Security architects are the people responsible for a company’s computer system security. This could mean building new architecture that protects existing and future assets or identifying holes in current architecture that need updates. Security architects think like hackers, because they must be one step ahead to ensure overall network and system security.
Job Description: What Does a Security Architect Do?
Security architects have experience with blackhat, whitehat, and greyhat hacking. This means that they could be former hackers or even ethical hacking experts. They identify issues on the network or help startups design the right hardware and software systems to protect from cyber threats. They keep up-to-date with the latest technology breaches, viruses, and malware. Some security architects perform ethical hacking for companies that need penetration testing. This job is demanding, because applicants not only need to secure the network for current threats, but they also need to quickly manage current attacks as they happen. This includes being able to identify when threats occur, which is a skill that is difficult to attain.
Security Architect Job Responsibilities and Duties
Security architects have several responsibilities. Applicants must be able to identify any issues and quickly mitigate damages on networks that are currently under cyber attack. This includes consistent monitoring of applications and system hardware at all times of the day. Applicants are also responsible for working with other IT personnel to implement new architecture or overview business requirements and standards for any security issues.
• Gather requirements and current standards to overview technology and make recommendations
• Plan architecture changes and help create project management recommendations
• Perform penetration testing on new and existing application architecture
• Keep up-to-date on the latest security standards
• Document security procedures for LANs, WANs, and VPNs
• Install and maintain security certificates
• Estimate cost and budget for security updates
• Oversee technical teams during security or other IT updates
• Mitigate damages during a cyber attack and respond to threats quickly
Security Architect Soft Skills
Soft skills include the communication and relationship building skills and writing skills needed to send emails or document procedures. Most architects have a management role in documentation and holding meetings with key management personnel. For this reason, security architects should have a strong understanding of building relationships and the ability to articulate issues with other managers. Some architects manage other team members during projects.
Security Architect Degree/Education Requirements
IT is one of the rare industries that doesn’t require a degree. More experience is beneficial to a hiring company than a degree, but some companies require them regardless. Most security related applicants have a bachelor’s degree in either computer science or information technology. For management, many applicants have a master’s in a computer related field.
Security Architect Work Experience
Hard skills include software and hardware you should know. This could be from taking classes or working in the field. Since security architects need to know code and hardware, several hard skills involve network equipment and some coding languages used in scripts.
- Authorization and authentication procedures for network, computer and database software
- Operating systems such as Linux, Unix and Windows
- Firewalls, intrusion detection software and network authorization configurations
- Router and switches and VPN security
- Routing and communication protocols including TCP/IP, DNS, and HTTP and HTTPS
- Standard methodologies related to networking and system security
- Third-party auditing tools including risk management for the cloud