How To Become a Cybersecurity Architect ? Career Overview (USA 2021)

In an IT agency, a security architect plays a critical role. You’ll design processes, oversee personnel, and help the organization’s security needs grow.

You will advance to this senior-level rank if you have significant experience and skills in the area of information security.

Do you consider yourself a destructive hacker as well as a big-picture enterprise IT executive?

Since all of these mindsets are expected to be a successful cybersecurity architect — a highly sought-after profession with annual compensation averaging $129,000 if you have the necessary skills and experience.

What Does A Cybersecurity Architect Do?

Security engineers analyze the information technologies and computing infrastructure of their organizations, defining strengths and disadvantages.

On the local area networks, wide area networks, and virtual private networks, they perform penetration testing, risk assessments, and legal hacks.

They also evaluate routers, firewalls, and similar devices for effectiveness and performance.

Security architects consider themselves to be hackers. They test the limits of current computer and network security schemes.

Since identifying bugs in existing networks, security architects prepare and execute design updates to improve security frameworks.

These experts also create and execute whole new security architectures. They combine their understanding of defense hardware and applications, corporate requirements, and cybersecurity concerns with organizational policy and industry practices.

As security architects’ job is to build and maintain the security systems and networks, they prepare the budgets, oversee expenses, and allocate personnel resources as needed.

Security architects guide information technology (IT) security team members. They also lead the IT analysts, security administrators, and security engineers to effectively coordinate security protocols.

Security architects also respond to the security breaches. When incidents arise, the security architects assess causes, damages, and the data recovery, preparing thorough reports for their colleagues, managers, and executives.

They also implement appropriate changes, updates, and upgrades in response to vulnerabilities and incursions.

Job Roles & Responsibilities of A Cyber Architect

A cybersecurity architect is a senior-level role responsible for the strategy, architecture, monitoring, implementation, and maintenance of a company’s computer and network security infrastructure.

The position necessitates in-depth knowledge of the employer’s industry and a detailed understanding of the technologies used to perform operations.

As a security architect, you’ll be responsible for creating security mechanisms that prevent ransomware, hacker intrusions, and Denial of Service attacks.

Once the system is up and ready to perform, you must search for bugs and audit the entire system.

To thoroughly test the device, you will need to employ an independent expert who can perform a rigorous penetration test to ensure that it is safe against external attacks.

A security architect can collaborate with other managers to enforce employee protocols to ensure system integrity.

These protocols are fundamental in high-security environments, such as working as a defense contractor. You could enact a policy stating that no workstation can be left unattended.

All employees are subjected to a physical inspection upon entering and leaving the department. While such actions may be draconian, they may be appropriate when dealing with data critical to national security.

As a boss, you will be responsible for providing instruction to your staff, conducting interviews for prospective hires, and even letting people go when necessary.

It will be your sole responsibility to train your employees on current standards and practices as they are implemented.

As a management-level employee, you would most definitely need to remain updated on security developments. You will need to attend conventions to keep up with business publications.

Some people enjoy writing blogs on new security software or best practices for developing a security architecture.

When you are informed of market developments, you will choose when and how to update the device.

You will then be responsible for overseeing the deployment of new software packages and maintaining the overall network’s security when performing upgrades and uninstallations.

Following such updates, you should conduct a recent audit to detect any device conflicts or bugs.

How Do You Become A Cybersecurity Architect?

Many security architects have previous hacker expertise. Former hackers are aware of what to look for regarding bugs and flaws because they have experience penetrating traditional device and network protection frameworks.

Undergraduate degrees in the information technology field, computer science, or similar fields often provide security architects with hacking expertise. Most companies expect defense architects to get a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Bachelor’s degrees train students to work in information technology as security, network, or systems administrators. Safety administrators are in charge of installing, administering, and monitoring the security solutions used by organizations.

Network and systems management oversees the information technology infrastructures of organizations.

Entry-level positions as security analysts, engineers, and consultants will lead to mid-level positions as security analysts, engineers, and consultants.

While security analysts track and avoid data breaches, security engineers develop information technology security technologies.

The expertise gained in low- to mid-level information technology security positions aid in the advancement of practitioners into security architect roles.

Experience is still essential in security engineering, but information technology security experts may also receive cybersecurity certifications.

Certifications help hone expertise, expand awareness, and keep potential and practicing security architects updation with the latest developments in the IT industry.

(ISC)2, a cybersecurity industry pioneer, offers an information technology security expert certification.

Security architects may obtain a specialist CISSP architecture certification. To advance field-specific skills, the curriculum combines technologies, leadership, and theoretical content.

CompTIA also has a curriculum for specialized defense practitioners (CASP+).

CASP+ certified professionals show skills in security domain architectural principles and specifications and experience in cloud and virtualization infrastructure integration and cryptographic techniques.

Graduate degrees in computer technology security, cryptography, and related fields boost security architecture professions much more. The curriculum varies depending on the nature of the program.

Still, compulsory courses include specialized event management, ethical hacking, and information technology governance. Individuals employed in particular industries such as healthcare, banking, or government can specialize their degrees further.

