The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently added the information security analyst job title to its monthly unemployment survey, which is expected to help identify and track at least one portion of the cybersecurity profession.
The federal government has struggled to ascertain what cybersecurity job titles should be and exact hiring projections due to the relative newness of the field. Yet with the new designation, the BLS found that 37,000 people in the U.S consider themselves information security analysts and they all have jobs.
The government defines information security analysts as those who “plan, implement, upgrade or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information.” Information security analysts may “ensure appropriate security controls are in place that will safeguard digital files and vital electronic infrastructure as well as respond to computer security breaches and viruses.”
An estimated 150,000 people work in IT security for government agencies said Alan Paller, research director at the SANS Institute, an IT security research and education organization. "Because there are more than 15 separate roles in the security space, the numbers for the term information security analysts are low but possible," Paller said. "Most people who do security tasks – especially technical tasks – consider themselves security engineers or systems engineers or auditors or assessors, or technical support specialist or similar titles included elsewhere. So these are just the people who have the policy and planning roles."
While 37,000 is a fraction of the actual amount of people that work in IT security, the report reveals one segment of the IT security profession that is currently in demand, with nearly everyone in the field employed.
The latest BLS data confirms what many already knew about cybersecurity, said Karen Evans, national director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge, which sponsors programs to convince students to consider IT security careers. "It will also help to measure progress and results of efforts such as the cyber competitions as to which ones are affective in attracting different demographic populations into this growing profession," she said.