Security Engineer: A Complete Career Guide

women in cybersecurity
women in cybersecurity

Inside a business or organisation, security engineers, also known as information security engineers, play a technical role. It is their primary responsibility to enforce and track device and network security protocols in order to prevent confidential data from being stolen or hacked.

Depending on the size of the business or organisation, the occupation or sector of the company or organisation, and the size of the IT or security team, cybersecurity engineers often perform a variety of job duties.

How to Become a Security Engineer in Four Easy Measures

  • Research: The first step in becoming a security engineer is to learn about the various job options available and the various preparation, education, and certifications that may be needed to achieve those positions.
  • Education: The next step is to match your educational goals to your career priorities and goals. A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a closely related area such as mathematics, computer science, or information management is also needed for highly technical occupations such as engineering. A master’s or Ph.D. in security engineering, as well as comprehensive work experience, may be needed for more senior or management-oriented career paths.
  • Certification: Candidates and workers in the cybersecurity sector are often required to complete a technical certification in specific fields within the wider industry.
    Networking: Over the course of a career, building and maintaining a professional network can aid in the discovery of entry-level employment as well as the surfacing and tracking of additional professional opportunities.

What is a Security Engineer?

Cybersecurity engineers, like other types of engineers, create technologies that help keep computer architecture secure.

A security engineer’s primary responsibility in a business or organisation is to create and implement security plans and standards. The majority of the job is proactive, which means that a cybersecurity engineer spends much of his or her time anticipating network or device vulnerabilities and determining how to address them.

Finding and upgrading applications, setting up firewalls, and running encryption programs are all examples of proactive security engineering.

Another way to identify security flaws is to deliberately search for them using penetration testing techniques or by attempting to target a device in the same way a hacker might.

When a security engineer detects a security problem, they must determine the best course of action, which may include transferring data or information, designing new tools and procedures, or collaborating with management or outside teams to assist the business or organization in recovering from a data breach.

Security Engineer Skills and Experience

Cybersecurity engineers usually have a bachelor’s degree or higher in computer engineering, cybersecurity, information security, or a related field before joining the workforce.

Risk management techniques and approaches are an essential part of a cybersecurity engineering education. In addition to forensics and network design and architecture, a cybersecurity engineer is specialized in forensics.

Security engineers must be up to date on the latest developments in malware technologies and virus detection, firewall design, and content filtering because they deal with cutting-edge computer and mobile technology on a daily basis.

Cybersecurity engineers must be able to decipher machine code and search for glitches or malicious lines that could lead to security flaws.

Cybersecurity engineers are responsible for engaging with coworkers and colleagues, as well as describing complex machine and data problems to high-level managers and decision-makers, in addition to a high level of security-related technical details.

Additional industry certifications or government-issued security clearances may be required for cybersecurity engineers to operate in some environments.

According to a survey of current cybersecurity engineers, the following fundamental skills and experiences are shared:

    • An understanding of computer code, especially how to recognize and deal with dangerous code such as viruses and malware.
    • Awareness of risk management tools and processes, as well as a background in them.
    • Data forensics and security breach protocols are both concepts that must be grasped.
      The ability to conduct risk assessments and analyses in the area of defense.
    • Knowledge of cybersecurity best practices (as well as a track record of keeping up with market changes).
    • Developing and enforcing security protocols and policies is a plus.
    • Anti-virus software, firewall maintenance, and hacker detection are all things you should be aware of.

What do Security Engineers do?

Security engineers are in charge of creating technology resources and frameworks that ensure information’s confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA).

Depending on the situation, the role of an information security engineer can take several different forms. A security engineer can be charged with designing security systems and then implementing security best practices for the rest of the organization, depending on the size and operations of the company.

A cybersecurity engineer may also be charged with preserving security protocols and systems when actively attempting to hack or break into the employer’s data or information systems.

One of the most important aspects of all security engineering work is that practitioners must remain current on the latest security threats and the technology being built to combat them. As previously stated, this also entails maintaining technical cybersecurity certifications.

Security engineer job description

According to JobHero, a career development website, a security engineer’s roles and responsibilities are described by a few main characteristics:

    • Create and communicate organization-wide security strategies and procedures: This entails keeping track of and enforcing security best practices, as well as training company leadership and coworkers about how to best execute the most up-to-date security protocols.
    • Develop security protections: To secure company details, you’ll need to develop and enforce technologies and software like encryption algorithms and data structure firewalls.
      Check for vulnerabilities in digital infrastructure: Security engineers are often tasked with supervising or performing periodic penetration testing to check for any flaws in the overall security strategy. The goal is to attempt to hack a company’s data and other digital information before actual hackers do. Penetration testing is a discipline within the cybersecurity field that is considered part of a security engineer’s work.
    • Security monitoring: In addition to developing and evaluating security infrastructure and procedures for company infrastructure, cybersecurity engineers must constantly track software and systems for intrusions or unusual conduct.
    • Investigate security-related problems after they occur: Cybersecurity engineers must also be part-time investigators who are capable of tracking intruders and determining the source of attacks using automated forensic methods. Security engineers may sometimes collaborate with law enforcement, depending on the size and nature of an attack.

Outlook for Security Engineers

Cybersecurity engineers, like other cybersecurity professionals, are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for cybersecurity engineers is expected to increase by 18% by 2024.

Many people at the top end of the spectrum report working in cybersecurity-related fields for 20 years or more, and there is a clear connection between time in the sector and salary.

The size of the business or entity that employs the cybersecurity engineer, as well as the geographic position, have an effect on salary.

How much do Security Engineers Make?

Payscale estimates that cybersecurity engineers receive $96,000 a year on average, based on hundreds of survey responses, with the low end of the salary continuum reporting $65,000 and the high end $137,000.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.