A Security Architect is a senior IT specialist responsible for the planning, implementation, and supervision of computer and network security systems. The job requires strong hardware and software knowledge, proficiency in programming, great research skills, and a deep understanding of cybersecurity and risk management.
As a Security Architect, you should foresee any potential threats, outline an action plan, and design systems to prevent these threats.
To apply for a Security Architect job you should hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar discipline, accompanied by different industry certifications, education programs, and field experience.
What does a Security Architect do?
A Security Architect identifies the strengths and weaknesses of all computer systems of an organization. Through tests and analysis, they recognize vulnerabilities, plan, and execute changes to improve the security structures. As a Security Architect, one is supposed to think and act like a hacker in order to be able to push the existing system to its limit and expose any threat exposure and potential weak spots.
A Security Architect also evaluates the efficiency of all existing firewalls, routers, and comparable systems. In addition, they provide resources and guidance to IT administrators, engineers, and analysts on how to conduct effective and functional security protocols. The professionals not only maintain the current systems but often develop new security architectures. In case of an incident, the Security Architect evaluates all damages and causes, and implements needed changes and upgrades to prevent any future attacks.
How to become a Security Architect
A lot of security architects have experience in hacking as it provides a useful insight into what to look for in a system in terms of vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Hacking is part of many undergraduate programs in IT, computer science, or other similar disciplines. Holding at least a bachelor’s degree is expected by most employers.
Most IT entry-level jobs for a post-graduate include network, system, or security administrators. These can lead to mid-level positions such as security engineers, consultants, and analysts. Once the needed experience is achieved and skills are developed in IT security positions, one can move into a security architect role.
In addition to experience, different industry certifications are very useful for IT security professionals, as they help to build knowledge and sharpen skills. A graduate degree in IT security or cybersecurity can further increase the possibility of a career as a Security Architect.
What skills are required for a Security Architect?
As a Security Architect, one should possess a diverse set of competencies, including not only technological expertise but also administrative and leadership skills.
A deep understanding of operating systems, network and systems architecture, wired and wireless security is required. In addition, a Security Architect has to be acknowledged with risk management and cybersecurity guidelines and laws, as well as when and how to apply security controls and concepts.
Because the job of a Security Architect requires reporting about weaknesses, protocols, and incidents, good verbal and written communication is a plus, especially the ability to explain the details to non-technical members of the team. Problem-solving skills and analytical mindset are important soft skills for the successful identification and revision of any security vulnerabilities. As a team leader, the Security Architect is required to be very familiar with the organization’s goals and needs, and work closely with the other members of the IT team to outline, implement, and supervise security solutions.