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Security Engineer

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What are the responsibilities of a Security Engineer?

Summary

A Security Engineer is – you guessed it right – someone who creates and maintains IT security solutions for their employers.

This is an intermediate level position. You will mostly be responsible for developing security solutions for your organization’s projects/systems. You will also be responsible for taking care of any technical problems that arise.

Full Responsibilities

Your full list of responsibilities include:

  • Configuring and installing intrusion detection systems and firewalls
  • Create automation scripts that deal in handling and tracking incidents that arise
  • Mount incident responses, investigate any intrusion incidents and conduct detailed forensic investigations
  • Find and test new processes that will help in enhancing security capabilities of your organization
  • Create technical reports and deliver documents of test findings to senior IT security staff
  • Work on changes in hardware, software, telecommunications, facilities and required user needs
  • Advise new security technologies to organization
  • Develop brand new ways to fight back production security issues in the company
  • Perform risk analysis, vulnerability testing and security assessments
  • Work with your colleagues on encryption solutions, authorization and authentication
  • Test security solutions with the help of industry level analysis criteria

In this position, you will be reporting directly to a Security Manager 

What is the difference between Security Engineer and Security Analyst

Security Engineers and Security Analysts are opposites to each other. In simple words, a security engineer is mostly tasked with building or fixing security systems, a Security Analyst on the other hand tries to break the very same system. Analysts will test your systems for weakness and risks.

Some organizations also look for people who can handle both building and breaking at the same time. This is a crossover job position titled Security Analyst/Engineer.

Career Paths

After gaining enough experience as a Security Engineer, you can move onto the following higher up positions like:

And if you’re still not quite done, you can take on the highest roles in security which includes:

Related jobs

A security engineer is also known by the following names:

  • Information Assurance Engineer
  • Information Systems Security Engineer
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Information Security Engineer

Expected Salary

A Security Engineer earns around $88,777 a year on an average. Minimum basic salary starts mostly at $58,810 and maximum can reach up to $129,220 a year (2016 figures)

Requirements

Education

Being a security engineer means you will need to have extensive technical knowledge. So you can expect the employers to look for someone holding at least a bachelor’s degree in Cyber security, Computer Science, Engineering or Mathematics.

Work Experience

The required work experience will depend a lot on the kind of organization you choose to work for. It will not only affect your required experience, but will also change the scope of your responsibilities. A typical organization requires 1-10 years of experience. On senior levels, that experience falls under 5-10 years.

Soft Skills

Security Engineers have to deal with a lot of complex problems in security systems on a daily basis. In order to survive in this field, you need to have passion for solving complex problems and should have a creative insight on your work.

Plus you will be spending a lot of time working with IT security or general IT team. So you will be expected to have excellent written and oral communication skills.

There will also be pressure, so be ready to meet the requirement of working under a lot of stress and pulling out more hours daily on the job.

Hard Skills

  • IDS/IPS, vulnerability testing and penetration testing
  • Firewall intrusion and detection protocols
  • Windows, UNIX and Linux operating systems
  • Network protocols
  • Virtualization technologies
  • Encryption and application security technologies
  • DNS, subnetting, VPNs, VOIP, encryption technologies and other networking routing methods
  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), network access controllers (NAC), gateway anti-malware,phishing and social engineering
  • MySQL/MSSQL databases
  • Network architectures (secure)
  • Ethical hacking, secure coding practices and threat modeling

Recommended Certifications

Professional certifications aren’t mandatory. But you will definitely get an application boost if you have the following:

  • CCNP Security: Cisco Certified Network Professional Security
  • CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
  • GSEC/GCIH/GCIA: GIAC Security Certifications