Cyber Security Architect: Salary, Job Description & Qualifications

If you're considering a career as a cybersecurity architect, this article provides essential information including job description, educational requirements, median salary, and career outlook.

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What is a Cybersecurity Architect?

Cybersecurity architects are responsible for the overall maintenance of an organization's information technology security systems and protocols. They design and implement security measures for hardware, software, and network platforms to ensure protection from cyber attacks and any other possible harmful intrusions that could compromise or damage an organization's data and network infrastructure. These architects assess existing cybersecurity systems and protocols and design and implement upgrades to existing measures as well as implementing new procedures. Because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving and they are an ever-present danger, cybersecurity architects must constantly conduct risk-assessments of an organization's existing network hardware and information delivery systems to prevent and mitigate risk. Cybersecurity architects also work with cloud security across multiple platforms for stateless information sharing. They must ensure that cloud templates are valid and in compliance with cybersecurity best practices and protocols.

Architects usually lead an organization's cybersecurity initiative and provide input on budgetary parameters on a large scale. They must possess expert knowledge in cybersecurity standards including NERC, CIP, and FISMA and ensure that the organization's cybersecurity infrastructure meets these established standards and oversees the initiative to ensure that the infrastructure remains in compliance as well as correcting any issues which may lead to non-compliance.

Cybersecurity architects must work as effective communicators for an organization and all of its departments with respect to training and information dissemination concerning all aspects of security measures. They prepare and present reports to senior management as well as others involved in the organization's information technology infrastructure. Cybersecurity architects are directly involved with policy decisions that affect the organization's cybersecurity framework and must clearly communicate specific cybersecurity concerns and provide solutions to incorporate effective measures against possible compromise as part of the organization's cybersecurity strategic plan.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills IT security, information technology networks, oral and written communication, analysis and problem-solving
Median Salary (2019)* $121,581 (security architect, IT)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 6% (computer network architects)

Sources: *Payscale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A bachelor's degree is usually required for cybersecurity architects. Practical prior work experience in information technology and IT security is also required. Some employers also seek applicants with a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Required Skills

Cybersecurity architects require expert knowledge in information technology systems security software, hardware, cloud, and server-client suites because they are directly responsible for an organization's cybersecurity initiative. Because information access and sharing take place across multiple platforms and with different networks, cybersecurity architects must have expert knowledge of multiple operating systems, network protocols, and existing and emergent cybersecurity technologies. Strong oral and written communication ability is imperative for these architects because they must be able to efficiently communicate requirements for security measures and maintenance as well as provide timely information on the network's effectiveness against possible threats and the dissemination of best practices for cybersecurity measures. Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills are crucial because cybersecurity architects must conduct continuous assessments of the organization's network security measures and identify possible risks and provide risk prevention and mitigation.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 6% job growth statistic for computer network architects between 2016-2026. BLS notes that this growth rate of 6% is as fast as average compared to all other occupations. Payscale.com reported in June 2019 that the annual median salary for security architects in IT was $121,581.

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The following articles provide information on related careers. You'll find job descriptions, educational requirements, median annual salary, and career outlook numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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