The number of job postings for cybersecurity experts such as architects, auditors, engineers, analysts, and administrators in South Dakota nearly doubled between 2010 and 2014 based on an analysis by the workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies.
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Predictions suggest that the deficit of trained cybersecurity experts in the US will reach the millions in the next few years according to Jeremy Epstein, Director of the NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program, who spoke at a 2015 cybersecurity hearing in South Dakota that was covered by Federal Computer Weekly. With demand at record levels, the salaries of cybersecurity experts exceed those of other IT analysts by 9% according to Burning Glass Technologies.
Senator John Thune hosted the hearing. As chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Senator is an expert on critical issues relating to cybersecurity. The Washington Times reported how Thune called cyberattacks a “very serious national security consideration.”
In fact, the federal government is ramping up its cybersecurity efforts using the National Guard. The government announced that 7 new Army Cyber Protection Teams will be activated across a number of states including South Dakota. Airforce-Technology.com described how each Cyber Operations Squadron will employ 70 people to protect the country’s critical infrastructure against increasing numbers of cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity expert John Strand described to the World Economic Forum how he practices “active defence” out of his base in the Black Hills. The large numbers of high-profile cyberattacks from 2015 brought him a great deal of business. Strand uses tactics to lure hackers into traps or trace their attacks back to the origin.
Since most cyber breaches come about due to human error, experts view educating businesspeople and the public as a critical necessity. Both South Dakota’s state government and its businesses organized conferences to relay the critical importance of cybersecurity to businesses and individuals in the state.
The South Dakota Division of Banking hosted a cybersecurity training event in Madison that was co-hosted by banking organizations in the state and focused on critical information security for financial institutions. The nonprofit South Dakota World Affairs Council hosted a symposium on cybersecurity in Brookings, while the business broadband service provider SDN Communications held a cybersecurity conference in Sioux Falls.
Salaries for Cybersecurity Experts in South Dakota
The employment site Indeed.com provides the average salary for key cybersecurity positions based on the aggregation of salaries posted over the previous year. The average salaries for a number of such positions in South Dakota in the year preceding July 10, 2016 is shown below:
- Chief Information Officer: $149,000
- Chief Information Security Officer: $121,000
- Info Systems Security Officer: $103,000
- Global Cyber Security: $84,000
- Information Assurance Specialist Senior: $84,000
- Cyber Security Engineer Specialist: $71,000
- Cyber Security Specialist: $68,000
- Chief Information Officer: $117,000
- Chief Information Security Officer: $95,000
- Global Cyber Security: $81,000
- Information Assurance Specialist Senior: $81,000
- Info Systems Security Officer: $80,000
- Cyber Security Engineer Specialist: $69,000
- Cyber Security Specialist: $65,000
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Rural East South Dakota
The demand for information security analysts rapidly increased between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015 according to the Computing Technology Industry Association trade group. Organizations hired more than twice as many information security analysts in this period of 2015 compared to that of 2014.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an extensive analysis of the salaries for information security analysts in South Dakota’s major cities and the nonmetropolitan part of East South Dakota. Information security analysts with a master’s degree can expect to earn in the highest percentile shown below: