A Security Consultant works as an advisor and supervisor for all security measures necessary to effectively protect a company or client’s assets. Security Consultants use their knowledge and expertise to assess possible security threats and breaches in order to prevent them and create contingency protocols and plans for when violations occur.
Security Consultants can work as part of the staff of a company, usually as Head of Security or other managing positions, or they can work as part of a Security Agency providing help and expertise to third parties. Security Consulting Agencies usually work with medium or small businesses and with individuals looking to protect their personal assets.
The work field of a Security Consultant covers a wide range of Security related jobs, including the protection of property, financial assets, valuable objects, people, and information. Security Consultants coordinate an entire team of security specialists (e.g. Cyber Security Specialists, Bodyguards, and Security Guards) to provide a wide range of protection and defensive measures.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Security Consultants are required to complete.
- Analyzing the client’s assets and identifying which security measures are needed:
- Interviewing clients to identify possible security threats;
- establishing the necessary security parameters; and
- deciding on the best security measures available.
- Establishing security protocols and policies, as well as designing security plans to protect the client’s assets:
- Creating a set of rules and security standards;
- designing policies to protect the client’s interests; and
- implementing security measures, providing technical supervision and advice as required.
- Meeting with clients:
- Explaining security protocols and measures to clients, as well as all related costs (e.g. staff, equipment, and maintenance); and
- checking with clients for other possible security issues.
- Running vulnerability tests:
- Performing risk assessment tests;
- analyzing possible breaches;
- designing countermeasure plans so as to eliminate risks as much as possible; and
- writing and presenting reports based on findings.
- Researching the latest security standards:
- Keeping up-to-date with the latest security systems, tools, and technology.
- Coordinating a team of security specialists:
- Hiring and training new members of the team;
- assigning tasks to each member of the team;
- creating a schedule of work shifts to provide 24-hour protection when needed;
- coordinating and supervising all team activities; and
- assessing emergency situations and coordinating an appropriate response.
- Examining client’s assets to determine level of security needed.
- Designing security protocols, plans, and systems.
- Implementing security measures and writing security policies for clients.
- Coordinating and briefing with security team, assigning tasks accordingly.
- Meeting with clients to explain security measures and to provide technical advice on security systems.
- Running security tests and analyzing and reporting the obtained results.
The average Security Consultant salary is $73,159 per year or $38 per hour. This is around 2.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $51,000 while most experienced workers make up to $102,000. These results are based on 33 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Highly analytical:
- Possessing strong observational skills, being able to assess different situations and to identify possible threats.
- Excellent decision-making and stress management skills:
- Assessing chaotic and dangerous situations;
- sticking to security measures and contingency plans; and
- staying calm during stressful situations.
- Outstanding computer and IT skills:
- Being familiarized with computer security systems;
- having an understanding of network safety protocols; and
- being able to run, configure, monitor, and maintain security programs.
- High levels of logic and objectivity:
- Having a logical and analytical approach to problem-solving; and
- Outstanding organizational and time management skills:
- Being able to work with complex systems and equipment;
- completing tasks in a timely manner;
- meeting deadlines and goals;
- being detail-oriented; and
- being able to work on several tasks at the same time.
- Good communication skills:
- Communicating with clients; and
- explaining security protocols, measures, and systems to clients in a polite and clear manner, using non-technical language.
- Excellent teamwork skills:
- Possessing natural leadership skills;
- coordinating team members; and
- working as a unit.
- Outstanding levels of honesty, integrity, and objectivity:
- Being highly objective when running tests and analyzing weaknesses;
- being able to work with valuable assets and important people, as well as to handle sensitive or private information.
The educational requirements for aspirants looking to get into the Security Consulting line of work is usually a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement, Criminal Science, Computer Science, or Security. Entry-level jobs are available in agencies, but rarely within a company’s Security department, since the latter usually prefers hiring someone with a minimum of 3 years of experience. Previous experience in Law Enforcement and Military affairs can improve chances of finding a job in this area. Further studies and certifications (e.g. Master’s Degree in Criminology, Law Enforcement, and Security) can improve a Security Consultant’s chances to advance in their careers and apply for higher ranking jobs.
In Canada, all Security-related activity is sanctioned and regulated by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS). The Ministry certifies applicants and issues licences that allow Security Specialists to work. The certification and licensing process is ran by the Ministry through specialized schools and consists of various courses and a final examination.
In most cases, Security Consultants are required to have a wide range of experience and knowledge so as to be proficient in all three branches of Security, as opposed to Security Consultants looking to work for an agency, who will instead specialize in one area of Security. Nevertheless, the latter will inevitably learn from all the aspects covered by the agency.
The standard working hours for a Security Consultant are the usual 9-to-5 office hours, on a Monday through Friday basis. However, extra hours are not uncommon for Security Consultants, since some agencies offer 24-hour protection services to their clients and must always have someone on call. There is also some amount of travelling involved in working as a Security Consultant, as agency members have to visit their client’s premises to determine the level of security necessary and set up security systems and equipment.