Australian CISO salaries surge on growing cybersecurity demand

CISOs hired at record pace amidst COVID-era spike in security controls.

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Exploding COVID-era demand for cybersecurity management skills has driven a spike in Australian CISO hires, pushing salaries for security executives well past those commanded by any other major role in the IT industry except for CIOs and CTOs.

Median salaries for CISOs surged to $230,000 in Sydney and Melbourne, $220,000 in Brisbane, and $160,000 in Perth, according to the latest Robert Half Salary Guide 2021, which highlights current salary spreads across a range of industries.

For CISOs, it’s a seller’s market

Top-tier CISOs paid at the 95th percentile could command salaries of as much as $300,000, the report found — well ahead of any other roles except CIOs and CTOs, who could earn as much as $350,000 in Sydney and $380,000 in Melbourne.

Other key cybersecurity roles were also being rewarded handsomely, with Melbourne IT security managers, for example, earning as much as $230,000, cybersecurity specialists as much as $190,000, IT security specialists as much as $180,000, and network security engineers as much as $170,000.

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