Security eMagazines

MAY 2022

By Madeline Lauver, Assistant Editor

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What Are National Security Professionals Getting Paid?

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A number of security professionals work in the national security field, aiming to secure the United States and its interests both in-country and abroad.

From contractors to special agents, security leaders hold roles in various sectors. According to the 2022 Security Clearance Compensation Report from ClearanceJobs, security professionals in certain sectors earn higher wages than others. The report identified the top earning job categories within national security:

  1. Information Technology (IT) — Software ($129,756 average annual salary)
  2. Engineering — Systems ($129,351)
  3. Management ($123,773)
  4. IT — Data Science ($119,759)
  5. Business — Sales ($119,221)

The top salaries are in IT and business environments, according to the report. Security management also ranked within the top five job categories for earnings. The lowest average national security earners by sector are business support staff, who make an average annual salary of $74,383.

The report ranked the 50 states and Washington, D.C., by their average national security salaries. Respondents in Massachusetts were the highest earners on average, reporting an annual salary of $113,197. The lowest ranked state was Kentucky, with average annual national security earnings of $80,882.

In addition, employees of federal agencies reported different average salaries. The report ranked agencies and departments based on their employees’ average annual earnings:

  1. Central Intelligence Agency ($134,013)
  2. National Security Agency ($114,123)
  3. Department of Energy ($107,328)
  4. Department of Homeland Security ($104,560)
  5. Department of State ($104,394)
  6. Department of Justice ($103,775)
  7. Department of Defense ($101,138)

For more security salary data, download the report.


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U.S. National Intelligence Report Chronicles Transnational Security Threats

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The U.S. Office of the National Intelligence Director has released the 2022 Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community, drawing from the findings of national and international intelligence agencies.

The report outlined top global threats in 2022, including the risks posed to the U.S. by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. In addition to in-depth analyses of foreign developments, the report discusses COVID-19 and health security, as well as the effects of climate change in the United States.

Intelligence officials highlighted additional transnational concerns facing the global stage in the report, naming many as top priorities to U.S. national interest. Among the transnational threats was technology innovation, which has driven economic development around the world. The report noted the disruptive nature of new technology, saying, “As with any disruption, some will thrive whereas others will struggle, potentially facing increasing inequalities and imbalances.”

The threats posed by new technology, according to the report, include compromising military communications, the wide availability of low-cost cyber tools and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and the growing use of long range and high accuracy military-grade weapons.

Transnational organized crime also represents a threat to national security, highlights the report. Human trafficking, illicit drugs, financial crime and cybercrime are the top risks involved with international crime. From mitigating ransomware to preventing human trafficking, security leaders can target these top transnational threats as they develop enterprise security plans.

Among the other transnational threats outlined by the report were migration and global terrorism. Migration, as a result of transnational conflict, has risen to the forefront of international conversation since the report was released, with the evacuations caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

For more insights, download the intelligence report here.

Climate change, cybersecurity and financial instability are among the top emerging risks for security leaders to watch, according to a survey of risk managers.

The 15th Annual Survey of Emerging Risks from the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Institute asked 153 risk managers to rank their high-priority risks in the current threat landscape.

In 2021, risk managers ranked the following risks as the top emerging risks to watch in the coming years:

  1. Climate change
  2. Cyber/networks
  3. Pandemics/infectious diseases
  4. Disruptive technology
  5. Financial volatility

The top five emerging risks highlighted by the report remained identical to the 2020 risk predictions. However, when asked to rank their top current concern, risk managers named pandemics and infectious diseases as their highest priority current risk in 2021.

The report also analyzed risk trends in terms of their categories, including economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological risks. Risk managers reported a slight increase in economic risk in 2021, although the category had steadily decreased since 2008.

The report noted an increase in environmental risk as well, which has been increasing since a low point in 2011. According to the report, environmental risk includes climate change, loss of freshwater services and natural catastrophes, such as tropical storms, earthquakes and severe weather. One-fifth of respondents ranked environmental risks within their top five emerging risks.

In 2021, the highest-ranking risk category for emerging threats was geopolitical risk, which includes terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, wars, failed/failing states, transnational crime, shifts in globalization and regional instability. Twenty-three percent of respondents included some aspect of geopolitical risk in their top five emerging risk ranking.

Learn more about risk trends by downloading the report.

Security Professionals Examine Top Emerging Risks

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