The unique world of a Security Architect

The Security Architect (SA) is a very unique role that combines an IT, Security and Development background with a very high level of analytical skills. An SA leads the design and development of innovative security architectures for protecting data and securing corporate networks and endpoints.  This position will directly contribute to the overall global enterprise security architecture, and lead the security vision and strategy around on premise and cloud-based products including Infrastructure, Platforms, and Software as a Service (IaaS/PaaS/SaaS).

 

The SA works side by side the CTO or Application lead developer but really is the “right-hand” to any good CISO.

 

SA Roles and Responsibilities

The SA will serve as the central point of contact for other Technology teams for matters related to information security architecture. The SA will possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills to partner with other leaders across the business, to identify opportunities and risks related to our operating environment, and to develop and deliver solutions that support business strategies while protecting the companies’ intellectual property globally.

 

  • Expertise – Collaborate with Product Managers, Platform Leads, and Information Security teams to architect and design security solutions.  Knowledge of cloud security services such as AWS Identity and Access Management, Inspector, Cloud formation, VPCs, Anti-Virus, Firewalls, and DLP products are essential.
  • Delivery – Complete architecture assessments across projects, prove use of security solutions to support new distributed computing solutions that span private cloud and public cloud services, and assist with reviewing and implementing DLP, Anti-Virus, and other security related technologies.
  • Security Technology Strategy - Work with engineering, service and business teams to create technology roadmaps.

 

SA Qualifications and Certifications

As mentioned the SA is a very unique position. An SA is an expert in pretty much all things Information Technology and Information Systems (yes, there is a difference) related. Most security professionals will begin their career with a bachelor’s degree. While it is preferred that the degree be earned in computer science, information technology or cyber security, you can start with a degree in another field. However, to rise to the level of security architect, you likely need a master’s degree in cyber security or computer science with a security focus. You will need to be knowledgeable in the following topics:

  • Expert in Windows, Unix and Linux operating systems
  • Expert in Risk management and assessment procedures
  • Expert in Security attack pathologies
  • Extensive Knowledge in Cyber law and ethics
  • Expert in Network security and architecture
  • Expert in Wired and wireless security
  • Expert in Enterprise and security architecture

 

As this is a management position the SA has excellent written and verbal communication skills. It is vital to know how to maintain staff morale and to inspire creative solutions and innovation. SA also function as a mentor, and to work with employees who are experiencing difficulties and need help in the field.