What is a Security Architect

Within an IT department a security architect plays a critical role. A security architect holds a senior-level position and is responsible for the design, development and maintenance of security systems for the computer system of an enterprise. Security architect integrates expertise in hardware and software with programming skills, research competencies, and policy development. A security architect anticipates possible risks and builds programs to avoid them. Security architect plans, implements, and supervises computer and network security systems as a senior information technology professional. Thinking as a malicious hacker lets a security architect consider and predict the actions and techniques a hacker might use to attempt and achieve unauthorized access to the computer network. A security architect reports his progress to the chief information security officer (CISO) throughout the process.

As a security architect you will design systems, manage employees and help evolve the organization’s security needs. You can rise to a certain senior-level position once you have gained extensive computer security experience and credentials.

What are the responsibilities of a Security Architect

  • A security architect’s responsibilities include:
  • Develop a complete understanding of the technologies and information systems of an organization.
  • For any IT project; schedule, study and design comprehensive security architectures
  • Performing vulnerability tests, risk analysis and assessment of security
  • research security systems to find Security standards, and protocols for authentication
  • Help generate new requirements for local area network (LAN), wide area networks (WANs), virtual private networks (VPNs), routers, firewalls, and associated network tools
  • Design of public key infrastructures (PKIs), including the use of digital signatures and certification authorities
  • Prepare cost estimations and identify problems with the integration
  • Review and authorize firewall, VPN, routers, IDS scanning technologies, and server deployment
  • Testing final security mechanisms to ensure they are working as required
  • Provide strategic supervision and instructions to a safety team
  • Define, enforce and manage organizational security policies and procedures
  • Responsible for overseeing security awareness programs and education initiatives
  • Respond to security-related incidents immediately and provide a thorough post-event analysis
  • Update and upgrade security systems according to need

How is a typical Security Architect’s workplace like?

For security architects, it is important to stay up-to-date with all the latest and current developments in both the security end as well as the attack end. Knowing how to interact with employees and thinking about creative solutions and innovation is important. Security architects need to be confident as a mentor and work with employees who are having trouble and need help. Security architects work at least 40 hours a week, if not more. Depending on their particular job duties, developers can work individually or through communication as part of a team.

How to Become a Security Architect

If you’re looking for a cybersecurity career, there are different paths you can take, but keep in mind there’s no linear path to it. While some people are joining the filed right after college, others are moving from one IT position to another before they achieve their target. You must always start with general experience. Before opting for a specialized field in this vast area of expertise, you need to be well aware of how the information technology works. However, there are various entry-level positions for IT professionals, if you are a problem solver and hell-bent on following a cybersecurity profession then pursuing a security architect’s role may just be a very good option for you.

Bear in mind that more than 30% of cybersecurity positions demand industry-certified applicants. As most of the management-level cybersecurity jobs are highly specialized. The more certifications and specializations you hold, the higher the chances of having a decent job with a reputable organization. Employers often look for candidates who have acquired certifications that serve as proof of their skill.

What are the top Recommended Cybersecurity Certifications for a Security Architect

Since the job of a security architect is a senior position, employers will be looking for accredited security certifications on your resume. You should get a bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT, cybersecurity, or a similar field. Or, acquire equivalent experience with certifications in an accrediting relevant industry. You can join the IT sector as a security administrator, network administrator, or system administrator, promote yourself to a mid-level job as a security expert or analyst and enter the role of a Security Architect. Training and certification in cybersecurity will help you speed up your career path and stand out for prospective employers. Such certifications demonstrate the critical skills required for the position of a security architect, such as security and architecture of the network, vulnerability testing and risk management.

CompTIA Security+ for Beginner level

A CompTIA Security+ certification does the job with an optimal starting point in a cyber-security certification process. There are no prerequisites for the test. The certification covers both practical and theoretical applications in a wide range of security topics such as network attacks and counter-measures, risk management, application security, operational security management, and compliance. This certification is set by government organizations such as the US Department of Defense as a benchmark for entry-level talent. It, therefore, opens the door to a wide variety of public sector opportunities. Leading certification bodies such as the EC Council and organizations such as IBM use the Security+ certification as a requirement for their training and certification pathways.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) for Intermediate level

With this certification the security specialists in the networking are taught how to think like malicious hackers. Professionals certified in ethical hacking are provided with the techniques and tools used by hackers to identify any kind of system vulnerabilities and enforce effective protection and countermeasure.

Though CEH ‘s emphasis on penetration testing is clear, its usefulness and marketability transcend that niche. Thus, making it the ideal credential for the intermediate level. There are some prerequisites for taking this test. For the training and certification course CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), an applicant must have:

  • Experience in Information Security
  • Strong understanding of TCP/IP
  • An educational background that reflects information security specialization

EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) for Advanced level

The EC-Council Certified Security Analyst Certification is an advanced security certification complementing the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification by validating the ethical hacking analytical phase. An ECSA is a bit ahead of a CEH by being in a position to analyze the outcome of hacking tools and technology. This certification consists of two required levels.

Step 1: A report writing stage that allows candidates to conduct various penetration testing exercises on the iLabs of the EC-Council before submitting a penetration test report to the EC-Council for evaluation. Candidates who submit reports to the required standards will obtain test vouchers for the multiple-choice examination.

Step 2: Take the exam of multiple-choice questions.

If an applicant completes an official EC-Council training either at an Accredited Training Center, through the iClass platform, or at an approved academic institution, the applicant is entitled to take the applicable EC-Council exam without going through the application process. If a candidate has not completed training then applicants for the EC-Council exam must request and receive consent via the application process for eligibility in order to be considered.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) for Expert level

That is an expert-level certification. CISSP certified experts have in-depth experience of real-world strategies in the important cybersecurity domains including risk management, network security, business continuity, policy recreation, the security of software development, security of operations, and regulatory enforcement.

Anyone with 5 + years of experience in two or more of the 8 CISSP security domains may be seated for this exam to get certified.

The prerequisites for taking this test are:

Five years of full-time security work experience in 2 or more of those 8 (ISC)² CISSP CBK domains:

  • Asset Security (Protecting Asset Security)
  • Safety and risk management (security, Risk, Compliance, Regulation, Rules, and Continuity of business)
  • Communication and network protection (Designing and protecting network security)
  • Security Engineering (Security Systems and Management)
  • Security procedures (fundamental concepts, audits, incident management and recovery from disasters)
  • Managing Identification and Access (Controlling access and identification management)
  • Safety assessment and testing (design, perform, and analyze safety testing)
  • Security in software development (Comprehension, Implementation, and Compliance in Software Security)

Earning Potential

Computer security, most widely referred to as cybersecurity, is a field that has tremendous demand for skilled individuals, especially at managerial levels. And this desire has certainly raised the standard for the wages earned by these individuals. Between 2018-2028, the BLS predicts a 12% rise in software and IT occupations. Professionals in the world of information technology management should foresee an estimated 500,000 new positions. Over the coming years computer network architects should expect a lot of new positions. PayScale estimates that security architects are paid a mean annual salary of $122,676. Entry-level security architects take home around $77,000 a year, while their mid-level counterparts reported salaries just under $118,000. Security analysts gain more than $133,000 per annum for 20 or more years of experience in the field.

Computer network architects’ top industries include the design of computer systems and telecommunication networks. Per PayScale, security architects suggested that Lockheed Martin Corporation, a multinational defense and security technology company, paying the highest salary in the industry.