you are less likely to have to fight for the funds to support it.  Finally, Lieberman wants you to remember that it’s not what you do; it’s the way that you do it.  This means that integrity is the most important trait you can display.  You are more likely to prosper in an organization if you are well liked and respected for the work that you do.  If you follow these five tips that Lieberman offers, you are certain to climb the ladder instead of falling off of it.


About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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