What Is a Cyber Security Architect?
A security architect is responsible for managing the security of a company's computer system. He or she designs security systems to prevent malware installations, hacker invasions and all other cyber attacks, then tests and surveys the entire system to ensure efficiency. A security architect may coordinate with other managers to facilitate employee protocols and training and conduct interviews.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's or master's degree and certification|
|Job Skills||Communication, teaching, leadership, problem-solving and various technical skills related to IT and cyber security|
|Median Salary (June 2019)*||$121,581|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||6% (for all computer network architects)|
Sources: *Payscale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Required Education and Certification
Most employers require a bachelor's degree in computer science, cyber security or a related field. For those pursuing a management-level security career, considering a master's degree in IT security or graduate-level certificate in computer security will prove to be immensely helpful.
Employers typically require advanced security certifications from accredited organizations. A few certifications to consider are:
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional from (ISC)²
- CISSP-ISSAP: Information Systems Security Architecture Professional from (ISC)²
- CISM: Certified Information Security Manager from ISACA
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker from EC-Council
- CSSA: Certified SCADA Security Architect from IACRB
- GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials / GCIH: GIAC Certified Incident Handler / GCIA: GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst
- CompTIA PenTest+
Infosec offers courses to hone your skills and prepare for certification exams. These include Ethical Hacking Dual Certification Boot Camp - CEH v10 and Pentest+, CompTIA Network+ Training Boot Camp, Certified Penetration Tester (CPT) Training Boot Camp, Mobile and Web Application Penetration Testing, Reverse Engineering Malware Training Boot Camp and Security Architecture Design and Assessment Training. Continuing education throughout your career is a must because cyber threats are ever-changing.
Security architects should have excellent teaching and communication skills, as they will be expressing technical information to many individuals who are not proficient in this area. Security architects will be responsible for managing many projects and team members, so leadership and problem-solving skills are essential, as well. The following technical skills are also a must:
- Information security and/or IT risk management
- Information security management systems (ISMS) such as ISO 27001/27002, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies)
- Windows, UNIX and Linux operating systems
- Perimeter security controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and network access control
- Router, switch, VLAN and wireless security
- Security functions for DNS (Domain Name System), routing, authentication, VPN (Virtual Private Network), proxy services and DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-service) mitigation
- IT security strategies, enterprise architecture, security architecture and network security architecture
- Third party auditing and cloud risk assessment methods
- Cyber law and ethics
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for all computer network architects is estimated to grow 6% from 2016 to 2026, which is about the average compared to all occupations. Use of computers is only growing and with that comes the persistent need to protect users and systems. Cyber security architects are essential to these operations. Payscale.com reports that the median salary in June 2019 for security architects working in IT was $121,581, making this a lucrative career, as well.
Below are a few careers related to that of a cyber security architect.