Security manager careers

What is security management?

Have you ever considered working in security management, what duties are associated with this field or how much you can earn as a professional? Here is a quick overview of the security manager career path and its promising job outlook. 

Security managers work in an organization’s information security team and are sometimes called cybersecurity managers. Their primary role is to create, direct and monitor security policies and ensure the reliability of IT projects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for security managers are projected to grow 15 percent between 2022 and 2032, much faster than the average.

Security manager careers

What does a security manager do?

Information security managers are responsible for accessing security plans for potential vulnerabilities, overseeing daily security tool configuration and technology changes, and managing a diverse team of information security experts. Security managers may also prepare cost estimates to help the information security department operate within budgetary guidelines.  

Security manager job roles

The scope of a security manager’s responsibilities may vary depending on the company's size, industry and cybersecurity maturity. Some common security manager job titles are listed below.

Related jobs titles 

  • Chief security officer (CSO) 
  • Chief information security officer (CISO)
  • VP of cybersecurity
  • Head of cybersecurity
  • Information security director 
  • Information technology manager  

NICE work roles: 

  • Authorizing official 
  • Information systems security manager 
  • Program manager
  • IT project manager
  • Privacy officer/compliance manager 

Security manager job description 

A security manager works as an employee or a consultant for an organization. Common roles and responsibilities include creating and managing security strategies, overseeing internal and external information security audits, and providing security awareness training to company personnel. 

As Infosec Skills author Cicero Chimbanda explains, a security manager can be expected to: 

  • Address tickets based on the urgency of security-related tasks  
  • Plan, schedule and align security strategy with the business strategy
  • Build relationships with stakeholders to work on KPIs, reporting, etc.
  • Plan security programs around projects and hold people accountable 

Although a cybersecurity manager typically works on-premise, a consultant role may involve commuting to clients’ offices to implement different projects. 


Security manager FAQs

Security management is one of the critical fields within information security. A range of tasks need to be performed by a security manager and they need a broad understanding of both technical and business needs, so this is typically a more mid- or -senior-level role in someone's career.

What skills should a security manager have?

A security manager should have a combination of hard and soft skills to perform their duties effectively. Although the broad security manager skills may vary depending on the individual’s position and experience, below are a few common skills that may help you be successful in a role.

Soft skills 

  • Problem solving 
  • Detail oriented 
  • Creativity 
  • Communication  
  • Analytical thinking 

Hard skills 

  • Linux, UNIX, Cisco and Python 
  • Information assurance
  • Virtualization/VMware
  • Security architecture understanding and development
  • HIPAA, PCI, GLBA, and NIST compliance 

Aspiring security managers can acquire these skills via cybersecurity education and security manager training. 

What education does a security manager need to have?

What’s the worth of a security manager degree? Although many companies are shifting away from degree-based evaluation, a bachelor’s degree in information security, computer science or a related field may still be necessary. 

A number of certifications are also available to help validate your skills an on the job experience. Two popular options are the ISACA CISM or the ISC2 CISSP. 

What tools and frameworks does a security manager need to know?

A security manager needs to know certain frameworks to ensure their organization’s security is aligned with their business strategy. Some examples include: 

  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework 
  • NIST 800-30 
  • NIST 800-37 
  • NIST 800-53 
  • NIST 800-171 
  • ISO/IEC 27001 
  • CMMC (Federal) 

In addition, security managers should be familiar with common tools used for incident response, vulnerability management and managing technology infrastructure. 

How long does it take to become a security manager?

It usually takes 5-9 years for an aspiring security manager to fulfill the requirements for entering the field. That aligns with the common job experience of 5+ years for certifications like CISM and CISSP.  

How much does a security manager make?

Various salary sites list U.S. averages ranging from $120,000 to $150,000. Pay can vary significantly depending on the title, experience, industry, job location and other factors. For example, the CISO of a large enterprise will likely earn significantly more than a security manager leading a small team at a mid-sized company.

Where to apply for security manager jobs?

 You can apply for security manager jobs on the following sites: LinkedIn, Monster,  Indeed, and Glassdoor. 

Cybersecurity-oriented job boards like ClearedJobs and are also good places to find potential vacancies. 

Additionally, you can join cybersecurity groups like ISSA or ISACA and participate in popular discussion boards to network and find more cybersecurity management jobs. 

How to become a security manager

Do you already have experience in IT, cybersecurity or project management, and you're wondering how to become a cybersecurity manager? Or maybe you're early in your career and wondering what first steps to take to get on the security manager career path? The resources below can help.

Finding your cybersecurity career path

Once you enter cybersecurity, Infosec Skills author Cicero Chimbanda advises choosing a career track. Aspiring security managers can either focus on the depth or the breath track. 

The depth track is where you become a subject matter expert specializing in certain technical areas, such as incident response. The breath track, in contrast, involves having a solid knowledge of each component of security management. The key is then being the person that can connect the dots between all those components, says Chimbanda. 

Security manager requirements 

Experience, education and certifications are crucial for landing a security manager job or moving into a senior role. Below are a few popular ones to consider for becoming a certified cybersecurity manager

  • ISC2 CISSP is the most listed certification in U.S. cybersecurity job openings. It validates a broad range of cybersecurity skills and on-the-job experience.
  • ISACA CISM is similar to the CISSP in terms of skills and experience; however, it focuses a bit more on the manager side and is slightly less technical.
  • IAPP CIPM, which stands for Certified Information Privacy Manager, is a great option for those looking to build their skillsets around privacy and compliance, as well as security management.
  • PMI PMP doesn't directly relate to cybersecurity concepts, but it provides skills that can be useful as you manage large teams and projects.


Cybersecurity Interview Tips ebook Image

Security manager interview questions 

Prospective employers can schedule an interview any time after you’ve applied to security manager jobs. So you’ll want to prepare for the questions they might ask in advance.  

Common security manager interview questions include: 

  • Explain security management in your own words.
  • What do you understand about risk, threats and vulnerabilities in a network?
  • Give an example of when you had to develop and implement cybersecurity policies at your job.
  • How will you prevent an SQL injection attack?
  • How often should you perform patch management? 

Read our cybersecurity manager interview Q&A article for the answers. For even more guidance, download our ebook: Cybersecurity interview tips: How to stand out, get hired and advance your career. 

Security manager courses

Live cybersecurity manager certification boot camps and on-demand cybersecurity management courses provide expert, guided instruction to build your knowledge and skills. A few popular options are listed below:

Free & self-study security management resources

Transitioning from your existing role to cybersecurity management can seem daunting, but don’t let the fear hold you back. It can be an exciting, rewarding and lucrative career with many potential pathways.