Introduction

With the advent of technology came the need for cybersecurity. This resulted in the need for organizations to have a well-equipped and trained team to keep up with the growing security needs. This role is essentially that of a security architect. 

With the development of every new network, a cybersecurity architect is required to oversee the network’s build and to ensure that requisite defensive measures have been taken. Without such supervision, an organization is just set up for obvious failure.

  1. Definition
  2. How To?
  3. Skills
  4. A Security Architect’s Job Description
  5. Security Architect’s Salary

1) Definition

A Security Architect is an individual responsible for the maintenance of security of an organization’s computer system. They need to think like a hacker would and anticipate every tactic a hacker might use to gain unauthorized access to the computer system.

Cyber Security Architects play a major role in any IT project of an organization. They are management-level individuals overseeing the security of an organization’s network. They take defensive measures like implementing and configuring firewalls while also conducting offensive testing such as penetration tests.

2) How to

The following step by step guide will help one kickstart a career in Security Architecture.

1.     Preparation

Experience is key in security architecture; one should prepare for a long career path in this field before expecting results. Hence, research regarding personalized career growth is a must before venturing into this field.

2.     Learning

Pursuing a degree in computer science or a specialized cybersecurity degree is beneficial and preferred by most employers. As a security architect also plays a management level role, professionals may be required to obtain a master’s degree in cybersecurity or related fields.

3.     Gain experience

As mentioned before, the experience is key, and the security architect is not glamorous in the early days. One may have to begin their career as a system administrator and then move on to a more focused role such as that of a security engineer before taking up a niche position like that of a security architect.

4.     Pursue certification

Certifications on a security architect’s resume not only helps the professional stand out in a crowd but in fact, remain in the crowd. With specialized courses available in the market, it is necessary to ensure that one is up to date. Security Architects can earn specialized CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) credentials in architecture or pursue advanced programs such as CASP programs which cover not only architectural domains but also cloud and virtual technology integration and cryptographic techniques. They can also pursue advanced security qualifications such as SABSA (Sherwood Applied Business Security Architecture).

5.     Application

After required exposure, the final steps to pursuing a said career is an actual application for the job that can be done online on portals such as Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com.

6.     Continuous learning

A long career path and a dynamic field such as cybersecurity necessitate continuous learning to ensure that one remains updated regarding new and emerging threats and security techniques. Various organizations such as BlackHat and SANs conduct regular training to keep security architects up to date.

3) Skills

A bachelor’s degree in computer security, computer science or related fields is a general requirement for a security architecture job. Knowledge in Windows, Unix and Linux operating systems, enterprise and security architecture come in handy while on duty. 

Along with such formal requirements, a career in Security Architecture and design requires its own set of skills such as:

A) Networking and Malware analysis:

A security Architect should have the ability to gain a thorough understanding of the access and weak points of a computer system and should be able to provide solutions to overcome said hurdles. 

B)    Management skills:

A security architect also requires strong communication and organizational leadership skills to manage the tasks of leading teams of Information Technology Professionals as well as articulating and disseminating computer security policies and procedures across the organization.

C)     Risk Management:

A significant proportion of a cybersecurity architect’s job is risk management, and understanding fundamental principles regarding the same is an absolute necessity.

4) A Security Architect’s Job Description

We all know that no matter how generic a job might be, each job description is unique to the hiring organization. However, with a blanket view, a prospective security architect can expect the following particulars as a part of their job description:

  • The management and maintenance of the current system security measures
  • Implementation of new and improved systems
  • To ensure that the principle of least privilege is applied to every member of the organization.
  • Execution and maintenance of Identity & Access Management security architecture.
  • Conducting security reviews of third-party software and services
  • Cultivation, Management and supervision over security awareness training initiatives to ensure continuous education of personnel. This will ensure that security policies are adhered to at all times.
  • Performing ongoing security tests such as vulnerability scanning and risk analysis.

5) Security Architect’s Salary

A vast majority of security architects in the global spectrum earn from $77000 to $133000 annually, depending on their experience level and assigned responsibilities. 

According to the survey by Payscale.com, in India, an early career with 1-4 years of experience provides a security architect with an average total compensation of ₹9,00,000 based on 6 salaries. 

Mid-career, a security architect with 5-9 years of experience, earns an average total compensation of ₹1,729,023 based on 25 salaries.

An experienced security architect with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹2,390,569 based on 76 salaries. 

In their late-career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of ₹2,700,000.

One must also note that there might be a slight difference in pay scale depending on different regions in the country itself. For example, the pay difference in Bangalore, Karnataka is a little higher than that in Pune, Maharashtra. 

Conclusion

We can see that the outlook for the field of Security Architecture and design is quite positive. The role of a security architect is more advanced than its cybersecurity counterparts such as security analysts. However, it is necessary to understand that a career in security architecture entails long and strenuous before it is rewarding. It requires the necessary education and experience before obtaining a thriving and lucrative position.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.

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