Heightened by the frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks, the number of job opportunities in the field of information security (InfoSec), especially for security analysts, is projected to skyrocket in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see more than 27,000 additional specialists nationwide to have already secured employment by 2022. This represents a 37 percent spike in the number of InfoSec workers employed in 2012. Most organizations in Los Angeles depend on skilled professionals to protect their computer networks and systems.

(Photo Courtesy of David Lam)

(Photo Courtesy of David Lam)

When UCLA first entered the World Wide Web, David Lam’s long-running commitment to information technology and information security took flight.

“I was working at UCLA in 1991 when we were about to put thousands of students on the Internet in the residence halls,” said Lam, an instructor at UCLA Extension and vice president of technology management services at Citadel Information Group. “We realized that this could have repercussions, and my training and experience in information security began.”

Which pathway led you to this level of success?

“After getting my bachelor’s degree from UCLA, I started my own information technology business. I have experienced extensive training and worked with numerous companies to make their IT work more effectively and more securely.”

How is your academic background benefiting you to this day?

“At UCLA, I learned critical thinking and how to write. That helps me every day and helped me as I wrote my first book, “The New IQ,” just recently published.”

What are you doing to further strengthen your skills?

“I continually attend ongoing training sessions and work collaboratively with my peers.”

What does it take to become an expert in this field?

“It takes appropriate skills, training and experience to become an information security expert in Los Angeles”

What is your message to aspiring information security analysts?

“I advise those desiring to enter the expanding field of information security to join an association, like ISC2, ISSA or ISACA, and learn from formal presentations and from your peers. It is a must to get both formal training and on-the-job training, and be passionate about what you do.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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