According to the 2018 Asia-Pacific compensation survey, conducted jointly by the Asia Crisis & Security Group (ACSG, and Security Management Resources (SMR,, CSO salaries in APAC range from $230,000 per year to $317,000 per year, with energy and utilities and banking and financial institutions as the two industries with the highest salaries.

The annual survey and report, which is in its eighth year, aims to create a standard compensation benchmark for security, crisis and continuity professionals in the Asia-Pacific region. All respondents to the survey are based in countries in the Asia Pacific region, from Japan to Central Asia, including Australia-New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and the Emirates countries. All figures are in US dollars.

Mark Hargraves, chairman of ACSG and Director of Security for Citibank Security & Investigative Services, Asia Pacific Region, says that the report is valuable because, “There is very little tangible data to reference in the security industry in Asia. Organizations use disparate compensation benchmarks associated to internal grade structures that do not reflect the limited resource availability. The ACSG study cuts across all industries and functions to provide a stronger guide to compensation for both hiring organizations and individuals seeking employment.”

At the same time, he notes, “A key challenge for enterprise security is talent availability, particularly at country level positions. The blend of language, management, business and security experience can be hard to find. However, this does open the door for developing talent from broad backgrounds and the creation of teams whose diverse skill sets and backgrounds can be pulled together to deliver security solutions.”

Hargraves adds that he was not surprised at the survey results. “This data reflects an industry that is evolving in Asia,” he says. “The structure of security teams is broadening and the backgrounds of people in the industry is moving from the traditional government style backgrounds towards a more diverse pool of talent from varied backgrounds.”

The charts here and in the full report provide background, education, responsibilities and salary information and more for CSOs, Global Function Lead, Regional Head, Regional Function Lead – Major Function, Area Manager – Asia Pacific Sub-Region, and Regional Function Lead – Minor Function.

The full report is available at