Though the pay varies by industry, chief security officers are among the most well-paid information technology professionals, says new research from Giga Information Group. "Given the newness of the position, there is still little uniformity around how the CSO is compensated," says Steven Hunt, a Giga vice president. CSOs in financial services reporting directly to the chief information officer make between $125,000 and $270,000, while those reporting to business executives may earn as much as $400,000, plus a 15 percent to 25 percent bonus.

CSOs in telecommunications, utilities and manufacturing that commonly report to executives two levels below the CIO earn about $70,000 to $90,000 per year, plus a 15 percent bonus.

This is closely matched by CSOs from the science-business sector, where CSOs may earn as much as $100,000 but can expect somewhat smaller bonuses, at 10 percent to 15 percent.

"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," Hunt says.

Giga’s new research also suggests that companies spend anywhere from two percent to 20 percent of their total IT budget on security.

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