From burly looking nightwatchman to computer based firewalls, business security comes in many shapes and sizes - and it’s absolutely essential.
Big or small, all businesses need some level of security in order to stay afloat, but with so many options and things to consider, it can be tricky knowing where to start - that’s where a consultant comes in.
If you’re security minded and think you have something to offer businesses in need of a helping hand, why not start your very own business security consultancy? Here’s a few hints to help you get started, and make profit…
Don’t Take it Lightly
Before we embark on this journey, it must first be mentioned that becoming business security consultant requires a multitude of skills and some serious training - in short, it’s not easy to get into!
Straight off the bat, you must consider if you have the aptitude for such a role and whether you’re willing to invest years of time and effort into getting the correct skillset and knowledge for the job.
To give you a clearer idea, here are the key skills required to be a business security consultant:
- A sound base knowledge of computer systems and security prevention software
- Computer literacy (being able to use fundamental software such as Outlook and Word)
- Managerial experience, or the ability to organise a number of individuals and tasks
- Attention to detail - assessing potential hazards, risks and flaws in security strategies and systems
- Educated to a degree level or equivalent higher education qualification
- Strong verbal and communication skills
If you possess the above attributes (or paperwork), then read on. If feel you are missing some of these skills but can acquire them, then do the groundwork and revisit the possibility this career path at later date.
If you think this is all a bit too much, then perhaps think about doing something else, you’ll never make it.
Know Your Onions
In the business security game, you’ll need both practical and theoretical knowledge, as well as having to know how to protect a company from potential invasions both out in the real world and online - so you need to know what you’re doing.
You’re entering a business of trust, so people will be much more likely to hire you or take you seriously, and that’s when you will actually start making a living.
There are plenty of courses available and if you learn almost all aspects of business security, you’ll be able to monopolise the market place in your region. As you start to pick up momentum, you might even be able to hire a few people and expand your empire.
Also, it’s worth drilling home that you can’t become a security consultant without hard work, study and gaining the right qualifications.
If you’ve got the skills and done a little research, now’s the time to get certified. Below are some of the useful qualifications you can get. Again, the more you acquire, the more you can take on, but it’s essentially up to you how much you want to spread your knowledge:
- RedHat’s Security-oriented Certifications
- Most SANS GIAC Certifications
- ITIL Certification
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP)
- Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
- Certified Protection Professional (CPP)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Cisco’s Security-oriented Certification
Read into what each qualification entails, see if it matches your strengths and security based interest and enrol yourself as soon as possible. Also, have a look at free online security webinar - a sure fire way to brush up on your skills.
Gain Practical Experience
While you’re studying and starting to grow in confidence, put into theory into practice wherever you can.
If you want to gain relevant employment during your studies, sign up to a recruitment agency and try to get a few temp jobs that fit around your studies - even if they’re entry level jobs, it’s a golden way of picking up essential experience by watching others in working environment, asking questions and adding extra notches to your training belt.
If you’ve already got a job and you don’t want to give it up for the time being, offer your services to friends, family or small local businesses for free - it’s a great way of gaining practical experience and getting your name out there as early as possible.
Get Insured, Be Compliant
Once you’ve done the years of hard work and study and set yourself up, the last thing you want to do is blow it. So when you are starting out on your own, here is a very important thing to remember.
As a security consultant you’ll be providing lots of important advice to clients, the type of advice that they’ll act upon - so you want to make sure that you’re covered for any unforeseen damages or accidents caused as a result of this - it sounds crazy, but it’s essential.
Before you set up your website, branding etc. and open for business, take out professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. You’d be a fool not to!
Work with Partners
As a consultant, you’ll be offering advice to many people and as a result, have the power to suggest people for the job - that’s where partners come in.
For instance, if someone needs top security guards for their new warehouse, you can refer them to your partner who recruit ‘only the best’ and in return, they’ll give you referrals, free advertising and exposure. In this game, the I’ll scratch your back...’ approach is key. So, wherever and whenever you can network, network, network - security expos and online forums will do the trick!
Becoming a business security consultant isn’t a walk in the park, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort, it can be one of the most rewarding and lucrative ventures around. So go on, get started - what are you waiting for?