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Security Professional? Get Paid


By Adam Ross August 4, 2010

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The computer security profession is relatively new, and with many nuances, skills, and certifications out there, it's not always easy to find good comparisons for what a particular set of skills is worth. That is, if you are a security professional with certain skills and certifications, it's not likely you have many people with whom you can compare your salary. So, you just might be getting underpaid. Think of trying to buy a house in a neighborhood with no comparable properties. Do you think you would get the best price? Probably not.

My employer SANS decided to do something about this and years ago started surveying security professionals' salaries. This year we've upped the ante a bit and included questions about skill sets that push a security professional above and beyond his or her peers. Our hope is this will become a valuable tool security professionals can take to their bosses to have productive conversations about their salaries. But first we need people to participate.

If you're a security professional and want to see how your salary stacks up against others who do similar work, please take a few minutes to complete the survey. The median response time is 7 minutes, so it won't take you long. You get the results if you participate. You can find it here.

Adam Ross is managing editor at the SANS Institute and wrote, edited, and Web produced for The Washington Post's opinions and politics sections, online and in print. You can reach him at


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