Key Skills of A Cybersecurity Architect

CSOonline offers an excellent overview of the requisite qualifications and competencies for this profession in a nutshell that dissects the job description of an information technology architect. The following are essential requirements:

  • In terms of Experience-
  1. Designing and implementing security strategies using new technologies; tracking and developing those solutions when collaborating with an information security team.
  2. Consulting and engineering in the design and advancement of best practices for defense; introduction of security policies to satisfy company objectives, customer demands, and regulatory requirements.
  3. Cloud computing security considerations include data leaks, ransomware, account hijacking, unauthorized insiders, third parties, authentication, APTs, data leakage, and DoS attacks.
  4. Identity and access control include monitoring and developing/enforcing policies that govern access to confidential infrastructure services and information properties.
  • General Skills:
  1. Excellent listening abilities, sound logical reasoning, and intellectual abilities.
  2. Strong teamwork, project management, and team-building skills and the potential to direct teams and push projects across various departments.
  3. Capable of identifying threats associated with corporate processes, activities, infrastructure ventures, and information management systems.
  4. Capability to act as an enterprise security subject matter specialist capable of explaining complex topics to someone with no professional experience.
  • Technical Knowledge & Skills:
  1. Operating environments such as Windows, UNIX, and Linux.
  2. VB.NET, Java/J2EE, ColdFusion, API/web applications, scripting languages, and a relational database management system (RDBMS) such as MS SQL Server or Oracle are examples programming languages.
  3. Comprehensive knowledge of applicable industry compliance guidelines and protocols, such as ISO27001 and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); also the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT); Treadway Commission Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO), a collaborative effort to combat corporate fraud.
  4. ISO 27001 information security control scheme requirements.
  5. Protection for routers, switches, and VLANs; wireless security.
  6. Procedures for risk management, policy development, role-based authorization methodologies, authentication technologies, and security attack pathologies.

Let’s Have a Peek in a Day in the Life of A Security Architect

Security architects can play an essential role in every organization’s IT programs and initiatives- which is since they will be responsible for the designing, planning, and maintaining the security architectures surrounding these programs or initiatives.

They would work to keep an organization’s protection at the highest degree possible by doing routine monitoring, which could include penetration testing, vulnerability screening, and risk analysis.

They will remain current on evolving technology and be mindful of new challenges to introduce countermeasures.

They would typically organize and supervise an organization’s security staff. Veteran Security architects are often in charge of spearheading the security awareness projects.

Enterprise Security Architect: A Deeper Dive!

We are often asked to differentiate between an Enterprise Security Architect, a Security Architect, and an IT Security Architect.

To further explain this often asked query, we will outline the high-level distinction between the three different positions in their purest forms below.

Since several factors can influence the variations between the three positions, not all can be comfortable with the following.

Work Description for an Enterprise Security Architect

Using an Enterprise Security Architect Job Description as a baseline, an Enterprise Security Architect Job Description would typically concentrate on the whole company.

An Enterprise Technology Architect understands and oversees the entire organization’s security needs.

An Enterprise Security Architect protects enterprise data by assessing security specifications, designing, installing, and evaluating security systems, developing security protocols, policies, and procedures, and mentoring team members.

Work Description for a Security Architect

Using a Security Architect Job Description as a baseline, a Security Architect Job Description would often concentrate on the security specifications for a particular market sector.

A Security Architect plans, constructs, and manages an organization’s network and information security.

Work Description for an IT Security Architect

Using an IT Security Architect Job Description as a baseline, an IT Security Architect Job Description would typically concentrate on being responsible for their company’s network and data security.

As the above Enterprise Security Architect Job Description, Business Security Job Description, and IT Security Architect Job Description demonstrate, each position has similarities and differences.

The above distinctions would help distinguish the three separate job roles for three different domains.

Certifications in Cybersecurity Architecture

Education is unquestionably an excellent place to begin if you want to pursue this profession. A cybersecurity degree is a natural option for practitioners seeking a solid basis to develop their skills.

It will provide security professionals with the knowledge they need on the general configuration of systems and networks, emphasizing design and safety, covering any privacy problems involved with operating systems, networking, and virtualization devices, as well as monitoring outside access to the hardware.

Certifications are a perfect way to develop new knowledge and upgrade skills you’ve gained in the past in a fast-paced, highly specialized environment like information security.

The following certifications are excellent places to start if you want to work as a cybersecurity architect:

  1. CompTIA Security+ certification
  2. CEH for Certificate of (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  3. CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
  4. GIAC (GCIA/GSEC/GCIH) CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
  5. CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) or CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
  6. CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) Certification of Information Systems

Cybersecurity Architect Salary in US

The mighty Bureau of Labor Statistics (OR BLS in short) has predicted a 12.1% increase in computer and the information technology occupations between 2019 and 2029.

IT security experts should expect an additional 500,550 new job opportunities in the industry. In the coming years, there could be 8,420 new openings for computer network architects.

According to PayScale, defense architects receive a median annual income of $122,679. Entry-level defense architects earn about $77,100 a year, while their mid-level peers earn just under $118,300.

Security analysts with 20 or more years of experience gain more than $133,080 a year.

Computer network architecture and telecommunications are two of the most common industries for computer network architects.

According to PayScale, security architects suggested that the multinational safety and security systems firm Lockheed Martin Corporation paid the highest salary in the profession.

Booz Allen Hamilton, an information technology consultancy firm, and American Airlines had some of the lowest pay rates.

Computer network architects will earn the fifth-highest annual mean salary in Washington, D.C. According to PayScale, defense architects in Washington, D.C. received more than 19% more than the national median average wage.

Wrapping Up

We’ve gone through some of the qualifications, schooling, certifications, and expertise you’ll need to succeed as a cybersecurity architect in the last few minutes.

Then, what are your thoughts? Will you see yourself working as a cybersecurity architect in the future? If you believe this is the exact profession for you, you can get started by obtaining a few key certifications.

The certifications mentioned above will show you some of the technical skills required to become a competent cybersecurity architect and demonstrate to employers that you are the right candidate for the job.

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