In this day and age, when practically every company uses technology in some way to run their business, securing the networks you work with is more important than ever.
Cyber security breaches are becoming more frequent and expensive. According to a recent survey, data breaches cost companies about $4 million per incident, the highest recorded cost in the last decade. One great way to reduce such risks is through security architecture. Professionals of this field design systems meant to protect companies and their data from cyber breaches.
One of the ways you can join the fight against cyber threats is by learning how to become a security architect. We have compiled information that will help you understand the responsibilities and qualifications needed for the position and hopefully aid you in deciding if this is the career for you.
What Does a Security Architect Do?
A security architect, as the name suggests, deals with the company’s network security from cyber threats. They are responsible for designing and building security systems that protect the company’s data and IT network. To better understand what this job position entails, let’s look at the overview of this career.
Security architect job description
Some general tasks, and responsibilities you will have as a security architect include:
- Finding loopholes or weaknesses in the organization’s systems.
- Managing the company’s technology and information systems.
- Designing and building security architecture models.
- Performing tests to examine the vulnerability of systems.
- Performing risk analysis.
- Creating security architecture standards for routers, firewalls, VPNs, servers, and other IT assets.
- Investigating security standards, current networking systems, and protocols designed for the transfer of authentication data.
- Ensuring workers are following the security policies and procedures of the company.
- Reviewing and approving IT assets before their installation.
- Designing public key infrastructures (PKIs).
- Providing advice, guidance, and training to non-IT workers about security.
- Responding to data breaches, viruses, or other cyberattacks.
- Presenting cyber attacks reports
The primary role of security architects through all these tasks and responsibilities is to update and upgrade the company’s security systems. They continuously work to design safe spaces for the other employees to do their jobs and for the company to run smoothly.
How to Become a Security Architect?
There is not a single road you ought to follow to ensure your success as a security architect. In some cases, people transition from other IT roles, however, in general, the path towards becoming a security architect begins with a specific educational degree, certifications, and sets of skills.
Security architect: education requirements
When it comes to education, your journey begins with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Many benefits, including the wide range of career options and the skills you will develop, make a cyber security degree valuable. Besides this degree, to become a cybersecurity architect, you can also pursue degrees in computer security, information technology, and other similar degrees.
To further develop your skills, you can continue with postgraduate studies. There are many benefits to a cybersecurity master’s degree. This degree helps you differentiate from the crowd and move upwards on the career ladder. Such courses typically take about two years to complete.
Security architect: certifications
Getting certified can be useful for your career. Many employers value them as a sign of your dedication and capability to handle the responsibilities of a cybersecurity architect. Some certifications that can help your career are:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (ISSAP)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA)
- GIAC Security Certifications
- GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
- CompTIA Security+
Some of them have eligibility criteria, such as having a minimum of two years of work experience (a requirement for CEH), a four-year college education degree, five years of cumulative paid full-time work experience (requirements for CISSP), and many others.
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Security architect: skills
As a cybersecurity architect, you need the following set of hard skills to succeed in this career:
- Skills in operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and UNIX.
- Skills to work with wireless security such as VLAN security, routers, and switches.
- Understanding of cybersecurity in various systems, whether they be a computer system, mobile, cloud networks, wireless networks, and so on.
- Knowledge of the most current IT risks.
- Skills in computer forensics.
- Knowledge of network security systems such as firewalls.
- Skills in information security and IT risk management.
- Understanding of security protocols, authentication, and authorization.
In addition to the previously mentioned skills, employers also value soft skills, such as:
- Being detail-oriented
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Management skills
- Strong research skills
Security architect: job outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the market for cybersecurity jobs will grow by 31% until 2029. This market also includes security architecture. Based on these stats, the position of security architect is one of the fastest-growing careers, compared to the average job growth of 4%.
Security architect: salary
The average salary for security architects in the United States is $151,343 per year. In terms of the salary range, entry-level security architects earn about $84,393 per year, whereas the highest recorded salary for the top positions is $271,405 per year.
Working as a security architect has many perks. It offers a better job outlook than most careers and the chance to profit both financially and professionally from it. You would have many responsibilities, although nothing you can not handle with the proper education and experience. If you are interested, there are many great cyber security master’s programs that you can pursue to ensure you create the best future for yourself.