The level of growth in the number of Maine’s postings of jobs for cybersecurity specialists ranked the 5th highest in the country between 2010 and 2014 according to the workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies. This growth rate exceeded 200%.
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Such a high rate of growth indicates the critical need for cybersecurity analysts, auditors, architects, engineers, and administrators, thus leading to high salaries for these professionals. In fact, the average salary for a cybersecurity expert exceeded that of other IT professionals by 9%.
The President of Maine’s Chamber of Commerce, Dana Connors, said that “the threat of a cyber-attack…it’s just another reality of doing business” at a cybersecurity briefing in South Portland hosted by Senator Angus King, the Maine Chamber of Commerce, and the DHS. The Senator serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee which passed the Cyber Information Sharing Act of 2015 that became law later that year.
Maine suffered from some high-profile cyberattacks according to a 2016 article by CentralMaine.com. Attacks ranged from those on police departments across Maine who had to pay hackers to not destroy their computer files to attacks that targeted consumers. Breaches at big-box stores resulted in Maine’s residents having their credit card information sold online.
HealthITSecurity described a data breach at MaineGenereal Health in which the FBI notified the healthcare agency that some of its patient data was available online. A forensic investigation determined that the records were those of patients referred to radiology by a treating physician and dated back to 2009.
In fact, Maine’s cybersecurity readiness is such an issue that it was covered on the first day of an Augusta conference attended by more than 500 first responders. The keynote speaker, Chet Lunner, a former official at the DHS, warned of the dire things that could happen during a devastating cyberattack in Maine:
- Loss of fire alarms, radio, and cellphone networks
- Hospitals could be cut off from the outside world
- Residents could lose their heat in December
Fortunately, the Maine Emergency Management Agency takes these threats very seriously and as of April 2016 was in the process of drafting a set of protocols on how to react to cyberattacks.
Salaries for Key Cybersecurity Analysts and Administrators in Portland
The Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide provides the ranges of salaries for cybersecurity analysts and administrators in Portland. Cybersecurity professionals with a master’s degree can expect to earn on the high end of these ranges:
- Data Security Analysts: $104,590 – $147,440
- Systems Security Administrators: $100,225 – $142,025
- Network Security Administrators: $98,088 – $139,650
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in Rural Southwest Maine
The demand for information security analysts is so robust that the number of job postings for them more than doubled between the first quarters of 2014-15 according to the Computing Technology Industry Association trade group.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed salary profile for information security analysts in the Southwest Maine nonmetropolitan area. Analysts with a master’s degree have the expertise to earn on the high end of the percentiles shown below: