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How to Become a Security Compliance Manager

If you’re looking to go into security in the IT industry, then becoming a security compliance manager could be the right next step for you. As a security compliance manager, you’ll assess and monitor computer networks and systems to ensure they comply with the industry’s regulatory requirements. If you’re in this role, you should be familiar with IT systems and cybersecurity standards to be considered a strong applicant.

Security compliance managers work alongside programmers, security analysts, and web developers to regulate their activities and make sure compliance is being met. Security compliance is important for the safety and integrity of your data. Falling outside of compliance puts your company at risk of cyber attacks and breaches, along with the potential of getting fined from the government. It will be important for security compliance managers to stay up-to-date on regulations and standard changes to make their system run smoothly as possible.

This job opportunity allows security compliance managers to apply their knowledge from school and previous experience to data security and compliance for their company to maximize their IT functioning. Security compliance managers that do well in their roles will be able to take on more complex IT infrastructures and projects in the future.

Sample job description

We are seeking a Security Compliance Manager to achieve our company’s data security and compliance objectives. This work encompasses management of security controls (SOC 2), contract assessments, and enterprise best practices. This unique opportunity is perfect for individuals that want to build on their cyber security experience, are passionate about compliance, and want to make an impact in the company. The security compliance manager is responsible for directing, managing, and providing leadership for the organization’s information security and compliance program. This includes developing, implementing, and maintaining an information security program that meets or exceeds the requirements of industry regulations, standards, policies, and legal requirements.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develops, maintains, and communicates the organization’s information security policy and procedures
  • Directs and oversees the assessment, selection, implementation, and maintenance of information security tools and technologies
  • Evaluate new or updated industry regulations to ensure continued compliance
  • Enforces information security controls and investigates/responds to information security incidents
  • Participates in business continuity planning (BCP) activities when required by regulation or senior leadership
  • Prepares reports, business cases, and presentations on security risk, controls, the status of compliance efforts, etc.
  • Acts as liaison between IT and other functions (e.g., legal) regarding information security events or incidents

Education and experience

  • A bachelor’s degree in information security, computer science, or related field
  • 4-6 years of management experience
  • Certifications (preferred): CISSP, CISM, CRISC, CISA, CEH,
  • Well-versed in industry regulations and have the ability to translate complex security concepts into layman’s terms

Required skills and qualifications

  • Must be able to effectively communicate with all levels of management
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to influence others
  • Detail-oriented with the ability to see the “big picture”
  • Thorough knowledge of information security and compliance concepts
  • Working knowledge of industry-leading information security tools and technologies
  • Possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple priorities simultaneously

Preferred qualifications

  • In-depth knowledge of at least one major regulatory framework (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, FFIEC)
  • Certifications in information security or compliance (CISSP, CISM, CRISC, CISA, CEH)
  • Experience leading security teams for financial, retail, healthcare, small business, education, etc.
  • Interest in emerging technologies related to information security and compliance

Typical work environment

The security compliance manager’s job is not for the faint of heart. It requires someone who is proactive, knowledgeable in information security, and able to communicate with all levels of an organization. The work is typically done in an office setting but may require some travel to other locations.

The typical work environment encompasses management of security controls (SOC 2, ISO 27001, etc.), communication of risks and compliance efforts to upper management, development of information security policies and procedures, assessment of new/updated regulations to ensure continued compliance with the organization’s information security program. The position also requires communication between IT and other departments (i.e., legal) regarding incidents or events that may have occurred within the organization.

Typical hours

The security compliance manager typically works a standard 40-hour workweek. However, there may be times when additional hours are required to meet deadlines or respond to incidents.

Available certifications

Certifications that may be beneficial for this position include:

  • CISSP. Earning the CISSP proves you have what it takes to effectively design, implement and manage a best-in-class cybersecurity program. With a CISSP, you validate your expertise and become an (ISC)² member, unlocking a broad array of exclusive resources, educational tools, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities.
  • CISM. The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification indicates expertise in information security governance, program development and management, incident management and risk management. Take your career out of the technical realm to management.
  • CRISC. ISACA’s Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification is ideal for mid-career IT/IS audit, risk and security professionals. It is the only credential focused on enterprise IT risk management.
  • CISA. If you are an entry-level to mid-career professional, CISA can showcase your expertise and assert your ability to apply a risk-based approach to planning, executing, and reporting on audit engagements. Gain instant credibility in your interactions with internal stakeholders, regulators, external auditors, and customers.

Career path

Once you become a security compliance manager, there is no set career path in place to advance in your organization. You typically see an increase in responsibility and management of more compliance programs over time.

It is important to possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills as well as the ability to work independently with little supervision. With time, the security compliance manager may be promoted to Director or Associate Director of information security and compliance within an organization. Larger organizations may require additional certification (i.e., CISA) to move into a more senior role in information security and compliance.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1212

2020 Employment141,200
Projected Employment in 2030188,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 33% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift47,100 increase

Demand for information security professionals is on the rise as organizations strive to protect their networks and data from cyberattacks. As more businesses adopt cloud-based services and mobile devices, the demand for information security professionals will continue to grow.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Security Compliance Managers are expected to experience high job growth (33%) through 2030.

This is due in part to the increasing demand of companies to comply with standards and regulations related to data security and mitigating risk. Professionals can look to different certifications as a means to get ahead in this field.