What Are The Responsibilities Of A Security Administrator?
A Security Administrator deals with a variety of cyber security issues.
Job descriptions for a Security Administrator varies a lot from employer to employer. However, the generic responsibilities including administering, installing and troubleshooting security issues in an organization.
A Security Administrator may be asked to do the following depending on organizational needs:
- Perform networking and vulnerability scanning assessments
- Install and support security software and tools like anti-virus tools, firewalls, systems and patch management
- Establish and analyze security requirements for existing networks in your organization
- Update and develop disaster recovery protocols and business continuity
- Provide advice on technical security
- Defend organizations systems from modification and unauthorized access
- Keep an eye on network traffic for any unusual activities
- implement application security, access control, network security policies and data safeguards
- Help colleagues in learning about awareness and procedures
- Make policy recommendations by conducting security audits
In smaller businesses or organizations, a Security Administrator may have to take on the role of a Security Analyst or Security Specialist. You will mostly be reporting to a operational Security Manager.
A Security Administrator can move on to following job positions in their career:
After taking on one of these positions, you can also move on to leadership positions like:
A Security Administrator is often also known as:
- Network Security Administrator
- IT Security Administrator
- Systems Security Administrator
The average salary for a System Administrator is $59,467 per annum. Starters may receive anywhere from $28,000 to $40,000 per annum. Maximum salary can go to $83,751 (2016 figures)
Since job duties of a system administrator varies from employer to employer, it is hard to say what degree will work best. Ideally, if you are aiming to go for a very big organization, you should have a bachelor’s degree in Cyber security or Computer Science. For smaller companies, an associate degree should work. Sometimes employers will also be interested to hire you if you have a lot of work experience.
Work experience ranges anywhere from 1-10 years. It all depends on the organization you are aiming to find a position with.
Your soft skills in communication, writing and teaching should be sharp. Most organizations will ask you to draft security policies or train fellow employees on security procedures.
A lot of employers are looking for System Administrators having some of the following technical skills:
- Good understanding of different firewall technologies
- Load balancer, Packetshaper, Proxy Server Knowledge
- Common L4-L7 protocols knowledge including HTTP, SMTP, IPSec and SSL
- Checkpoint or Juniper or Cisco knowledge
- Intermediate to expert understanding of IDS/IPS
Apart from these skills, you should also work toward improving the following skills if you want to move up the ladder:
- Packet Analysis Tools
- Network Protocols
- UNIX, LINUX, Windows operating systems
- TCP/IP, routing, switching, computer networking
- Firewall and intrusion prevention/detection protocols
To work as a System Administrator, you do not need to possess any certifications. However, having one of the following certifications will greatly improve your chances of landing a job by adding it on your resume.
- CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate – Routing and Switching
- CISSP: Certified Information System Security Professional
- Security+: CompTIA’s base level security certification
- ENSA: EC-Council Network Security Administrator
- CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
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