Security engineers are responsible for designing and implementing the best strategies to protect the internal network from unauthorized access. Security engineers are somewhat of a hybrid of network engineers, system engineers and security architects. They have years of experience in several different areas of IT, so to be a successful applicant in this field, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of security analysis and design.
Job Description: What Does a Security Engineer Do?
A security engineer understands how to design architecture that protects the company. You many need to work with other security specialists to help mitigate damages during current attacks. Applicants are also responsible for identify any hardware or software issues that could be a future vulnerability, and work with managers to help change the architecture. For security engineers to understand different hardware and software vulnerabilities, they need some experience, so this profession is one that is a goal for many network and system administrators who want to be in the security field.
Security Engineer Responsibilities and Duties
A security engineer does more building of architecture than monitoring systems. The lines are blurred between engineering and security administrators and specialists. A security engineer usually builds new systems to help protect current networking assets. They identify any vulnerable systems that need updates or changes in software. Some companies have teams of security experts, including engineers, to help protect the overall internal network.
- Other job responsibilities include:
- Create new ways to provide security and penetration testing
- Configure firewalls across the network
- Perform penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities
- Write automation scripts that identify issues regularly
- Investigate current attacks and help stop cyber threats
- Create new processes for authentication, authorization and encryption algorithms
- Keep current with the latest news and events surrounding cyber threats and security
- Oversee changes to the network and deployment of software to ensure protection
- Document and define corporate security policies
- Analyze the latest in security policies and apply experience to protect the network
- Recommend any changes to help protect corporate software
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- ISSEP: Information Systems Security Engineering Professional
- CREA: Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst
- CPT: Certified Penetration Tester
- CWAPT: Certified Web Application Penetration Tester
Security Engineer Soft Skills
Soft skills help security engineers build relationships within an organization. Even engineers with plenty of hard skills need the soft skills to work in teams, which is typical in an IT related career. Security engineers must be able to communicate issues and speak with key managers to suggest changes to the system that protect the network.
Applicants also need written skills. These skills are used when documenting security policies. Documentation and email communication are two important reasons for written soft skills.
Security Engineer Degree/Education Requirements
IT is one of the few industries that don’t require a college degree. Instead of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, IT applicants can take tests for certifications. Certifications show knowledge in a specific field, even if you have no official college education. Some companies still require a degree, but engineers can also get past the degree requirement with relevant certifications and experience.
Security Specialist Work Experience
Hard skills are a combination between the software and hardware used and the experienced gained from different security positions. Security engineers are mostly a part of architecture teams, so coding skills are somewhat valued but not a necessity. Most security engineers must know how to build security networks including cloud systems.
Hard skills include:
- Penetration and intrusion detection software
- Firewalls and configuring routers and software to work with different ports
- Code review to exam any known security issues related to poor coding
- Operating systems such as Windows and Linux
- Virtualization architecture
- Database security using MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server
- Securing applications with the latest encryption technology
- Networking security and related protocols such as TCP/IP, HTTPS, HTTPS, UDP and TCP
- Different types of security threats such as phishing, social engineering, and DDoS