Facebook. My Fitness Pal. Macy’s.
These companies all experienced cybersecurity breaches in 2018. When an organization is a victim of a data breach, its reputation suffers — and so does its bottom line. A data breach can cost a company more than $3.5 million.
So what are organizations doing to stop and prevent these breaches? Smart companies are hiring and building their own teams of cybersecurity professionals. In fact, job growth in this industry is expected to increase by 37 percent by 2022.
Cybersecurity professionals take on many different roles. There are options for people with different skills and experience levels. You can start entry level and climb your way to the C-suite.
One of the most common senior level roles is the cybersecurity architect. We’re going to spotlight the security architect role here. Read on to learn about what cybersecurity architects do, where they work, and more.
What Does a Cybersecurity Architect Do?
Like traditional building architects, cybersecurity architects are responsible for building things. But rather than homes, skyscrapers, or bridges, cybersecurity architects build technology security systems. These must be able to defend against attacks and mitigate the risk of attacks.
Cybersecurity architects oversee the entire security system process. They determine security requirements, plan and install systems, and test those systems. Security architects are responsible for creating standards, policies, and procedures for their team.
To do all this, security architects conduct research and evaluations. They assess business strategies and requirements, and evaluate security standards. They also gather information through vulnerability analyses and risk assessments.
A cybersecurity architect handles all technology systems and platforms. They study their company’s systems and platforms to identify integration issues. All this knowledge must include recommendations, including cost estimates.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like?
As mentioned above, security architects have wide-reaching responsibilities. This is the type of role where each day is different from the next. Cybersecurity architects handle small tasks, routine procedures, and large projects.
We already know that architects plan and design the systems. When implementation happens, a cybersecurity architect must direct installation and calibration. They also provide technical support and complete all necessary documentation.
Security architects also manage the maintenance and updating of the technology systems. They conduct routine vulnerability testing. If there are gaps, the cybersecurity architect must develop or delegate needed improvements.
Cybersecurity architects bear much of the weight if an incident does occur. In these cases, the architect must brief the stakeholders on what occurred and how. They must present and carry out measures to prevent repeat occurrences.
Security architects must work to stay current on emerging practices and standards. They are responsible for overseeing and enhancing the security team’s competence and accomplishments. They train and teach, and also enhance the security department’s reputation.
What Education and Qualifications Are Necessary?
Security architect roles tend to be more senior and managerial than other IT jobs. Cybersecurity architects have degrees in information technology, computer science, or other related fields. Many architect positions call for advanced information security certifications and master’s degrees.
Cybersecurity architects have expert-level knowledge of operating systems like Windows, Unix, and Linux. They know and understand risk management, risk assessment, and attack pathologies. They must also have a working knowledge of cyber laws and ethics.
Their knowledge goes beyond information technology. They understand protocols and can interact with different personnel and departments. And while they’re IT-focused, they must understand the business acumen side of things as well.
The cybersecurity industry is unique in that it’s always changing. Hackers improve their methods and create new strategies. Cybersecurity professionals must pursue continuing education to stay ahead of the enemy.
Sometimes, maintaining a certification requires continuing education. Cybersecurity professionals take part in educational opportunities and professional organizations. They also network with their peers and keep up with industry publications.
What Path Does One Take to Become a Cybersecurity Architect?
These professionals must have adequate industry experience before they become architects. Most positions call for three to 10 years of relative industry experience. They must work to advance their career toward the architect position.
Most cybersecurity architects get started in entry-level positions in the industry. Entry level roles include security administrators, system administrators, and network security administrators. Then they advance to IT security positions like security analysts, engineers, and consultants.
The security architect role is managerial. Cybersecurity architects may be on the same professional level as security directors. Some may later fill the role of Chief Information Security Officer.
Where and with Whom Do Cybersecurity Architects Work?
Cybersecurity architects are usually managers. Even the smallest companies need cybersecurity, but may not have security teams. Architects work in companies with IT security departments.
A security architect may lead an in-house security team or a team at a firm that helps and consults for others. As leaders, they work with and manage people who are less experienced and knowledgeable. For this reason, they often serve as mentors.
A cybersecurity architect will report to the CISO or cybersecurity director. They may also report to the rest of the executive suite, and sometimes even executive boards. They often serve as security advocates when working with officers and directors.
Every Industry Needs Cybersecurity Architects
As we mentioned early on, no industry or company is safe from cyber threats. This means that organizations across all verticals need cybersecurity teams. A cybersecurity architect can find work in any industry. Click here for other popular Cybersecurity jobs that are also as flexible as cybersecurity architects.
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