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Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects

Information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects all use information technology (IT) to advance their organizationís goals. Security analysts ensure a firmís information stays safe from cyberattacks. Web developers create websites to help firms have a public face. Computer network architects create the internal networks all workers within organizations use. Show Details

Duties

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increase.

Information security analysts typically do the following:

  • Research the latest information technology security trends
  • Monitor their organizationís networks for security breaches and investigate a violation when one occurs
  • Help plan and carry out an organizationís way of handling security
  • Develop security standards and best practices for their organization
  • Install and use software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to protect sensitive information
  • Recommend security enhancements to management or senior IT staff
  • Help computer users when they need to install or learn about new security products and procedures

Information security analysts must continually adapt to stay a step ahead of cyberattackers. They must stay up to date on the latest methods attackers are using to infiltrate computer systems and on IT security. Analysts need to research new security technology to decide what will most effectively protect their organization. This may involve attending cybersecurity conferences to hear firsthand accounts of other professionals who have experienced new types of attacks.

IT security analysts create their organizationís disaster recovery plan, a procedure that IT employees follow in case of emergency. The plan lets an organizationís IT department continue functioning. It includes preventative measures such as regularly copying and transferring data to an offsite location. It also involves plans to restore proper IT functioning after a disaster. Analysts continually test the steps in their recovery plans.

Because information security is important, analysts usually report directly to upper management. Many information security analysts work with an organizationís Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to design security or disaster recovery systems. For more information on chief technology officers, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Computer network architects, or network engineers, design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets. These networks range from a small connection between two offices to a multinational series of globally distributed communications systems. Network architects must have thorough knowledge of an organizationís business plan to design a network that can help the organization achieve its goals.

Computer network architects typically do the following:

  • Create a plan and layout for a data communication network
  • Present the plan to management and explain why it is in the organizationís best interest to pursue it
  • Decide what hardware, such as routers or adaptors, and software, such as network drivers, will be needed to support the network
  • Determine how cables will be laid out in the building and where other hardware will go
  • Research new technology to determine what would best support their organization in the future
  • Consider information security when designing a network

Architects often work with their organizationís Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to predict the highest need for new networks. They spend most of their time planning these new networks. Some network architects work in the field, supervising engineers and workers who build the networks an architect has designed. Network architects are often experienced staff and have 5 to 10 years of experience working in network administration or with other IT systems.

Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the siteís technical aspects, such as performance and capacity, which are measures of a websiteís speed and how much traffic the site can handle. They also may create content for the site.

Web developers typically do the following:

  • Meet with their clients or management to discuss the needs of the website and the expected needs of the websiteís audience and plan how it should look
  • Create and debug applications for a website
  • Write code for the site, using programming languages such as HTML or XML
  • Work with other team members to determine what information the site will contain
  • Work with graphics and other designers to determine the websiteís layout
  • Integrate graphics, audio, and video into the website
  • Monitor website traffic

When creating a website, developers have to make their clientís vision a reality. They work with clients to determine what sites should be used for, including ecommerce, news, or gaming. The developer has to decide which applications and designs will fit the site best.

The following are some types of web developers:

Web architects or programmers are responsible for the overall technical construction of the website. They create the basic framework of the site and ensure that it works as expected. Web architects also establish procedures for allowing others to add new pages to the website and meet with management to discuss major changes to the site.

Web designers are responsible for how a website looks. They create the siteís layout and integrate graphics; applications, such as a retail checkout tool; and other content into the site. They also write web-design programs in a variety of computer languages, such as HTML or JavaScript.

Webmasters maintain websites and keep them updated. They ensure that websites operate correctly and test for errors such as broken links. Many webmasters respond to user comments as well.

Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and inspect property against fire, theft, vandalism, terrorism, and illegal activity. They monitor people and buildings in an effort to prevent crime. Show Details

Duties

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers typically do the following:

  • Protect and enforce laws on an employerís property
  • Monitor alarms and closed-circuit TV cameras
  • Control access for employees, visitors, and outside contractors
  • Conduct security checks over a specified area
  • Write comprehensive reports outlining what they observed while on patrol
  • Interview witnesses for later court testimony
  • Detain criminal violators

Guards must remain alert, looking for anything out of the ordinary throughout their shift. In an emergency, guards may call for assistance from police, fire, or ambulance services. Some security guards may be armed.

A security guardís job responsibilities vary from one employer to another. In retail stores, guards protect people, records, merchandise, money, and equipment. They may work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers or employees, detain shoplifting suspects until the police arrive, or patrol parking lots.

In office buildings, banks, hotels, and hospitals, guards maintain order and protect the organizationís customers, staff, and property. Guards who work in museums or art galleries protect paintings and exhibits by watching people and inspecting packages entering and leaving the building. In factories, government buildings, and military bases, security guards protect information and products and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises.

Guards working at universities, in parks, and at sports stadiums do crowd control, supervise parking and seating, and direct traffic. Security guards stationed at the entrance to bars and nightclubs keep under-age people from entering, collect cover charges at the door, and maintain order among customers.

Guards who work as transportation security screeners protect people, transportation equipment, and freight at airports, train stations, and other transportation facilities.

The following are examples of types of security guards and gaming surveillance officers:

Security guards, also called security officers, protect property, enforce laws on the property, deter criminal activity, and deal with other problems. Some guards are assigned a stationary position from which they may monitor alarms or surveillance cameras. Other guards may be assigned a patrol area where they conduct security checks.

Transportation security screeners, many of whom are Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, work at air, sea, and rail terminals and other transportation facilities, protecting people, freight, property, and equipment. They use metal detectors, x-ray machines, and other equipment to screen passengers and visitors for weapons and explosives, ensure that nothing is stolen while a vehicle is being loaded or unloaded, and watch for fires and criminals. Some officers work with dogs, which alert them to the presence of dangerous materials, such as bombs.

Armored car guards protect money and valuables during transit. They pick up money or other valuables from businesses and transport them to another location. These guards usually wear bulletproof vests and carry firearms, because transporting money between the truck and the business can be extremely hazardous.

Gaming surveillance officers, also known as surveillance agents and gaming investigators, act as security agents for casino employees, managers, and patrons. Using audio and video equipment in an observation room, they watch casino operations for irregular activities, such as cheating or theft, and monitor compliance with rules, regulations, and laws. They maintain and organize recordings from security cameras, which are sometimes used as evidence in police investigations. In addition, surveillance agents occasionally leave the observation room and walk the casino floor.

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