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Big differences in CSOs' salaries

CSOs in financial services companies are paid up to four times more than those in telecom, utilities and manufacturing firms.

The salaries of chief security officers (CSOs) vary hugely according to research by Giga Information Group. Those working in financial services earn significantly more —up to $400,000 annually plus bonuses —than their counterparts in telecom, utilities and manufacturing sectors.

Steve Hunt, vice president of Giga Information Group, says that because of the “newness of the position, there is still little uniformity around how the CSO is compensated.” CSOs in financial services reporting to the CIO make between $125,000 and $270,000, but those who report to business executives, for example a CFO of a COO, may earn up to $400,000, plus a 15% to 25% bonus.

In the telecom, utilities and manufacturing sectors, CSOs commonly report to an executive two levels below the CIO and earn about $70,000 to $90,000 per year, plus a 15% bonus. CSOs in the science-business sector earn as much as $100,000 but can expect somewhat smaller bonuses, at 10% to 15%.

“The CSO is a fairly new role in corporations and agencies, but in its brief history has proven to increase operational efficiency and security effectiveness by coordinating security efforts across the organization, managing outsourcing contracts and mapping security measures to real business risks,” said Hunt.

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